If you want to join a running program but are a bit hesitant because of the uncertainty it can bring, don’t let it stop you from doing what you want. You may have a lot of questions “running” through your mind about a running program, but the key to remember is to relax. It would be best if you viewed running as something fun.
It doesn’t matter if you’re starting the program, have taken time out of one or are trying to up your game. The key is to relax and have fun. No matter what your fitness level is or your questions, know that many people are facing this same problem – hesitant to get involved in a running program for whatever reason.
What are some of the questions would-be runners ask themselves?
When it comes to a running regimen, you need to come up with a schedule that will ensure you incorporate it into your program. All you need is 30 minutes a day for a minimum of three days a week.
When you begin your running, be aware that you may not get very far or sprint. If you do, you risk injury to yourself. The best thing you can do is slowly increasing the amount of time, days, and speed to alleviate the risk of injury.
Never increase any of these until you feel absolutely at ease with the current training level.
If you think 20 minutes is excessive, take walking breaks. You don’t always have to run. You can still run for three minutes and walk for two minutes until the entire 20 minutes is complete. As you build up your strength and endurance, you can eliminate the walking breaks.
As a novice runner, don’t put the focus on the miles you are putting in. Instead, focus on the minutes. Before you know it, you’ll have covered more ground in the timeframe you set and may not even realize you have done it.
One of the great things about running as a sport is that you need very little gear to get going.
The critical piece of equipment runners needs a great pair of running shoes. Cross-training, tennis shoes or walking shoes will not cut it. You can find these shoes at a specialty shop, and the employees can make suggestions as to which ones are ideal based on the goals you have and your ability. It’s not uncommon for these employees to watch how you run to ensure the shoes complement how your foot is hitting the ground.
You also want to wear a well-fitted sports bra – something high-quality and comprises of wicking material, so you stay cool and dry.
You can also invest in a digital sports watch, as it will help you to keep an eye on your heart rate. The watch can be especially useful when you get better at running and have new goals you want to meet. The smartwatch can ensure you’re maintaining your effort level.
When you first start running, your legs are going to be sore. However, as you get acclimated to it, the soreness alleviates reasonably rapidly. However, if you have ongoing pain, take a break from the regimen and allow the legs to recover. The recovery period will keep you from further injuries. The most common running complaint is shin splits, which happens for two reasons – overtraining and wrong shoes.
There is a difference between being injured and tired, and you should never work out injuries in the hopes that you’ll recover by working the muscles.
When it comes to running, you may be wondering just how fast you need to go, and if being out of breath when you first start is standard. Here’s what you should understand right now: running is challenging and, yes, being out of inspiration for a minute at the start is standard. Over time, this will diminish.
The “talk test” will give you an idea if you’re running at the right pace. If you can talk at the same time as running, your pace is good. It’s good to run for a shorter time two times a week, but you do want to run at high speeds; this isn’t as easy. Sprinting helps to boost the fitness level and cardiovascular strength.
Another question prospective runners ask themselves is if they should be running outside or on the treadmill. There are benefits to both options. For instance, treadmills are great when the weather isn’t its best (cold, rainy, overly hot, etc.). They also help in transitioning you from one pace or distance into another — view treadmills as a complement to an outdoor running regimen. The cushioned surface will alleviate the possibility of leg injuries runners can have on the pavement.
Regardless of what method you choose, the idea is to develop a routine that is ideal for your current fitness level and won’t lead to injuries.
As a novice runner, you may be thinking of running on a flat road is best until you get acclimated to the routine. However, you would be doing a disservice. One of the great things about treadmills is its ability to offer inclines as part of their settings. If you use it, then find hills to run on. After all, they help you in two ways:
When running up the hill, shorten the strides you’ve been making and use your arms to keep you moving forward. When running down the hill, allow the gravity to take over but lean forward a bit to give it some help.
When running, you may experience what’s known as side stitches. These “stitches” are the result of not enough oxygen in the GI muscles. To make them stop, you need to bend at the waist and exhale long and hard. If the problem occurs each time you run, you need to stop eating solid food and consume plenty of water before you go running.
Running can burn calories – up to 100 calories for every mile – but that doesn’t permit eating what you like. The only time a change in diet needs to be made is when you’re preparing for a marathon or other endurance event. You don’t want to restrict your consumption of carbohydrates either and make sure to consume protein to rebuild the muscles.
The key to successful running and your diet is to eat sensibly and choose healthy foods such as whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. However, since everybody is different, you’ll need to do some experimenting to find what percentage of carbs, proteins, and fats you will need to lose weight (if that’s your goal).
Remember, though, a good chunk of your food consumption should come from healthy carbohydrates.
Can running help you lose weight? As long as you don’t consume more calories than you burn while running, the sport can help you to lose weight. If you want to lose weight and tone up your body, you need to take control of your diet.
There is always one common, usually unspoken; goal runners have – enrolling in a marathon. However, they often worry that they’ll place last. While it’s great to have this goal, it’s terrible to focus on what placement you’ll come in.
Creating the goal of running a 5K marathon (3.1 miles) is a great motivator to continue your workout regimen, but you won’t be the only one competing in it. Local races encourage people from the area to join in, supporting each other. It’s not uncommon for some individuals to walk the whole race while others run the entire time.
If you’d like to compete in a 5K, sign up for one that’s months away to practice running and improve your time.
Cross-Train – This involves any strength training you do along with the running – walking, biking, swimming, etc. Activities that don’t overwork your running muscles are best for cross-training. If you lift weights, you want to lift light but do more reps. Do not overtire your muscles here.
Off – This means take a day off, which is necessary after you do an overly-strenuous workout. You’ve caused microtears in the muscles, and they need time to recover. Give it about 24 hours.
Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) – This is how hard you are working from a scale of one to 10 (from sitting to running). RPE four to five means you can talk with freely. An RPE of six to seven means you are slightly out of breath and can’t speak as well. An RPE of eight to 10 means speaking can is done in breaks.
Strides – This means short, rapid intervals where you run as fast as possible, but you can still jog without problems.