BASICS OF RUNNING
Running is an amazing sport. It is convenient. You are your own coach. As a runner, you can decide when you want to run and how long you want to run. You can run wherever you want to run. It can become a lifetime habit if you are dedicated to it and give it the right amount of time and energy. Running can serve as a great way of staying fit. It doesn’t demand any money or expensive tools; it is just a simple but effective sport and exercise. Now for beginner runners, apart from buying new running shoes, there are some basics of running form to get you started.
- Do not start running for too long and too fast: Start of with a baby step and Yes, running for a extended period of time and at a high speed will exhaust your body and is not a great way to start. When you start a new thing, make sure just get into it slowly and with a proper and best training plan. Let your body get used to the runs for a couple of days so that your whole workout seems easy to you. Run moderately and for a short amount of time, it will help/ prevent the risk of injury. You would not be able complete some kilometre runs on your first day at a very fast speed or run a half marathon, and that is absolutely fine. When you get started, you can run for shorter period but more effectively and with more energy. And you won’t feel like giving up after your first day. So yes, run wisely so your body doesn’t get scared off on your first day.
Side note: make sure that when you start long runs, half marathon or any other running form, your running shoes are comfortable enough to make your body feel good.
- Train wisely: For a runner, building muscles is equally important. So, when you start to run, do not jump into lifting very heavy weights, running a long run and training insanely. Build steadily. Your body cannot afford a lot of stress at one time spontaneously. Make a good plan of your weekly training and running and balance them so you and your body do not get tired of the training.
- Keep changing your running pace and tracks: Running on a same pace and track is not the best option. The latest research papers show that running in different paces make it better for you rather than running in same pace. Also, it is highly preferred that in order to stay healthy make sure to cross train i.e. try different training and run differently. So, what you can do is run fast for a while then slow it down, then like run moderately and again keep up a fast pace. Running this way is best and right for your body. Also choose your running track wisely. The one that does not lead to any injury and also is safe. Change it with your level of excellence.
- Set attainable goals daily: setting goals is a great habit. When you set a goal, you strive hard and want to achieve it before your day ends. No doubt the goal keep you motivated but the goal should be attainable, like you cannot set a goal of running 5 Km on your first day or build a great body at the very first day of running. Set goals that are realistic and that you feel are attainable and not just set them for the sake of having a goal. Set them for practice and to get better. It is always good to give yourself challenges. But these challenges should help you, not exhaust you. So, get started and set a easy and attainable goal daily and make it hard bit by bit.
- Build a base for running: If you are someone who wants to pursue running for a long period of time, you need to build a base for it. Build it steadily so it’s sustainable. It does not take a week or a month to build a base for runners, it can take 6 months or even a year. But do not get it as a challenge, enjoy this period and enjoy it. This will make you consistent with it and then you can move to the next level such as hill work, speedwork and fartlek.
- Make it manageable: Your running should be something that is easily manageable for you and you do not have to think before doing it everyday. If you are someone who has difficulty managing time due to busy schedules, plan short runs multiple times a day. If you get time only once a day, run at that time and run properly without being lazy. Take necessary water and breathing breaks. Do it in a way that you stay consistent and do it daily. That’s how it will count for real.
- Warm up properly: when you start your run, free up your muscles before starting, warm up for a while before getting into it. Jog for a while at a place and prep your body for the run. Then run at a slow pace in the beginning of training and giving your body time to get used to it and then start running at a fairly faster pace. Warming up helps you to avoid any cramps or sore muscles. It is necessary for any kind of sport that you warm up properly before getting into it.
- Take short breaks in between of training: for an amateur it is difficult to run for a long time without taking a break. You may get out of your breath and it can cause problems and also it has proved helpful in effective weight loss. So it is best that you try short breaks for breathing or just slow your pace down while you run so you don’t start hyperventilating. Taking small sips of water in between and giving your legs a little but rest so that you don’t feel exhausted is very important for runners.
- Cool down: Cooling down properly after a run is very important, just like warming up. The before and after period of your training/ running are very important for your body especially if you are a beginner. You have to cool down properly and then continue with your day. Rushing into other things as soon as your run ends can get your body into stress. So, give it time and bring back your heart rate to normal and let your sweat dry up. It is also necessary to completely cool down before you take a shower after the run.
- Stay consistent: Consistency is the key for getting results as a runner. If you are not consistent with something you will never get your desired results. It is important that as a runner you do your running daily or the days that you have planned because it will help you in the end. Even on the days that runners don’t feel like getting up. Just run for the time that you can. But do it. Breaks are good but being consistent is great as a runner. It will make you get used to it and then a time will come that it will become a part of your lifestyle.