If you’re considering running, let’s get you started on the right track.
Most of us are like racehorses. If we don’t get out and move, we go stir crazy. Our bodies sag and slow down, and it makes our minds slow, too. That’s one of the best reasons to start a regular running regimen — in addition to its many cardiovascular benefits. But whatever the reason you want to get into a running routine, starting out right is key.
Go on with the Shoe
Make sure that you’re wearing running shoes — not just sneakers. A good pair will not only fit you comfortably but also assist with your stride. Replace them as soon as you notice significant wear, and go shopping in the afternoon when feet tend to swell to their largest.
Know the Frequency, Intensity and Time of your run so that you can build up. Start with a frequency of every other day, an intensity of a brisk walk and a time of 30 minutes. As you become acclimated to running, your intensity
will increase — from walking to alternating running and walking to full-on running. You’ll soon find yourself able to cover greater distances in a shorter amount of time.
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Though running is a great way to stay fit, if you’re severely overweight, lose some weight via lower-impact exercise before you start to run. Running exposes your joints to up to three times your body weight with each foot impact; you can easily injure yourself.
Get Hot and Stretch Out
Don’t confuse warming up with stretching. Warm-ups are for getting your body temperature up before you hit your stride with exercises like speed walking, jumping jacks or pushing. Afterward is the time for heavy-duty stretching. Stretch your major muscles after every single run or you’re headed for disaster — try using a foam roller for assistance.
Fuel and Hydrate
For optimal results, fuel up before you run with a moderate meal like oatmeal made with protein powder. After you finish, refuel with a protein smoothie. You’ll also want to drink plenty of water before, during and after your run — and consider an electrolyte-replenishing beverage to replace what you sweat out.
Share the Road
Running with friends does more than simply help keep you motivated. Note when you can still talk to each other (aerobic mode) and when you’re breathing so hard that you can’t talk (anaerobic mode). Ideally, your runs will build to include periods of each.
Want to improve your run? Lift weights. This will replace the muscle that can be broken down by long distance running, increase your bone density, and give you extra energy to propel you along with way. I’ve actually coached one of my clients away from doing a long daily run, and after two weeks of replacing some of his runs with weight training, he reported better muscle tone and more energy.
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Last modified: April 24, 2019