Running is a great way to introduce yourself to the exhilarating world of physical fitness and health, but it can be hard to figure out where to start. We've put together a simple beginner's guide with some helpful tips and plenty of inspiration for those who want to get off the couch and into their sneakers.
In this article, you'll find:
Intro to Running
How to Prepare for Your First Run
Techniques for Running Successfully
Different Types of Runs and Workouts
Before you take your first run, it is important to do a few things beforehand in order to ensure that your body is ready.
Make sure to stretch
Drink plenty of water before you go for a run
Eat foods high in carbohydrates and protein the day before you run, but avoid eating too much or too little
Get at least 6 hours of sleep the night before your first run so that your body is prepared to work hard.
When you have a plan, it is so much easier to follow through and reap the benefits of a good workout. The world of training plans for new runners can be a little overwhelming at first, but don't worry! Here's our very own beginner runner's plan.
Introduction to Running
Running is a sport that requires dedication, perseverance, and intense training to be successful. But runners also reap many rewards from their commitment: not only do they get healthy by losing weight and toning up muscles, but they also boost their mental health by releasing endorphins into the brain.
Here are some of the main benefits that come from getting into running:
Weight loss/toning muscles - Toning your body is very easy while running. As you strengthen other muscle groups, you burn fat faster for fuel. Because muscles are smaller than fat, you'll lose weight. You'll also build more muscle mass overall - this is ideal for losing weight and gaining tone.
Weight maintenance/muscle gain - While runners tend to lose body fat, they don't necessarily do so at the same rate as someone who isn't running or doesn't exercise regularly. Because of their intense activity level, however, runners are able to maintain weight loss or even gain muscle.
Increased energy - Adopting a regular exercise routine can increase your energy throughout the day. This is because...well...exercise increases one's energy! It gives you more stamina and eliminates fatigue that comes with sedentary lifestyles.
Stress reduction - Running is a great way to release stress. It's known as "runner's high" - the mental and emotional boost that comes from endorphins released into the bloodstream by exercise. So even if you're not an enthusiastic runner, it's possible to reap similar benefits by easing up on your sedentary lifestyle.
Mental health-boosting - Exercise is also a great way to fight depression and anxiety. Being active releases endorphins into the bloodstream, while being sedentary does the opposite. Exercise is a simple but powerful tool for beating negative mental states.
Improved posture - This benefit goes hand in hand with weight loss/weight management and muscle gain. Better posture helps improve overall looks while giving you long-term health benefits.
How to Prepare for Your First Run
Now that you know how beneficial running can be, it's time to get down to business! Here are several things you should do before taking your first trip around the block:
Research beginner running techniques - If you don't know where to start, look at basic training advice. Read about proper posture, breathing habits (especially for beginners), and even how to warm up before a run. This will set you on the right path so your first run is as safe and comfortable as possible.
Talk to a doctor - If you're not sure if running is the right fit for you, talk to your doctor about your fitness goals and any pre-existing conditions that might prevent running. Your doctor will be able to tell if it's safe for you to run or recommend other exercises that are better suited to your current fitness level.
Buy running shoes - Proper shoes are the most important factor for a comfortable and injury-free run. You'll need a pair that suits you best, so consult with a professional before purchasing a new pair of sneakers.
Start slowly - Don't go from zero to 60 in one day! Start off slow by taking short walks and slowly build up your stamina so you can run longer distances. This might take a few days, weeks, or even months depending on how physically fit you already are and how demanding your current exercise routine is.
Techniques for Running Successfully
There are several techniques that can help you be successful in your running. One technique deals with proper posture. You should maintain proper posture by keeping your head up, back straight, shoulders loose, and chin tilted slightly downward.
Another technique for runners deals with breathing. When you exhale, your stomach should relax. Once you've inhaled to capacity, exhale again and try pushing it out. When you feel like you can't take any more air in, it's time to start running again.
A final technique deals with the warm-up. The warm-up is important because it prepares the body for physical activity by raising the body's core temperature to prepare muscles for use and reduces muscle stiffness or injuries that come about when joints are suddenly moved sharply.
Types of Runs and Workouts.
The most common types of runs are jogging, walking, and sprinting. Walking is often considered a sort of basic run that's not as stressful on the body as jogging or sprinting. Jogging can be either regular or interval training, but both involve running at a consistent pace for extended periods of time. Sprinting involves running at a shorter, faster pace for a much shorter amount of time.
Good Workouts for Runners
There are several good workouts that you can use in your running routine. The first is called the "Fat Blast Workout." This workout involves running at a regular pace (and thus burning more fats) for 15 minutes.
The second good workout is the "Jungle Workout." The Jungle Workout or interval training involves alternating between high- or low-intensity periods of exercise for an extended period of time.
The third workout is called "Massive Strength Training." This workout helps runners increase leg strength for increased speed without sacrificing endurance. You can do this workout by taking three one-minute jogging intervals followed by four push-ups. Repeat this pattern for at least 20 minutes.
Time To Get Started!
Running is an excellent way to get in shape and stay healthy. But before you start running, it's important to do your research on how best to prepare for a run that will be safe and comfortable for you. You'll also need the proper shoes, clothes, and gear---and don't forget about warming up!
If you're struggling with any of these topics or would like some help planning out your training schedule, feel free to contact us at Run Your Personal Best. Our professional team of running coaches can provide valuable advice regarding workout techniques as well as offer tips on where to find the right equipment so that every run feels great from day one. If you're looking for a plan, guidance, or to stay accountable to hit your running goals, check out our running coaching services.
We hope that this guide has helped you find the perfect place to start your running journey! Good luck and happy running!