Running is one of the best forms of aerobic activity out there. If you’re looking for something with fast results, running is the way to go. If you’re interested in running, you must have already done your research about how good it can be for your fitness. But, give it a second before you grab your sneakers and head out the door. If you’re a newbie when it comes to running there are certain things you should and shouldn’t do when starting out.
1. Start Slow
If you’re not used to running, it’s a great idea to start slow. Perhaps start running at a slow pace for 1 block or 1 minute and slowly build up from there. Otherwise, your body won’t be able to take the sudden increase in activity and may just give up on you.
2. Add Variety
Running the same course every day might get a little boring, Try switching it up with different trails and routes. If you’re running with a dog, running trails are better for their feet since asphalt can end up burning the bottom of their paws on a hot day.
3. Get Rest
Your rest days are just as important as the rest of your regime. As motivated as you are, running is a strenuous activity and your body needs time to recuperate.
4. Wear Appropriate Clothing
Opt for loosely woven, light material and always dress according to the weather. If the weather is hot, you can keep things light and casual. If it’s cold you’ll need to do some layering. This way if you start to feel warm, you can always lose a layer and continue rather than let your body overheat.
5. Measure Your Progress By Time Instead Of Distance
If you’re aiming for long distances, you might be more likely to walk or jog some of the course just to keep yourself going till the finish line. Unless you’re training for a specific marathon, it’s more important to know that your running is effective. To do this, choose a certain distance (say 5K) and time how long it takes you to complete it. You can start with a modest goal of cutting that time down by 10-15 seconds. Keep trying to shave off seconds until you reach your target.
1. Eat A Big Meal
Going for a run right after scarfing down a cheeseburger can put a lot of strain on your digestive system and cause cramps due to a lack of blood flow to your stomach. Instead try to eat small snacks to keep yourself satiated and give yourself enough energy.
2. Skip Warming Up
Always, always stretch before running. Your muscles and joints need to be well warmed up before starting your run. When you do start, don’t go all in. It’s a good idea to start with a slow jog, or walk and then build up speed.
3. Stick To The Same Shoes
Your shoes will go through a lot of wear and tear so keep track of how long you use a pair for. You should ideally replace them once they start losing their traction.
4. Cover Your Head In Hot Weather
It’s said that 40% of your body heat escapes through your head so when it’s hot, wearing a hat or a cap can prevent heat from escaping and you body can overheat. Instead pouring cold water over your head can help cool you down. If you have bare skin on your scalp, make sure to use sunscreen to prevent sun damage. On the other hand, if it’s cold, keeping your head covered can stop you from losing too much body heat. Remember to take a scarf or beanie with you during the winter months.
5. Take Long Strides
Trying to leap forward is an inefficient way to run since you’re expending too much energy. You won’t be able to keep it up for too long. Extending the range of movement also places strain on your joints. Your goal is to prevent wear and tear as much as you can. Instead, try to lean forward into your steps on a medium stride.
6. Land On Your Heel
This is the natural thing to do when we walk which is because while walking, one foot always stays grounded. Doing the same when running can cause back and knee pain. This is because your entire body weight is landing down on your heel. Instead, focus on trying to land on your mid-sole. This helps your muscles absorb shock better.
If you’re an enthusiastic new runner, that’s great news for your fitness. However, to avoid injury and get the most out of your run, keep these points in mind.