Running is one of the most widespread types of physical activity, as it is relatively inexpensive and accessible to almost anyone. On top of that, it brings several health benefits, including better physical strength, improved heart health, and a higher quality of sleep. Beginners of all ages can easily get started with running, and if you wish to do it too, this concise handbook will help you build a solid foundation for success.
Get Proper Equipment
Running does not necessarily involve expensive equipment, but there are some points to consider when it comes to the basic gear that you’ll need. First and foremost, you need to wear supportive shoes that are designed for running and that are suitable for your foot type. So if you’re getting a pair of runners for the first time in your life, it is recommended to get a professional fitting.
When it comes to clothing, choose light items, and do not forget to protect yourself from the sun by wearing sunscreen and a hat. And if you’re planning to run early in the morning or at night, make sure you wear reflective clothing that will help drivers see you.
Pay Attention to Nutrition
The way you eat affects both your running performance and your overall health, so it’s a step you must not skip. People who live on a diet that consists of nutrient-poor foods and those who avoid entire food groups do not fuel their bodies with nutrients and calories that are needed for running and the process of recovery.
Luckily for you, learning about the right nutrition for runners is not overly complicated. Try to eat at least five servings of vegetables and fruits in a variety of colors every day, and steer clear of processed foods. That way, you will get enough antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals needed for muscle recovery. Additionally, eat plenty of calcium-rich foods and leafy greens that prevent stress fractures by improving bone density.
Take the Time to Warm Up and Cool Down
Regardless of your fitness level and your current physical shape, you should never just lace up your shoes and start running. Always take a few minutes to warm up your muscles and prepare them for the following workout. Doing a range of dynamic pre-run stretches such as heel side-stepping, high knees, and heel flicks will prepare your body for all the specific demands of running.
Also, try to tailor your warmup to match the demands of the run you’re about to take. So if you’re going to do a speed workout, add skips and hops to your routine to prepare yourself for the power and acceleration demands. On the other hand, you should do static stretches after your run is finished to reduce the risk of injury and restore muscle length and recovery.
Don’t Start Too Fast
Running brings new stresses and strains to your body, and you need to give it time to get used to the new demands. However, many beginners start with a pace that is too fast, and they usually pay the price for that mistake in just a few minutes. Some of the consequences they suffer include pain, injuries, and frustration.
Ideally, you should start running at a pace that is light enough to allow you to easily hold a conversation at the same time. And even if you feel like you’re ready to speed up, try to maintain the same pace for the entire distance. It is important to give your body the time to gradually adapt to the new demands.
Join a Running Club
Being a solo runner is a joy of its own, but if you notice that it’s getting too hard to stay consistent with your workout plan, consider running in a group. Whether you prefer forming your little group or joining a running club, you will soon find out how beneficial it can be for your motivation levels.
On top of that, running with others is a great chance to make friends and discover new areas where you can run. Moreover, when you get emotionally and socially invested in your workouts, it will be much harder to skip them than when you’re doing it on your own. Do not fear of not being able to keep up. Running clubs welcome individuals regardless of their current fitness level.
We are all aware of the benefits of running, but everyone is willing to make an effort. If you are one of those individuals who are driven to transform their minds and bodies through regular running workouts, this guide is a perfect source of information that can help you get started the right way. Now that you know all the basics of successful running, you can start working on your future goals.
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