The Beginner’s Guide to Running for the Win
Running is one of the most popular sports worldwide, with excellent benefits for both mind and body. It does not require any fancy equipment and can be done anywhere there’s an open road.
But if you’re new to the world of running, don’t lace up your running shoes just yet! First, check out these useful tips to build a successful running routine and avoid overtraining and injuries. Ready, set, go!
Like anything else new in life, there’s a period that you need for accommodation. If you’re new to running, you have to give your body some time to adjust to the new strains and effort of this activity. Most beginners make the mistake of running the entire distance from the start and fall victims to overtraining or injuries.
Captain’s tip:Warm up 5-10 minutes before starting your run either by walking, stretching, doing knee lifts etc. Alternate your running intervals with short brisk walking or jogging ‘breaks’.
Learn to breathe properly
This may not seem so difficult, as breathing comes naturally. But when it comes to physical activities, breathing properly can make or break your results. Most people breathe in and out through their nose but usually do not take very deep breaths.
Captain’s tip: During your run, take deep breaths and breathe deeply, through your nose and mouth. Also, the simplest way to properly supply your muscles with oxygen for running is to match your breath with your steps.
Keep a steady pace
When you start running, you feel anxious and full of energy. But if you think that energy lasts forever, think again. Many running newbies start running at a very fast pace from the beginning and run short on fuel after just a few minutes.
Captain’s tip: Start with a pace that allows you to have a conversation without leaving you breathless. The right speed is the one that gets you through the “running and talking test” without fighting for every breath of air.
Wear the right shoes
Give a runner the right shoes and he can conquer the world. As cliché as that may sound, the right pair of running shoes is essential to your successful and injury-free running. There are a lot of specialized shops that sell a variety of brands and designs to accommodate your needs and budget.
Captain’s tip: Choose a pair of running shoes that fit your foot type and gait pattern. In addition, take into consideration the type of surface you’ll do most of the running on, be it pavement, track or trail.
Take time to rest and recover
Your first running session went great and you feel ready for your next one straightaway. While this is a good sign that your body is taking it well, rest and recovery are mandatory for long term results. A break is essential for the muscles and bones to replenish their energy stores.
Captain’s tip: Plan your running sessions so that you train one day and take a rest the following day. In time, you can reduce the downtime period but always keep at least one full day off to recharge and recover.
Try cross training
Give your mind and body some variety and add other types of sports into your routine. This prevents running boredom but, more importantly, it dissipates stress on your joints and spine, by working other parts of your body.
Captain’s tip: If you’re not up for a full break day, try light physical activities for flexibility, such as yoga, in-between your running days. Also, strengthening your core and glutes can also contribute to you becoming a better runner.