If you have never run before you probably dread running but there is a way to start, writes Nandini Reddy.
If you ask a seasoned runner how they started running, most will tell you that they just started with much of a preamble. You do not have to be athletic to start running. Most regular runners today probably started running when they were at their most unfit stage. Running is a high intensity activity and you can ease your way into it. It is a great activity if you want to lose weight or like being outdoors for an activity instead of being cooped up in gyms.
Marathons are advertised constantly and you certainly would have a few friends who train consistently for it. But while that might seem daunting if you haven’t run ever in your life you might be surprised that it isn’t so hard. Here are a few things you can do to get started.
First start walking at a brisk pace for at least an hour till you work up a sweat. The idea is to get used to moving around at a brisk pace and getting your muscles working. Trying walking every alternate day to start with and then everyday. That way you body will be better prepared to start running.
From Walking to Running
The transition from walking to running can be done using interval training. You can start with a walk-jog combination and then progress to a jog-run combination. The idea is to gradually build your pace and stamina. A sudden rush of trying to run might wind you and also discourage you from trying but if you work your way up to it then you will be able be more comfortable.
Right Running Gear
The right shoes will make all the difference to your run. You will need to buy the right shoes if you want to pursue running even as a hobby. You get options across various price ranges so you can look for one that suits your current motivation. If you run early in the morning or evenings then you need to ensure that you are wearing bright neon T-shirts for safety reasons. You need not go all out an invest into expensive running gear, just a the basics of shoes and a running belt if you want to carry your phone, keys and water while you run.
Ask a runner friend or a coach to help you come up with a plan. It is always best to work with a plan to ensure that you are on the right track. You cannot always feel like running every morning, so its better to have a dedicated plan that will tell you how much and for how long you need to train.
Schedule a Run
Pick a time of day for your run. Keep it constant so that you are mentally prepared for it. If you want to run early morning then ensure you get to the bed early so that you have more energy to run in the morning. If you want to run after work then pack a bag that you take along and you can complete your run before you get home in the evening. The idea is the ensure that you block out a time in your routine for running.
If you have included a stressful activity like running into your schedule then you also need to fuel your body right to ensure that you have enough energy to complete your runs. Eat proteins and vegetables to ensure that your muscles recover and your gut stays healthy. If you are finding it difficult to identify the right foods then you need to consider visiting a nutritionist who can balance your diet.
Injury – Free
Staying injury free is an important part of running. You shouldn’t overdo running and burn yourself out either. The idea is to run to build your stamina and not destroy your muscles. Only when you are injury free can you continue to run. Running releases endorphins and you will definitely experience a runner’s high when you finish. If you want to keep experiencing these highs then you need to ensure that you take care of your body.
Running is a great activity and considered one of the cheapest ways to stay fit. So get off that couch and give it a try – who knows, you might fall in love with it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
An irregular runner who has run in dry, wet, high altitude and humid conditions. Loves to write a little more than run so now is the managing editor of Finisher Magazine.