The new year is around the corner, and it is time to take a quick look at the resolution list for the year that has gone by and create a new one for the year to come. Setting some fitness goals and following them wholeheartedly this year is also important. One of the highly beneficial activities that you can indulge in to stay healthy and fit is running. Running has a wide range of benefits for you, and you will also not need to invest in any expensive gear, gym membership or training.
Some advantages that running has on your health and fitness include promoting heart health, reduced stress and anxiety and improved sleep quality. If paired with proper diet and nutrition, running will also result in weight loss.
Motivated to run and reach those fitness goals? You have landed in the right place. In this article, we will share the A to Z for running to reach your fitness goals. Buckle up, and let’s get set running.
How To Start Running?
Let’s answer the big question first. How to start running? Every person is unique and has a different way of starting with any sport that they might be interested in. So is the case with running.
You need to approach this sport with a basic idea about the sport itself and knowledge about your health condition. The following will answer your questions regarding how you can start running.
First and most importantly, connect with your healthcare provider. Discuss your overall health with them and that you wish to start running. You might want to know from them whether or not it is safe for you to start running.
Warming up is the key to a safer running session. Doing light stretching, walking and so on for 5 to 10 minutes is a great way to warm your body up for the run.
As a beginner, it is advisable to follow a proper running schedule. You need to plan a running schedule that goes well with your other engagements. You do not need to run every day. Experts suggest running for 20 to 30 minutes only 2 to 3 days a week. Ensure following a proper rest schedule as well.
“Slow and steady wins the race.” This holds both literally and metaphorically when it comes to running as a sport. As a beginner, it is advisable to start slow and avoid burnout. You should start slow, allow your body to get into the flow and then go faster. It would help if you only achieved a pace that is comfortable for you.
Trying a walk-run approach may be beneficial for you as a beginner in this sport. Take walking breaks in between running as it allows you to get more minutes of running. Break down your running duration into two by adding a minute or two of walking in between.
Post your most intense patch of running; it is time for a cool-down. Your body needs to be back to its normal state, and you need a cool-down session for the same. At the end of your run, you could slow down to a jog or walk for another 5 to 10 minutes, which will help slow down your heart rate.
No matter how motivated you are for your running journey, you need to prioritise rest as well. Give yourself the right amount of breaks in between running days. You need to avoid running every single day as it is a high-intensity activity, and it requires the body to rest to recover and heal.
While you do not need any expensive equipment to begin running, you must get the right running accessories. These accessories will reduce the chances of any injuries or discomfort and also enhance your overall running experience. The following is a list of running accessories that you must have for your running journey.
The first thing that you need to focus on is a pair of good running sneakers. What makes a pair fit for running? The shoes must be lightweight, cushioned, supportive and comfortable throughout. You must note that walking shoes are different from running shoes.
How bad can it be wearing the wrong socks for a workout? It can give you sore and blistered feet and leave you with tender black toenails. It would help if you chose socks that absorb moisture and have abrasion-resistant properties.
No matter where you are running, be it indoors or outdoors, the right kind of clothing will enhance your overall experience; make sure to choose well-fitted clothing that is made with moisture-wicking fabric. Also, you must be sure to consider the weather while picking your running outfit.
A high-intensity sports bra will keep you comfortable during your run. It is supportive and will restrict the movement of your breasts to reduce any discomfort.
Reflective Workout Gear:
When running outdoors, you need to make sure you are visible to stay safe. You must invest in clothing and accessories that are bright and reflective to make sure that you are visible to the vehicles both during the day and night.
Hydration is essential when you are on your running journey. Staying hydrated will make you feel your best. You can keep a water bottle, which is either hand-held, or you can pick a running hydration pack.
How does one maintain the correct form while running? How do you ensure that the chances and risk of injuries are reduced when on a running journey? The following running tips will be helpful for you if you are willing to start a running journey soon.
Your breath should be your number-one priority, even when running. Your muscles need a regular supply of oxygen, which is why you need to be mindful of your breathing. When running, try to breathe from your nose as much as possible. Make sure you are breathing at ease and feel relaxed. You can also do a combination of breathing through your mouth and nose.
When landing, try to land in the middle of your foot. Avoid landing either on your toes or your heel. You must also ensure you do not land on the inside or outside of your foot.
Running is an activity that involves the entire body. The upper body is as important in this sport as the lower body. Keep your upper body relaxed. Roll your shoulders at regular intervals to reduce any stiffness in the upper portion of your body.
What should your posture be like when you are running? This is a question that beginners frequently ask. When running, your arms should be relaxed at a 90-degree angle and swing naturally with your shoulders relaxed. Always land with your foot directly under your body. Lean your upper body slightly forward for better momentum, but do not hunch over or bend from your hips.
Always warm up before starting. This can never be said enough, but warming up before any intense physical activity is essential to do better and avoid injuries. A 5-10 minute warm-up wakes your body up and gets the blood and oxygen flowing.
A step that most fitness enthusiasts miss out on is the cool down. After your running session, it is important to cool down to slow down your heart rate and quiet your body. A slower walk is a good cool-down for a fast run.
Developing A Running Plan
Having a running plan that you follow religiously is the key to reaching your desired fitness goals. There are multiple different running plans that you can make and readymade plans available that you can follow. What you pick depends entirely on your fitness levels and what your goals are. If you are working out regularly, you should begin with high-intensity running while focusing on other physical training as well. On the other hand, if you are a beginner, our suggestion would be to start slow. The beginning of your journey should feel easy. This will prepare you for a running journey that has a lower risk of injury. Your plan must also focus on rest, as it is essential for your fitness journey. In this section, we will be looking at a sample running plan that you can follow for four weeks. You can also refer to this plan and create your own.
Run- 10 min Walking- 3 min
Run- 13 min Walk- 2 min Run- 5 min
Run- 20 min Walk- 1 min Run- 5 min
Run- 28 min
Run- 10 min Walk- 2 min Run- 5 min
Run- 15 min Walk- 1 min Run- 5 min
Run- 25 min
Run- 30 min
Run- 12 min Walk- 1 min Run- 3 min
Run- 17 min Walk- 1 min Run- 7 min
Run- 25 min
Run- 20 min
Run- 30 min
How To Stay Motivated To Run
By now, you know how you can start your running journey. Running tips? Check. Running plan? Check. Accessories you might need? Check. The question now is, how will you keep yourself motivated and going for longer? How do you keep yourself regular with running? Here are some tips that will help keep you motivated on your journey and help you maintain your running routine.
There are local running clubs in most areas that you can join. This will give you the company of like-minded people who are also determined to stay regular.
Make some running buddies
The idea of this tip is similar to the previous one. In this case, you can start running with your friends, your partner or even a family member. This will give you company, and you will always be motivated for the next run.
Have a schedule
While running is beneficial no matter when it is done, making a schedule and following it will help you stay motivated.
Get dressed before you get going
It is psychologically proven that dressing up for a specific task makes you feel ready for it and perform well. This is your sign to get dressed for your next run.
Create an upbeat playlist
Fill in all the songs that push you to keep going and push you forward. Get your best sound piece and go for your run, as this playlist keeps your spirits high.
Also, consider downloading a podcast or audiobook to keep you company on your running journey.
If you want to motivate yourself by challenging yourself even further, sign up for a race. This will allow you to have an end goal to prepare for.
Other than these, you must also track your progress. An online fitness tracker or running app on your phone might be helpful for this. Recording your progress and noting the milestones you reach will give you a sense of accomplishment that will help you stay motivated for this journey.
With this, we conclude our guide on running. Running has a multitude of benefits, and you can begin your journey right away without any professional training, expensive equipment or even a gym membership. With the details shared in this article, you can find tips to develop your running plan, the accessories you want to invest in and how you can stay motivated to run. For more details, you can check out the frequently asked questions in the next section, which we have answered for your convenience.
1. How should a beginner start running?
As a beginner, you can start by making a running plan, following running tips and making sure your fitness levels support this high-intensity activity. In the beginning, you must go slow and keep the activity comfortable for yourself.
2. How do I prepare for running for the first time?
Preparing yourself for the first run will require you to pick the right running accessories and be sure of your goals. You need to know the time and distance you will be running for and the speed you should achieve.
3. What is the correct way to run?
Running is a physical activity that involves your entire body. You need to make sure that your upper body is relaxed and slightly leaning forward. Your shoulders are not stiff, and your arms are free. Always land in the middle of your foot, and your foot must be directly under your body.
4. How can I run 1km without stopping?
To be able to run 1km without stopping, you need to build your running practice consistently. This will help you build the stamina for the same. Keep your pace slow and take walking breaks between running to continue for a kilometre.