Running is an enjoyable, low-maintenance sport. It is no surprise that many are enticed to get into it. Many beginning runners, however, initially find running somewhat injurious and exhausting and so give up. Truth is, it can be, especially if the novice runners have not been properly educated.
To get the most out of running, it is important that every beginning runner knows everything about the sport and is prepared enough for it. Following are some running tips for beginners that will make an otherwise rigorous sport into a pleasurable activity.
- Consult with your physician. Remember that running is an intense physical activity and requires a great deal of your strength. Therefore, it is wise to ask your doctor if your body is up for the challenge. Your physician will consider your age, weight, fitness level, and special conditions (breathing or heart problems) to derive a sound decision. Having accurate information on your body will also help you in choosing a running program. By reading my last article on How to Breathe While Running you will learn the right breathing techniques.
- Set attainable goals. Do you want to lose weight? Or lower your cholesterol level? Or join a marathon perhaps? Whatever your goals are, make sure to see them through. To keep you motivated, it is helpful to have a timeframe. If you couldn’t meet the goal, at the appointed time, it’s okay. Don’t fret, but continue to try working on it. The key here is to avoid stressing yourself over a goal your body is not ready for.
- Have a running program. Three things you need to consider in selecting a running program: age, fitness level, and goals. These three will determine the distance you can handle. You have to realize, however, that as a beginning runner, you are not expected to run a mile. In fact, you won’t do much running at first. Especially if you are untrained, running a distance may make you an easy target for injuries. Run/walk program, which includes alternate walking and running for a particular time, is ideal for starters. As you progress week by week, you can increase the time for running and decrease the time for walking.
- Make a running log. Detailing all the basic information on your run, a running log will serve as a record of your progress. You can write the type of workout for the day, time, and distance. For instance, Day 1, you did a tempo run for 20 minutes, 3 kilometers. Day 2, you had a long run for 45 minutes, 8 kilometers. If you want your log to be more detailed, you can also record your weight and pulse rate.
- Check your pace. This is perhaps the most important among the running tips for beginners. This is because many beginning runners injure themselves by breaking into fast running too soon. As a beginning runner, your goal is not to speed, but increasing your running time. Maintain your running at a pace that enables you to keep a conversation; anything more than that is not advisable. When you go for slow, easy running, you are actually building your stamina, which will eventually enable you to run faster and longer distances.