Running is the perfect way to start getting active! In today’s post I will go over several tips to help your running experience more enjoyable as well as suggest a running routine to help those who are just now getting back into exercising. And don’t worry, I will also suggest something for those who have been jogging/running for a while and need something to spice up you workout. (Click on the image above for running safety tips.)
There are other important factors that you have to take into account before you start this running routine.
You will need to find or buy a decent pair of shoes to run in. One of my biggest pet peeves is to see someone running down the street in shoes that they should not be running in! You can go to any shoe store and the sales associate can help you find a perfect shoe that fits you perfectly for running. The Shape Up type of shoes are not ideal (because of the shape of the sole of the shoe). You will want to have a running/jogging shoe. Trust me there are TONS to choose from. And with the holiday season right around the corner you can score some decent shows for a pleasantly low price. If not, look in your closet and try to find a shoe that have laces (so you can tie them up snug) and that do not have high awkward shaped soles.
There are a lot of parks with paved or gravel routes designated for joggers and runners. Some schools will even allow you to use their tracks when their students are out of athletic practice. You can also map your own route through your neighborhood or for those who want to invest in a gym membership most gyms have nice treadmill equipment or inside tracks to run on. Wherever the location make sure you feel comfortable there and that you are able to use it during the best times that work for you. I know my workouts vary from week to week so I try to make sure that my running route is available morning and night to ensure a safe and comfortable workout for me.
3. Running Partner
Having a running buddy is a great idea! They can be your motivation and also someone to help past the time while you are working out. Now, I will be honest and say that if you can carry on a full conversation while you are working out maybe you are not pushing yourself hard enough. I’m not saying you have to be running at 100% speed the whole time, but the focus is the workout…not gossiping or discussing the latest episode of your favorite TV show.
For those of you who do not have work out buddies music is a great motivational tool. I know that I have a personalized workout playlist on my iPod that I listen to during my workouts. It also helps me to keep track of how long I have been running or working out. Here are some great websites that suggest some pretty good workout playlist songs.
If you do work out in a gym, some facilities have docks you can hook up to so you can listen to a variety of music or even watch TV (or a DVD) while you are using their machines. This is also a great option because it helps you to not focus on how long you are working out.
For those who are looking for where to start when it comes to getting physically active the best way to start is slow. Try not to jump into any exercise routine. You have to start out slow and gradually build up to the desired routines that you would like to do.
First you want to find discipline, commitment, and belief that you can accomplish your fitness goals. The rewards of running are not instant, but they become
evident overtime. You should set your first running goal by setting a workout/running schedule for the first two weeks of your new program. Schedule consistent runs by shooting for running at least 2 days in a row. Try not to take more than two days off in a row, because doing that makes running each day like it’s the first day all over again.
For starting out, 20 minutes is the magic number because that is when the body starts to produce physiological benefits; increased heart size, stoke volume, and capillarization to name a few. You should start out by pushing yourself to run for at least 20 minutes per workout session. If you need to stop during this time it is OK! But keep moving! Either briskly walk or significantly decrease the speed at which you are running so you can catch your breath and get a small rest. If a running break is needed while on a run make it brisk! Maintain this pattern for 14 days. At the end of those 2 weeks you can monitor the progress you have made since the start of your program. Once you have been able to run no stop over your 20 minute run, then slowly add time to your runs ( I usually suggest adding times in increments of 10 minutes).
For those veteran runners out there I suggest incorporating sprint intervals into your run. Lets say that you have a 40 min run planned for this evening. Start your run (after stretching of course!!) and do your usually run for 15-20 minutes. It is then at that point that you sprint (yes as hard as you can!!) for 15-30 seconds (I suggest to start off with 15 seconds and then gradually build up). After the 15 second sprint , go back to your regular jog for 30 seconds. You can continue this sprint interval for the next 10 minutes (which is suggested), but for those who are in better shape you can do this for the remainder of your jog.
Now that I have suggested a workout for you to do…go Make a run for it!