Running is a good form of exercise. Feeling the wind in your face, the pavement below you; running is just an experience that brings your adrenaline up, as well as your spirits. Running is a great sport. Some would even call it a religion. That is how good running can be. But, it is hard to run when you have never run before. That is why it can be intimidating at first. Hopefully you have enough experience walking to successfully transition into the sport of running.
It is always recommended that you consult a doctor before starting a new exercise regimen. After getting clearance from your doctor, you can try these simple steps to help get you on your way and run the way you know you can.
- Keep safe. Start by keeping yourself safe from injury. One way to do that is by getting the right equipment. The wrong equipment can lead to injuries. Find the right running shoes and do not settle for basketball shoes or any other sport shoes. You can go to a shoe store and ask their personnel. In most cases, they are even happy to help. You should also start and end all running sessions properly. Warm up and cool down by walking five to ten minutes before and after a run. That should be sufficient to prepare your feet and ankles for the pressure they will take as you run.
- Breathe. Breathing properly is very important to running well. Your breathing is a good guide to tell you if you are running the right way. If you are running properly, you should be able to talk normally. You shouldn’t need to breathe heavily. Concentrate on the way you breathe. Listen to the way you breathe and time it with your steps. For example, it could be “step, step, breathe,” or “exhale in two steps and inhale with the count of one step.” You can do it the way you feel most comfortable.
- Start slow and run longer as you go along. No one can expect to be a good runner the first time they get into a full run. You can take small steps on your way to becoming a good runner. For beginners, a 30-minute run should be more than enough to be challenging while not being too difficult. Since this is your first crack at it, walk for six minutes then push a full minute of running. The next week, cut your walk time to 5 minutes while increasing your run time to 2 minutes. As this becomes too easy, lessen your walk time to 3 minutes and increase your run time to 4 minutes. You should also feel better about running as you get the hang of it.
- Push yourself. Unlike any other sport, you are not competing against other people. When you are running, you are feeling yourself out and competing against yourself and your body. From walking 3 minutes, you can now lessen it to 2 minutes and the run of 4 minutes can be pushed another minute. Run five minutes straight and then move back to walking. After a week or so, push the run to 8 minutes. As you get more and more comfortable running, you can change your strategy. At the start of your run, walk for five minutes before running continuously for 20 minutes. At the last five minutes, walk it out.
As you get better and better at running, you should feel your stamina improve. You can also feel more comfortable running compared to when you started. Always remember to drink a lot of water so that you can minimize the stress of running. Run free and run well. As you get better, you will be asking why you haven’t been running before.