How to Successfully Begin Running
Running can be a great way to get into shape and relieve stress. There are many benefits of running; in fact, running benefits virtually every part of your body, from your muscles to your brain.
But let’s face it, running can be difficult to stay motivated. Many of us are able to go for a few weeks, and then we simply stop running regularly. Pretty soon it’s been months or years since we’ve gone for a run.
In order to reap the benefits, you have to run regularly (2 to 4 times per week). As seasons change and your circumstances evolve, it can be difficult to keep up a running routine—but it is possible. Just remember: pretty soon you’ll have the runner’s body you’ve always craved, and you’ll be feeling great. Here are some great tips on how to start running again.
Don’t Start Too Strong
If you’re starting back up after a long break of no physical activity, then you need to ease into it. Don’t hit the pavement at a full-on sprint (that’s never a good idea even if you’re a seasoned runner; a warm-up is always important). Start with some lunges, go into a brisk walk, and then see how your body takes a light jog. If you feel like you’re dying, then it’s probably a good idea to stop and give your body a chance to recover. Pushing yourself too hard at first puts you at higher risk of injury, as well.
You won’t be able to run for miles when you’re just starting off, so don’t try to. Instead, push yourself a little further each time you run. Try to go one more time around the block, or go just a little further up the trail. You have your whole life to go running—you don’t need to overdo it at the start when your body is just getting used to being active again. This is really important to help you start running again.
Running is a cardio workout. That means that the primary benefit is in the way it strengthens your heart. While you’re also strengthening your muscles by running, you’ll need to lift weights and do resistance training to truly build muscle.
The art of cardio is in pacing. You want your heart to get up into that sweet spot, where it’s pumping fast but not necessarily pounding out of your chest. According to the American Heart Association, your target heart rate depends on your age. If you are 20 years old, you want to get your heart in the 100 to 170 range for a good cardio workout. 40 years old? Shoot for 90 to 153 beats per minute.
When you overexert yourself, you’re risking your heart by pushing your heart rate above the recommended zone. Instead, pace yourself and let your heart rate slowly rise into the target zone and then keep it there. You will most likely be able to run longer and enjoy your time running much more.
When you are a beginning runner, it is important that you go about running in the proper way. You want to be safe while you are running and you want to be sure that you get the workout that your body needs. You will want to start by purchasing the right equipment.
Start with the shoes that you are going to wear while you are running. Stop by a running store to get your feet fitted for the right type of shoe. Having the right fit is very important.
After you have your shoes, make sure that you are going to be able to stay motivated. Join a running group, sign up for a race or create a schedule that you know will keep you motivated as you are running. Make sure that you stay positive as you are running. Although it can be frustrating at first, you have to understand that progress may be slow but it will come. Make small goals for yourself and do not be afraid to celebrate when you reach your goals. Take the time that you need to be sure that you are setting yourself up for success as you begin to run.