Tips On Getting Into Running - Hello Student

Tips On Getting Into Running

Since lockdown began, I’ve noticed the streets and pathways getting fuller and fuller with runners. It’s great to see so many people taking the plunge and trying out a new type of exercise with the current absence of gyms.

Running is great for the mind and body. The health benefits are endless – decreased risk of some cancers, heart disease, and strokes. And it’s great for your mental health too which is extremely important in these difficult times. But if you haven’t run properly since your last Sports Day at school you may be a bit apprehensive about running. Here are some tips to help you ease back into running:

Start Slow

It may seem obvious that you shouldn’t try and run a four minute mile on your first day but it’s very easy to let our enthusiasm for something new get the better of us. Try running with intervals to begin with so that you’re running/jogging with short walking periods in between each burst of activity. This way you can measure how much your body can handle to begin with and progress slowly from there. This will prevent serious fatigue and injuries.

Get the right gear

One big mistake that many new runners make is running in shoes that are not suited for for the sport. This can lead to serious accidents and injuries. So one thing you need to get right is the shoes. If running does become your new long term exercise regime, keep an eye on wear and tear – specifically the soles of your shoes. The chance of an injury occurring will increase substantially if you’re running in worn out soles.

Cross-training

A good way to mix up a running-led routine is to cross-train on rest days. It helps to break up the workout week which can become monotonous if running is the only thing you’re doing. It’s also really useful for strengthening the body which will improve your running form and prevent injuries. When you’re starting from square one, cross-training can be a great way to ease yourself in.

Set realistic goals

If you find that you’re really enjoying you’re running and you’re considering running a long distance race when lockdown blows over, be sure to be modest with your targets to begin with. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to run a marathon one day – it’s a great goal to have. But to avoid disappointment, set small goals and then reassess your position. If you want to start racing after lockdown there are always plenty of 5ks to cut your teeth on.

Plan ahead

A workout plan will do wonders for anyone who’s a little unsure of how to begin. There are endless apps and blogs available to help you settle into a pace that suits you. This will help with the previous point and avoid burnout. Just diving into running with no routine in place will make it difficult to progress because you won’t have a visible measure of whether you’re improving or not. With a plan, your running will become focussed and you’ll stay motivated. This will also decrease the chances of you giving up on running completely.

Work through the difficulties

It’s more than likely that you’re going to find running difficult at some point. This might be during the first run, it might be after the third. In the beginning your body is going to feel the strain – any time you work muscles or parts of the body that aren’t used to hard graft, you’ll probably be quite achy the day after. This shouldn’t be a sign to give up. These aches will pass and the strain will become less and less the more you run. Although, if the aches and pains persist for more than three or four runs consider seeing your GP or cross-training until the aches lessen significantly. The beginning is always the hardest part; once you’re used to running and the difficulties that come with it, you’ll start to settle into a rhythm and maybe even enjoy yourself.

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