You”ve probably read many times how running helps you fight stress, increases endorphins, and is just great for your health. Maybe you”ve even tried to start running, but either something stopped you, or you had excuses, or after the second run you gave it up. So we decided to put together all the recommendations and give you a motivational plan on how to start running.
It is worth noting that running is the most popular sport and the least expensive. The small investment to start and the many health benefits are attracting more and more people who decide to take up running.
So, what do you need in order to practice running without ending on the first workout?
The right clothes and shoes are the key to a successful start in the sport.
Beginners don”t need to buy up an entire gym store to go for a run. Unlike other sports, running does not require special equipment. But beginners will have to think about some of the must-have items that will need to be purchased.
Pairs of athletic sneakers (at least). But first, you need to splurge on at least one pair of athletic shoes that are designed specifically for running.
To do this, you need to go to a specialized sports store and choose the right pair of shoes with a consultant. You will be able to test different types of sneakers on a treadmill and choose the right pair that will match your fitness and goals.
Do not just choose a favorite or fancy model of sneakers, because comfortable and proper shoes is a guarantee of safe running.
Athletic fitness. Of course, you can start running in an old tracksuit or shorts and a T-shirt, but over time and with the strengthening of physical fitness your clothing requirements will grow. And then you will choose professional clothes for runners. Such clothes are created by special technologies that wick away moisture, provide the necessary ventilation to the body, this clothing is literally weightless and does not cause irritation on the skin.
Anyway, some things should be taken care of right away. It is a hat during jogging in the sun and a sports bra for women.
Heart rate monitor. In the world of sports wearable electronics, a heart rate monitor is the most popular gadget among athletes, especially beginners (avid athletes prefer professional sports watches). Smart technology can help athletes monitor their fitness, reduce the risk of injury and illness, and exercise effectively in their heart rate zone.
Among other things, heart rate monitors can provide access to GPS navigation, distance traveled, pace and speed of running, and show the number of calories burned per workout.
Music. It will help to relax and distract from everyday problems during a run, as well as to overcome some psychological barriers that arise among beginners at an unfamiliar load. We recommend using handy mini-players (such as iPods) that are comfortable and easy to carry.
Having a plan in place will help you properly distribute the load, benefit from running, and prevent unwanted injuries from overloading.
To create a plan, you need to choose the days you want to jog, determine the distance and place to jog, and the frequency of your workouts. You can modify your plan depending on your health and your fitness growth.
What a running program should include:
Alternating between walking and running at an entry level. If it seems easy and simple to you – 3-4 minutes of walking and one minute of running, that”s just what your body needs to adapt to the exertion.
If you start to train hard and run for hours on end, you will soon get injured and your body will need much more time to recover.
The optimal workout for beginners is a 30-minute workout that includes alternating running and walking. Over time you will increase the time of your workout, and together with the improvement of fitness – shorten the interval of walking and more running.
Gradually increase your workload.
You need to have the patience to increase the number of workouts and their load each day/week/month/year, staying intact but with an increasing level of fitness.
If you drastically increase your workload, your effectiveness will decrease because your body will not have time to recover and there is a high risk of serious injury. Therefore, it is necessary to listen to your body, feelings, monitor the heart rate monitor, add days off, in time to abandon the planned workout or reduce the load (or, conversely, increase).
We recommend that you make a plan that includes light jogging and walking 3 days per week, low-impact strength training on a machine 2 days per week, and distribute 2 days of rest between workouts. It will be most effective if you start to increase your load by 10% each week.
- balanced nutrition. Regardless of your goal of running, you should eat a proper and balanced diet, even if your goal is to lose weight. Your body needs energy to function properly and to withstand the given stresses.
At this stage it is not necessary to go crazy and consume protein shakes, energy drinks and so on, it is better to turn to the time-honored diet for recovery: fruits, vegetables and pure proteins. Try to avoid sugar and all processed foods that can cause a spike in blood sugar.
It is highly recommended that you do NOT skip meals. Your desire to run will drop along with your energy level.
Recommended eating pattern:
- 50% – vegetables, fruits and complex carbohydrates (cereals, beans, grains and lentils).
- 30% healthy fats (avocados, olives, and nuts).
- 20% protein foods (fish, chicken and eggs).
- Water and multivitamins.
You have to answer yourself one simple question: why are you running? Sometimes it can be hard to talk yourself into going for a run, so you need to come up with a substantial motivation. Set attainable goals if, for example, it’s hard to bring yourself to exercise today.
For example, wanting to lose a few pounds, compete in an urban race, or work off a snickers you ate.
Either way, each goal needs to be monitored to see how close you are to it and how successfully you are meeting the challenges.
If you want to lose weight, you need to keep track of the calories burned and weigh yourself after each run. When you start noticing results, you’ll have a growing incentive to exercise. After all, achieving a goal is so satisfying to your ego, it makes you want to keep going.
If your goal is to run 5/10/21/42km, then you need to take all the above points seriously, make a structured training program and stick to it strictly. You can also join online running communities (you will have access to some of them with the purchase of a sports watch). For example, POLAR and GARMIN sports watches provide users with extensive statistics and free workout programs based on personal performance. Based on this data, your workouts will be more personalized and goal-oriented (a given running distance).