Don’t we all dream to be healthy, smart and like those fitness gurus we see online all the time? But how do we even achieve all of that? It is hard to start with one thing when there are numerous things but Running can be a significant way to start as it can help us get fit as a fiddle. And all you need is a comfortable pair of sneakers and the spirit to score that healthy body. And we are here to keep those spirits high and helping you stay on track. Gear up for getting inspired and taking a start!
How To Train
Find a new sense of confidence and excitement by signing up for a race as it will help you focused towards your goal.
Pick a race
Finding a suitable race for you and signing up for it can help keeping a strong resolve towards running. You will stay determined and right on your regular running schedule once you have a fixed date. After enough training, even a beginner can run any race so make sure you train well, pick a proper distance according to your pace. An online race finder can help you find a perfect race for you.
The most amazing thing about the running form is that there isn’t any one better or perfect form to run – be it heel striker or toe leading. Thus, it is better to maintain your natural stride in order to become comfortable with running and avoiding injuries. You will become more efficient too if you continue with your natural stride.
The Run-Walk Method
A great way to start running for the beginners and improvement of the race times for the experienced runners can be run-walk method. This method has been pioneered by many renowned people such as Olympian Jeff Galloway.
This technique doesn’t mean that you walk only when you are tired, but it should be done when you aren’t in order to avoid injuries and making your training less gruesome. You can pick the walking-running ratio that works the best for you as it will help you in long races like marathons etc.
However, this isn’t a hard and fast rule either; if your goal is to reach the finish line by completely running, Run for it!
There are a bunch of very intricate training plans online, but we believe in the most convenient and simplest way which is:
- Workout for three days a week
- Run for 20 to 30 minutes, two days a week
- Go for a longer run on the weekend
- Rest or cross-train on your off days
- Run at the most suitable pace
- Take regular walk breaks if suitable
When people begin running, they mostly start with a 5K (a 3.1-mile race) which is comparatively easier than a longer race and it can turn out to be a fun and relaxed activity for new runners and will help experienced runner with their pace. For this, you will need to train for 7 weeks and will have to run on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 30 minutes and will have to go for a longer distance on Sundays. Remember to always have fun while training and being comfortable throughout the plan and you can always use run-walk method.
Pick Your Gear
All running takes is a right pair of sneakers and you are good to go.
Choose a Shoe
Make sure not to decide impulsively when it comes to sneakers by being carried away with shoe sales pitches and brand names. On the contrary, give four to five sneakers a try by jogging around the store and then picking one which is the most comfortable one as researches have shown that most significant feature when it comes to running shoes is none other than Comfort. Therefore, to prevent injuries, choose a shoe which is the most comfortable of them all.
Whenever we talk about gear, we never focus on socks but let us break it to you that they are important and deserve our focus too. Brunched up socks can cause blisters which are painful and can sabotage your progress. Some running socks are made from materials that prevents bacteria from accumulating between toes and saves from foot odor. Thus, go for a breathable, snug sock.
A seamless sock can work perfectly but decide well whether you want a no-show sock or the sock that covers the back of ankle as shoes sometimes rub there creating injuries. Like sneakers, pick the most comfortable pair of socks by trying it in the store or testing different kinds before investing in a number of pairs.
Choose Your Playlist
Running doesn’t have to feel like a duty and a lot of work, instead you should enjoy your time while doing it. If you are one of the runners who enjoy the quiet and peaceful runs, then put on your sneakers, pick a path and run. But a lot of people like running with a short podcast, an audio book or upbeat music. My favorite is really upbeat and fast music as it pumps me up and energize me enough to forget the pain that comes with running.
Everyone who runs or is starting to run, needs a timing device to help keep track of the progress while training. Whether you opt for a basic watch, a smart watch or your phone, it doesn’t matter. Just pick the most suitable timing device for you
fuel your Body
Consider food as a part of your gear because what you put in your body is just as important as what you wear.
What to Eat
The size of what you need to eat should be as big as your fist. Thus, think of what you need to eat as an appetizer, not a meal. Pack your food with carbs as well as some protein, according to Leslie Bonci, a certified specialist in sports dietetics and director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Low-fat chocolate milk and a traditional peanut butter sandwich is an amazing option as a workout snack and proves to be a good and healthy workout fuel. Eat half of your sandwich before the run and half afterwards to stay energized.
When to Eat
Not eating before exercise is one of the biggest mistakes a new runner can make, by not eating before workout you are stripping your body off of fuel that keeps you going, according to Ms. Bonci. You should always eat one hour before you work out to boost energy.
Always eat within minutes of stopping after you have finished running. It helps the body recover more quickly and re-synthesize muscle glycogen. It also prevents or reduce muscle soreness.
According to many nutritionists, when a person is physically active, three meals a day are not enough. Thus, you should add on a pre and post workout snack which basically means eating five times a day, so your body has enough fuel to keep going.
Don’t overhydrate yourself in the midst of quenching your thirst.
The best thing for staying hydrated during a run is: drinking when you are thirsty. Always carry a regular-size water bottle when you run or plan your route around water fountains for staying hydrated.
When we workout, electrolytes, water soluble nutrients, like sodium leave body through sweating. Sports or energy drinks can replace these lost electrolytes in the body. But, according to Dr. Jordan Metzl, the length of the workout should define what we drink. If our workout is for less than an hour, we are good to go with just water. However, if we run for more than hour, our body loses those nutrients and few sips of sports drinks can go a long way in maintaining the energy levels. While they serve a purpose for elite athletes and for people who exercise for longer periods, but for the people who exercise at a moderate intensity for a less than an hour, water is the best choice to stay hydrated as the sports drinks come with a hefty price tag and often contain sugar, which our body doesn’t need if we are already on a healthy diet.
Too Much Water
When you start running, there is a possibility of drinking more water than your body needs. While you are just preventing yourself from getting thirsty on a run, you can drink excessive amounts of fluid. Overhydration is a more serious issue than dehydration therefore, only drink when you need to. Do not overdo fluid intake as it doesn’t help prevent cramping or heat-related issues.
Running to lose weight
Running can help us get and stay healthy, but when it comes to losing weight, it is not the most successful method. Following are few tips to help you shed those extra pounds as you train for a healthy body.
Avoid Runner’s Weight Gain
When you run, your body burns calories leaving you hungry which means you might start to eat more than usual. Many new runners are surprised by seeing the weight gain instead of weight loss as a result. To save yourself from seeing that scale on the weighing machine go up, try working out for half an hour instead of an hour. The shorter workout will still burn calories, help you train for the race day and in a good shape, but it won’t make you eat more food.
Count Your Calorie Burn
An intense workout will increase the amount of calories you burn but will also leave you tired and hungry forcing your body to eat more and also sleep more than the usual affecting your weight loss. So, if you maintain a balanced diet and calorie intake as you work out, you may lose weight as well as become fit.
Pain, side stitches and cramps can actually keep you off from becoming healthy and the pain that comes with running is the worst part of all. Don’t let any of these become an obstacle between you and your goals.
When you are running, you don’t need to waste your time static stretching, which includes pulling your legs backward to stretch your thigh muscles, as static stretching prevents the acute muscle injuries like tears or strains which are uncommon in runners and holding these type of stretches can actually harm the strength of your muscles.
Rather, go for dynamic stretching which warms your muscles likes squats and lunges. Although, many professional runners believe that these warm ups help while running and prevent injuries, no studies have shown the given claim to be true.
The point is? If you have already got a lot on your plate and can’t seem to find time for the stretch or for warming up, you shouldn’t care about it. However, if you like to stretch, you should stretch. Just make sure you keep your muscles in motion before you go for a run to save them from straining.
A side stitch can easily ruin a good run especially of the runners who slouch their backs on a regular basis. It is like a sharp cramp in the abdomen and only way to get through is by taking a deep breath and arching your back to run straight.
Although they generally occur above the hip, they can reach up to the shoulder sometimes. But, if the pain is for more than few minutes and can be felt on the left side of the body, be very careful and consult a doctor as it can be a sign of cardiac arrest.
Cramps can occur as a result of over-excited nerve endings caused by fatigue.
Studies have shown that going at a pace, which is faster than your normal training speed, can invite fatigue and if you have a history of cramps or muscle fatigue, you are more likely to experience the spasms.
Fortunately, the treatment of the cramps is very simple. You should stretch the affected muscle as it calms the manic nervous system connections in the muscle, in the quickest way possible. Apart from this, you can also go by athletes’ way of alleviating the cramps which is by swallowing some pickle juice.
The most common injuries which comes with running involve feet. While many runners are proud of their blisters, missing toenails, calluses and bruises which occur after running for miles and miles, the feet injuries can cause a lot of pain and aches. Even after getting the most comfortable shoes and gear, sadly, there isn’t much that we can do to completely avoid these injuries.
The relieving news is that we can alleviate the feet injuries, plantar fasciitis, with the help of simply stretching.