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How to start running

Updated: Sep 25, 2020

How to train:

First, pick a race. The best way to start running and stick with it is to sign up for a race, this gives you a fixed date to keep you focused and on a regular schedule. Anyone can run any race, you just need to allow enough time to train for it.

The run-walk method is a great way for new runners to get started. Contrary to what you may think, the technique doesn’t mean walking when you’re tired, it means taking a brief walk break when you’re not.

Eg. Beginner: Run 10-30 seconds, then walk 1-2 minutes for the duration of your run. Intermediate: Run 1-5 minutes, then walk 1-2 minutes for the duration of your run. Experienced: Run 6-8 minutes, then walk 30 sec to 1 minute for the duration of your run. Taking these breaks gives the muscles regular recovery time during a long run.

Training plan- here is the basic formula for a great training plan.

· Train three days a week

· Run or run/walk for 20-30 minutes, two days a week

· Take a longer run - 40 minutes to an hour on the weekend

· Run at a conversational pace

· Consider taking regular walk breaks

· Gradually increase the distance of your long run to meet your race goal length

Pick your gear:

Choose a shoe- try on four or five running shoes, jog around the store and pick the pair that feel the most comfortable. The most important feature of a running shoe is comfort.

Socks- picking the right socks is just as important as the right shoe. You want a breathable, snug sock that’s not suffocating.

Choose your playlist- many people like upbeat music to accompany them on a run. Create a good playlist that you know will motivate you to keep going and forget the pains of running.

GPS- every runner needs a device to time and track their run. Whether you use your phone or an apple watch or something similar, pick something that works for you. You want to be able to time your run/walk intervals and track how far and fast you are running so you can see your progress.

Fuel your body:

What to eat- you want to have a snack before and after you go for a run. Eating half a sandwich before and after is a good option.

When to eat- plan to eat one hour before your run to boost energy without upsetting your stomach. You then want to eat within 15 minutes of finishing your run to help the body re-synthesize muscle glycogen and recover more quickly.

Water- hydration is a big concern for new runners, sipping on water when you are thirsty is enough. You can drink too much water, so don’t gulp down bottles of water before a run, thinking it will prevent you from getting thirsty. Drink when you need to, and don’t overdo it.

Running to lose weight:

Avoid runners weight gain- running burns calories which means your body will be hungry and you may begin eating more than usual. To avoid the “new runners” weight gain, try a shorter workout that will still get you in shape, burn some calories but it wont leave you starving for more food. If you eat a balanced diet and try to maintain your calorie intake you may lose weight as you become more fit.

Prevent injury:

Stretching- dynamic stretching, which warms your muscles through repeated movements, are an ideal warm up pre-run. This could include squats, lunges, star jumps or running on the spot.


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