Everyone, regardless of the size, age or background, can run. Even if you haven’t run since you sprinted for a bus back in high school, or find yourself amazed by how fast Usain Bolt can run, once you get into it, you’ll be surprised by how fast you can improve.
Once you get into the routine of running, you will not only get faster, but healthier. Through research, running has been proved to bring many benefits including weight loss, alleviating the risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and even reducing the chances of getting some types of cancer. The benefits are not just physical, but mental as well.
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Of course, it is imperative to check with your physician, but most individuals can improve their state of mind by simply running a few times per week.
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In this read, Ostomy Lifestyle is going to give you a few tips for running in order to make your life better:
1. Planning is Essential
A realistic plan is imperative when you are starting on a running regime, particularly if you haven’t done it years. If you wing it, you are just going to give up the moment you lack motivation or feel tired. A realistic plan means that you shouldn’t push yourself too much and instead work step by step.
If you are a complete novice, you may want to give the NHS’s Couch to 5K program a try. It is a tried and tested regime that many individuals have found success with. The program assumes nothing more than a particular amount of willpower and will get you panting in a few hundred meters in the first day, to running 5 kilometers without stopping in just a few weeks.
If you are already in good shape, then you can browse the internet for podcasts, apps, training plans, books and magazines that will help you step up your game. Just ensure that they have been designed with the help of a well-known coach and that they focus on your individual goals.
2. Get The Proper Kit
Running is probably the cheapest sport. All you need is a t-shirt, a good pair of shoes and shorts. Of course, you can decide to go all out and spend on things like the top of the line GPS watches, high-quality gear and even expensive race entries.
However, when it comes to running, you do not want to skimp on the shoes. They do not have to be expensive, or the latest model, but they need to be the right pair for your gait and running style. When shopping, you should go to a store that allows testing on a treadmill so that you’re certain that you are getting the right pair.
Many individuals are under or over-pronate. Pronation is simply the manner in which your foot rolls once it lands on the ground. Under-pronate or over-pronate generally need some support in the shoes in order to counteract those forces. Other individuals are ‘neutral’ and just need less support. You should try a pair of Propet shoes for support.
Once you know what you want, consider shopping around so that you can at least ensure you are getting the best price for the pair. There are numerous offers and bargains online and doing your homework will help you land the best ones.
3. Do Not Fret, It is Always Hard For Everyone at First
Almost everyone struggles with motivation, even professionals and running is no exception. So, do not fret when you find running daunting at the start. Running has a steep learning curve, mostly for your unaccustomed muscles. As such, you shouldn’t feel discouraged if you feel like passing out after a short run in the beginning.
The good thing is that the first, second and third sessions will be the hardest and once you make it through, know that things can only be better. When feel pain the next day, often referred to as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), know that it’s completely normal and you shouldn’t fret. It goes away after a while, but if some part of your body hurts for more than several runs, consult your physician.
4. Make Running Social
Talking when running may not be everyone’s cup of tea, as it seems to leave people breathless and more tired than they should. However, making running social does not mean you need to converse with your friend. The mere act of running with a pal makes the session seem less daunting.
Find a running pal or join a running club. A great example is British Athletics has a feature known as ‘find a club’ online. These running clubs are not just for speedsters, they ideally have novice-friendly sessions and cater to runners of all ages and levels.
You can ideally create friendships with local runners or those who like to talk about running. Simply surrounding yourself with individuals who like running, you will find yourself loving it as well.
5. Pick up The Pace
Ambling around the same loop for a few times a week is not something you should feel about. Running does not have to be competitive, whether it’s against your past efforts or against other individuals. However, if you want to become better, then you will want to do a combination of slower and faster work.
One way to achieve this is by making one of your running days an easy-paced long run, maybe by increasing the distance by a kilometer a week. You can then add an extra session, where you combine faster efforts with subtle recovery. If you have a GPS watch or a tracker, you can measure this on distance, but using time is usually easier. Warm-up properly and then run fast for 5 minutes and jog or walk for a minute. Repeat this for a few times and then cool down.
You can vary the number of reps and their duration. The primary goal is to teach your body to adopt working out at short periods but at high intensity.
6. Fuel Your Run
The whole fitness industry is devoted to selling products that claim to improve your running and help you recover faster. However, for most recreational runners, a proper diet is often enough. Generally, the body digests simple carbohydrates like cereal and toast quicker than protein and so, a bagel with peanut butter several hours before exercising is adequate fuel. Also, unless your sessions are a sweat-fest, you do not really need magical protein shakes right after running. Just ensure that your next meal is relatively soon after the run and it contains natural protein like nuts, lean meat, eggs or yoghurt.
As for long runs, your body will have enough carbs to fuel you for about 90 minutes. After the run, you can take some gels. Also, running ‘fasted’ or before taking breakfast is an excellent way of teaching the body to utilize the fats that it stores, which helps you lose weight and stay fit.
7. Other Forms of Workout Are Essential
There are some runners that consider any form of training that doesn’t involve running a waste of time. However, this could not be further from the truth. Strength, conditioning and core work are all vital, both in improving your running form as well as preventing injury. For example, in longer runs, people tend to get tired and slump afterwards. Ideal core training can help avoid this. Also, numerous running discomforts can be traced back to the primary muscle groups in your body, main hip muscles and glutes. When you spend a few minutes a day doing target exercises in these muscles, then you certainly have a better time after your running session.
You will come across many online videos and apps that can help. However, a simple combination of crunches and side planks can build your core strength. Bridges and squats are also excellent for glutes.
Finally, it is important to know that running has no age barrier and that you have a higher chance of living longer if you run on a regular basis. So, what are you waiting for? Get into a running regime today and you will reap the benefits.