If you want to run, but aren’t sure where to start here are some ideas.
Finding a partner, group, or team to train with will give you the motivation you need for the journey of your life. If there is no one locally to run with find an online support group or e-mail me!
Make a Plan and Follow through
Start walking 20 minutes, then build up to run – walking, and then in no time you’ll be running 30 minutes with ease. It’s a gradual process that can take you from couch potato to ATHLETE.
Set a Goal
Register for a race! Pick a race that is at least 2 months away. 3 months is probably even better if you are like me and going from couch potato to runner. It’s amazing what having a deadline can do for a person. There are tons of local 5k races that are held throughout the year. The difference between exercising and training for an event is that every workout is purposeful when training and you're less likely to miss a session if you have a target ahead.
Get some Gadgets
While running is a great sport because it is accessible to everyone with very little equipment needed. I do strongly recommend that you go to a real running store and have them fit you for a pair of running shoes that you ONLY wear for running. It might be a little more expensive, but it will help prevent injury and you’ll be a lot more comfy! It's best to shop at the end of the day when your feet are swollen and be prepared to try on several pair. You should aim to replace them every 350-500 miles. It helps to mark the date purchased on the side of the shoe to keep tabs on the life of the shoes, or on your calendar make a note of the day purchased. Ladies…. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE trust me… buy a NICE sports bra while you are at the running store! It will make you a lot happier and keep the girls from hurting!
Slow and Steady
Start from where you are, rather than where you want to be. Start from your current fitness level. Running too much too soon is the number one reason most newbie runners quit. If you are new to running, begin with sprinkling in running with mostly walking. Always begin with a walking warm-up of five minutes to prepare your body for the run ahead. Finish with a walking cool down. Focus on going farther, not harder. Include no more than three runs per week.
The body actually grows stronger when you are resting. Training is a process that includes strategically-placed workouts and rest days to allow your body to be stimulated by the activity and then recover during the rest. Many people make the mistake of over-training and running too much, too soon and end up with an injury. It doesn't have to be the case though if you listen to your body for aches and pains or just fatigue. If your body if giving you a yellow flag with a few aches, take an extra day off and adjust your training to allow full recovery. Additional ways to improve recovery is to get at least eight hours of sleep every night and eat frequent, well-balanced meals throughout the day.
Don’t Forget to Breathe
Breathing is key to getting the needed oxygen to the working muscles. Breathe through your mouth and nose and from deep in your belly. If you find that you are gasping for air, slow down. Most likely, you are at a pace that is too challenging and your body is not able to keep up. Breathing deep also helps prevent side stitches!