When it comes to running, are you a little uncertain of what’s really best for you? You’re not alone, most people who want to begin running feel a tad confused and overwhelmed. Everyone looks into running for different reasons; to improve their health, fitness, lose weight, have fun, run a marathon, etc. Once you really start getting into it, it can be very exhilarating. All you really need to start off is some asphalt and a good pair of running shoes – no fancy machines, no special skills. There are ways to become a pro at running, but expect it to be a little grueling at first. If you keep a positive attitude about it and be patient with yourself, you can’t fail. Whatever your reason, there are some basic things you need to know about first to avoid injury and set you up for success.
Before you get started, talk to your Doctor and get the green light to start a running plan.
The First Day:
Today is the day you’re going to get out there and start this new endevour – the sun’s shining bright, the weather is a perfect 72 degrees and the wind is blowing in your favor. Before you hit the pavement running, lets talk about your feet.
If you have flat feet, your feet most likely roll inward when you run. Look for the words “motion control” or “stability” when considering your shoes. If you find a pair you really like and they aren’t motion controlled or for stability, a pair of orthotic inserts (custom made shoe inserts that correct foot-shape issues) could really help you. If your feet are arched high, your feet probably roll outward when you run. “Flexible” or “cushioned” are the kinds of running shoes you should look for – they’re going to absorb more shock and have a softer insole. If you have normal, or neutral feet you can choose from a wide range of running shoes. The only kind you should stay away from though are ones that are labeled that they have a lot of stability or motion control. With that said, lets continue on and make sure you have all the proper gear…
- A quality pair of shoes – the most important piece of equipment you’re going to need, specifically made for running.
- A Heart Rate Monitor – you can find one relatively cheap online or from your local sporting goods store. A must have for beginners!
- A comfortable and breathable pair of clothing – with appropriate coverage depending on the weather.
- Bottle of water – hydration is critical when exercising!
- Towel – This is optional, and can be tucked into your pants while running. Look for lightweight, small and functional.
- Headphones – Optional, but a great way to get pumped and stay pumped for burning up the pavement
No matter how good you get, warming up and stretching properly ( every single time ) before starting is essential to keeping your legs and joints healthy and avoiding any injuries. One wrong move and you could throw your whole running schedule off track for weeks (I’ve been there before, not fun). If anything starts to hurt, stop or slow down immediately – you never want to over do it. Keep a comfortable pace the whole time, and control each breath. The key is to run fast enough to hold a conversation without gasping for air. If you aren’t able to catch your breath, slow down – If you can sing a song, speed it up. This is an effective way to control your heart rate and keep you in that fat-burning zone.
Are you new to running? Are you preparing for a running event? I’d love to hear your comments and questions!