10 Tips on How to Start Running (And Not Quit), a guest post
Some say that running is as simple as putting one foot in front of the other and then repeat. Well, the physical action might be that effortless to certain people, but on a psychological level, getting into the routine of running can sometimes be a drag. That is why advice on how to start running is always helpful for the beginners or those.
Whether you want to sign up for a marathon, lose some weight, or get fit in general, here are ten great tips on how to start running and not quit. Ready, set, go!
1. Be Realistic
Have realistic expectations for your first few weeks of running. Expect the first few runs to be hard! You will probably be dealing with sore muscles and trying to fit your new running activity into your schedule might be challenging. However, you should remember that if you push through, after a few weeks, it will be easier to move, you will be less sore, and you will feel proud of yourself. Running will get more comfortable after a while.
2.Get the Right Running Shoes
Good running sneakers are crucial to ensure that you are comfortable and that will reduce the risk of injury. When shopping for a sneaker, keep in mind the amount of cushioning you like, the kind of terrain you will be running on and how many miles you will do in a single session.
Analyze your gait to know which sneaker will work best for the way your foot lands. New edition usually means that the color or other tiny details have been changed on last years latest version. So, if you are trying to save some money, do not hesitate to shop in the final clearance section, as these changes won’t affect the overall fit.
3.Other Important Gear
Today, running apparel, comes in such a great variety, that even the non-runners out there are purchasing them only to make a fashion statement. Therefore, finding a running outfit that will keep you comfortable won’t be a problem, and as a bonus, you will look good sweating.
Do not forget about undercarriage and socks. Invest in underwear that is quick-drying so that you will be cooler in summer and warmer in winter. For socks, you should opt for synthetic material rather than cotton, because they will keep water away from your feet and control the temperature well.
4.Make Use of Technology
Nowadays, everything has an app to help make daily activities flow smoothly, running apps included. Apps can help you track your progress, set manageable goals and make the running experience a bit more fun. No matter what you are aiming for, you are sure to find an app that will fit your needs.
There are even apps that will remind you to stay hydrated. Put your earphones on and give yourself a boost through some upbeat music or keep yourself distracted by listening to some podcast or audiobooks.
5.Do a quick Warm Up
A warm-up is not to be confused by static stretching. In fact, studies have shown that this kind of stretching is not ideal for runners, it won’t prevent injuries, and it can even negatively impact the performance during the run. However, a bodyweight movement before you kick off will get your body ready for the run and will help avoid injuries and make you feel good. Some of these movements only take a few minutes, which means that you have no excuse for not doing them.
6.Walking Is Important
The best way to ease your mind into the task ahead is to get comfortable with the idea that walking in between runs is okay. You do not have to be running 30 minutes straight. Taking a rest here and there when you are on your route is completely fine. It will help to avoid failure by allowing yourself some rest time in between.
While running, keep at such a pace that enables you to stay in a conversation. When you get tired, switch to walking and focus on your breathing. After all, any exercise is better than no exercise at all!
7.Do Strength Training
The idea behind fitting weight lifting into your training program is to strengthen your core and lower body. Try to do a body-weight workout, 10 to 15 minutes a day, a few times per week. You can do this in the comfort of your own home or even go to the gym. This will also minimize the risk of injury during your run.
8.Take Some Days Off
Everyone needs some time off running, even the pros. You can begin by running two or three days per week which will allow you plenty of rest in between. This will help you recover from your workouts and keep you strong for those running days. If you want to avoid feeling lazy, then it will be best to take up lighter activities like yoga, swimming or cycling.
9.Eat for Energy
A balanced diet is not only crucial for trainers, but it is essential for one to stay healthy in general. Make sure to eat the right mix of proteins, carbs and fat to give you some fuel before the run, which will also help you to recover afterward. Carbs before and after exercise are essential for those higher intensity runs. Eat fruits and vegetables daily to keep your immune system healthy, and of course, do not forget to stay hydrated with water or energy drinks.
The best way to see your progress is to make notes about your workouts. Write down the distance you ran, and the amount of time it took you to run. If this seems like too much extra work on top of your new running activity, then you can always get an app like RunKeeper or MapMyRun, which will store your route, distance, and pace. Keeping track of your progress is a great way to keep yourself motivated as your self-confidence will get a boost every time you see that you are improving.
If you are running because you are trying to avoid an unwanted result like for example, gaining weight, being unfit or having your partner nagging you about getting in shape, then you are dealing with the “push” factor. In this case, you are pushing yourself to run because you feel that you have to, wherein you might be setting yourself up for failure. Rather focus on some “pull” factors!
To avoid quitting, keep yourself motivated by finding some “pull” factors. In this case, you want to attain specific results. Make a list of all the good things that will come from running regularly and visualize how you will feel after every goal reached. For extra motivation, plan your runs when the light is the prettiest, either with sunrise or sunset and take some Instagram snaps while you are at it. Sign up for fun run with friends, so that you will have something to look forward, while it will become a good reason for not quitting.
Mattea Jacobs is a freelance writer who mostly writes about both interior and exterior home design, and environmentally-friendly ways to improve homes. She is also a green activist and a mother of two beautiful sons. You can reach her on Facebook and Instagram.