Becoming a Runner
Running is often seen as the necessary evil of exercise. You learn tips and tricks along the way, but it’sÂ that first step toward becoming a runner that’s the most difficult. Let’s break down some myths and offerÂ suggestions to find your fit with running.
Invest in a good pair of running shoes
Studies show that every time you put your foot down whileÂ running, the force generated can be up to three times your bodyÂ weight. The amount of force you generate (no matter how fast orÂ slow you’re going) will quickly take its toll on your feet (and knees)Â if you don’t have properly fitted shoes. Saving a few dollars is notÂ worth threatening your physical health! Plus, sporting a new pair
of kicks might just give you the urge to show ‘em off.
Running does more than help you shape up
According to the Women’s National Runner Survey, which polledÂ more than 5,500 women, 66 percent of female runners said theirÂ running habit relieves stress, keeps them healthy, and allows
them to meet personal goals and overcome challenges. You’llÂ immediately understand the term “runner’s high” the first time youÂ cross that finish line.
Go at your own pace
Figuring out the correct running pace is a mystery for many; evenÂ professionals have a hard time figuring out the right speed. It’sÂ no wonder runners get burnt out since when we hear the wordÂ “run,” we automatically think “speed.” Rather than running as fastÂ as you can, think of jogging. Trainers across the nation have aÂ general rule of thumb: jog at a pace you could comfortably chatÂ with a partner. If you’re gasping for breath, take your speed downÂ a notch. If you feel like you can hit all the notes to your favoriteÂ BeyoncÃ© song, kick your speed up a notch.
Dealing with post-run soreness
So you’ve finally convinced yourself to go for a run. Great! TheÂ next day, you can barely get out of bed without cursing yourselfÂ for running. Not so great. Unfortunately the delayed-onset muscleÂ soreness is unavoidable, but there are tricks to help minimize theÂ pain. During your first workout, challenge yourself just enough toÂ trigger stress in your muscles. Make your run a quick one – aboutÂ 10 minutes. Instead of running for 10 minutes continuously, breakÂ them up. Run faster than you typically would for 15-30 seconds,Â then slow to a walk. When you’re ready, run for another 15-30Â seconds. Continue in that same pattern, and resist temptationÂ even if you feel you can do more than 10 minutes. You might feelÂ good now, but you will feel sore tomorrow. Don’t forget to stretchÂ after every run when your muscles are nice and warm. Though itÂ may seem tedious, stretching is important! Mobility stretches helpÂ you to stay supple, prevent injury, and improve efficiency.
Set realistic goalsÂ
Unless you weight-train (or in this case, run-train) as a living,Â you’re not going to be the next Olympic medalist in a year’s time.Â Set an exercising schedule that you’re comfortable with. For example,Â if you’re just getting in the swing of things, it’s not realisticÂ to work out daily. Spread out your sessions, but book them inÂ your calendar so you can’t back out later. Another tip: journal. It’sÂ easy to forget what you did your first week, but you won’t regretÂ seeing how far you’ve come weeks later.