Have you always fantasised about becoming one of those people who got up bright and early each morning for a mood-boosting run, and effortlessly ran marathons for fun on the weekends? Believe it or not, with some hard work and patience, you could become that person. Running is all about perseverance and dedication, so if you truly want to take it on as a sport, that’s the attitude to embrace. Every runner started out at a slow jog at one point. Use these tips to get you started and you should be racing that marathon soon enough.
- Find the right footwear. Before you even head out on that first jog around the block, you’ll need some decent footwear. Running in the wrong shoes is an easy way to injure yourself quickly, or at least make your run far more uncomfortable than it needs to be. Put aside those ancient trainers and take yourself to a foot specialist southport to get expert advice on the most comfortable, supportive fit for your specific body. The right shoes can make a huge difference and save you from serious problems down the line.
- Start out with walk/run intervals. It takes time to build up the kind of endurance and cardiovascular fitness required to run continuously for a long stretch of time. The best way to get started is to pace your routine between intervals of walking and running. Go at the pace that feels comfortable to you – this will depend entirely on your current level of fitness, but a beginner’s example could be five minutes of walking followed by five minutes of jogging, repeated multiple times. If you need to walk far more than you run at first, that’s absolutely fine. Each time you head out, you should see the length of time you spend running gradually increase.
- Don’t stress over soreness. It’s completely normal to feel pain in your legs after your first run. Your muscles aren’t used to that kind of movement, and the first few times trying it out causes discomfort and soreness that puts some new runners off their new hobby altogether. Take a rest day and spend some time in a hot bath with Epsom salts to ease the soreness – you should find that within a couple days the pain eases. As your body gets used to the exercise you won’t feel that level of soreness anymore.
- Focus on minutes, not distance. While experienced runners tend to focus on the distance they run, new runners should track their workouts based on the amount of minutes they spend running. Once you’ve managed to spend the entire time running without needing to stop for walking breaks, you should be ready to start improving your distance and tracking how far you can go and the time it takes.
- Refuel after a run. Many new runners find that the boost of fitness activity causes an increase in appetite. This is natural, and it’s sensible to refuel after a run with a nutritious meal that contains a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and vegetables. If you’re aiming to lose weight, though, you shouldn’t treat your new routine as an excuse to overdo the food. If you moderate your diet and add running into the mix, you’re bound to see results.