A recurring new year resolution for me is to run more…even though I once run 5k which is pretty lame in the runners’ world but still good enough to start; my aim is to be able to run 10k this year.
I’m using my Fitbit to keep track of my running and also of the steps I take everyday to remain active – my aim is to walk 10,000 steps each day! It’s not as hard as it sounds, and tracking them is the best way to know how far you are from the goal!
Here are a few great tips for getting started:
- Breathing in and out through your nose. I got more familiar with this type of breathing through yoga, and I find it key for running as well. Try your best to keep your mouth shut and, if you find it very hard, at least only breath out through the mouth but never in!
- Build leg strength. Apart from working on your breathing, you should try to keep your legs as fit as possible to build muscle and be ready for some hardcore running – try squats, lunges and calf raises.
- Mind your eating. I prefer not to eat or drink at all for around 2 hours before running, otherwise it gets painful. Also, try eating carbs instead of protein just before the run so you keep your sugar levels high while running. Just after you exercise, yo do should eat some protein to build muscle.
- Mind your shoes. This is something I completely overlooked in the beginning and I ended up paying the consequences in long physio sessions to recover. You need proper running shoes, I particularly need trainers with good support, like these ones.
- Length over pace. Whilst training for a run, focus on running as long as you can rather than as fast as you can. It is much more important to get used to running longer and longer distances without stopping, and once that is mastered you can start worrying about improving your pace.
- Try interval running. This worked wonders for me for building endurance – at least once a week, as your warm up session at the gym, try running as fast as you can for 1 minute and just walking fast for 1:30 minutes…repeat this 6 times (not as easy as it sounds!)
- Don’t underestimate your recovery time. You are super motivated to start now and want to run every single day…not so fast. Your body needs to get used to it, you need to recover to avoid injuries. Three times a week is a great starting point. Avoid doing too much too fast, the idea is to get your body used to the new activity and get to enjoy it, give time time!
- Look for a progress plan that actually works for you. There are million plans out there, the one that works for you is the one that starts where you are. You may be comfortable running 5k already, or you may not be able to run the bus…wherever you go, be honest with your starting point and be consistent increasing your running time each week. In my case, I’ll be running 3 times a week, starting with 15 minutes, and increasing 5 minutes each week.
- Mind your music. I find good music KEY to enjoy the run, and this has a direct impact on the mood I’m in while running. I always wear light wireless headphones so I don’t struggle with wires or sweaty big headphones.
- Always stretch after running. No exception. And not just your legs, your whole body. If you notice any pain on a particular area the next day, google how to stretch it better and add that exercise to your stretching routine next time.
I hope this helps you get started! Let me know how it goes!