Thinking about adding running to your workout routine? Whether you want to run a marathon or simply get in shape, the steps below will show you how to start running and, most importantly, keep running.
Buy Good Running Shoes
Your first step needs to be a quick trip to your local running shoes and equipment store. Taking care of your feet is important, and the store’s staff can make sure you get running shoes designed just for you. Once this is out of the way we can move onto creating a running program.
Begin a Running Program
When you are just starting to run, pacing yourself is key. There are plenty of programs out there to help you start running, such as the The Couch-to-5K program (a favorite of mine) or The 8-Week Beginner’s Program at runnersworld.com. Either of these programs will give you a great start, and prepare you for trail running, marathon running, or just running to get in shape.
Run the Right Way
Proper form and breathing are very important when you are a beginning runner. In general, you should try to breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth. Your goal is to be able to carry on a normal conversation while running, so your breathing shouldn’t be too heavy. This technique will help you learn to run better and keep you from getting side stitches and cramps. You should keep your hands at waist level while you are running, keep your elbows at the side, and rotate your arms at the shoulder. Good form is important to keep your joints and muscles healthy and to avoid injury.
Run Short Distances
One of the biggest mistakes beginning runners make is running to far, too soon. This will cause you to burn out, and quit your running plan prematurely. Be sure to set reasonable goals, and don’t expect to run your first half-marathon anytime soon.
Pay Attention to Your Body
Resting allows your body to recover from your workouts. Always make sure to take one complete day off between runs to allow your body to rebuild itself. Also, never ignore aches and pains, especially if they get worse the more you run. If you run into lots of aches and pains you may need to rest more in between runs, run shorter distances, or see a doctor.
Running is a great way to stay healthy, and if you stick to the guidelines above, there is no reason you can’t become a runner. Start today and get on the road to a more fit you!
“The Couch-to-5k Program” — Cool Running
“The 8-Week Beginner’s Program” — Runner’s World