As a beginner, your main goal in running should be to build a solid base for your subsequent transformation into an expert runner. This is done by focusing on neuro-muscular and aerobic fitness. Aerobic fitness is the ability to generate lots of energy efficiently using oxygen taken from the atmosphere. When you begin running, you have to lay more emphasis on these aspects while training in a manner that is appropriate for a beginner. Professional runners already have a solid foundation and need to focus their training on advanced workouts. This guide is meant to make running safe and fun for starters and also to help you stay motivated.
Before you begin
If you do not feel fit enough or you are recovering from an injury or you are simply worried about an existing condition, you need to consult with your doctor before you take up running. If you have not been active for a long time, you may want to gradually improve your fitness by performing exercises like walks, before you take up running. Running does not require a lot of equipment, as long as you own a decent pair of running shoes, you should be good to go. The shoes need to suit your foot type, this will reduce the risk for injury. Since the shoes’ shock absorbers weaken with time, it is advisable to get new running shoes every time you hit the three hundred mile mark. Before you embark on a run, you need to plan your runs, know the exact route you will be taking and the time you will begin, this way, you will get to develop a mental memory.
In order to reduce the chances of picking up injury and have a fun filled experience, it is important to ease yourself into the routine. You can then gradually increase your pace and the distance you run as you progress. Before starting each run, you need to perform a warm up of at least five minutes, consisting of knee lifts, marching on the spot, side steps and quick walking. Begin by walking for between ten to thirty minutes, once you can do this effortlessly, incorporate running at short intervals of between two to five minutes into your walking, at a pace that you are comfortable with. As you progress, lengthen the running intervals until you can run non-stop for more than thirty minutes. While you run, your shoulders should be relaxed and your elbows bent. Your posture should be upright, maintain a smooth running stride. Ensure that your foot hits the ground with the middle. After each run, allow yourself time to cool down and then gently stretch your muscles. Beginners should run at least twice a week, rather than running ten times in a week then skipping the next couple of weeks.
How to stay motivated
1. Set a goal
Setting goals at any level is important for you to remain focused and motivated. Your goals should be realistic and achievable, so that you do not get demoralized.
2. Have a running partner
Having somebody to run with really helps a lot. The person has to be of the same level as you, you will be able to motivate one another whenever you are not psyched up.
3. Join a club
Being part of a running club is one of the best ways to commit yourself to regular running. Running clubs have different groups to suit different running levels. Clubs are also a good way of finding running partners to exercise with even out of club running sessions.
Your legs may get sore at the beginning, however, if you are consistent with the routine, this will quickly subside. If the pain is acute, you should rest for a while.