Have you been thinking about taking up running to boost your health and fitness levels. Here are some pointers to help you on your way.
Why take up running? For many people running is seen as a way to kick start your general fitness, cheap and easy to do whilst burning those calories fast!
I remember when I first started running, I was using it as a way to improve my fitness, to tone up and to help me deal with everyday stresses a little bit more effectively.
For anyone who's tried it, just “running” doesn't come easy and you can tire fast. For most, it can also be quite intimidating, pounding the streets alone, wondering what you look like, everyone staring at you, feeling like you’re huffing and puffing and not getting any better.
It may not even feel that great either, so why do it? Here's a trick or two for those of you starting out.
Build up your running time
Start off with a simple programme of run a minute, steady pace, walk a minute and rotate that for between 10-20 minutes.
This can then be built up gradually and the “rest” period reduced down until you feel you can run at a steady pace for a prolonged period of time. Or you can extend the running time and keep the rest breaks in or add more rest in if needs be.
The choice is yours but remember variation is the key.
Keep It Simple
As I’ve been told many times before, think SMART! Train smart, and by doing short intervals you will use your time effectively, burn calories faster and increase your fitness faster.
It doesn’t have to be torture to get you the results you need. Obviously if you are training for a marathon, the programme would need to be increased, but for starters, keep it simple.
Variety Is The Spice Of Life
A common problem I see is people doing the same thing, day after day, week and week, month after month. Yes, we all like a bit of routine but don’t get caught in a rut.
Change things up, a bit of speed play (Fartlek) can be applied to your programme. All it takes is a bit of imagination: a warm up jog, or fast walk, throw in some random sprints and runs with recoveries along the way.
Other things to think about when you are beginning your running “career". How you are running: what does it feel like, am I running tall or am I slumped over, dragging my feet?
Lengthen your body, be light on your feet, lift your head and look to where you are going, shoulders relaxed and lift those knees up.
Try those few adjustments and see if it feels different, more efficient perhaps. I always say:
“If you train with good posture, you will be able to carry that over to everyday life. Train with poor posture and that could well follow through to everyday life".
How we carry ourselves right from the word go is key when starting any training.
Simple & Effective
Use the trees as marker points to run to for example. Use your environment to enhance your run! Being outside, looking around you will only add to your workout and add in some vital vitamin D.
My last pointer for everyone wanting to start running, is to think about finding a running buddy or join a club.
Now don’t think that running clubs only cater for “fast” people, they usually cater for everyone, including you! If they don’t, it’s not the right place for you, but I can assure you there are many clubs out there waiting for you to walk in and join them!
A club makes it fun, social, it drives us on, it pushes us and it helps us to achieve our goals. Don’t be that person stuck on the treadmill, headphones in ears, day after day, blocking out the world.
Get out there and see places, meet people and achieve those goals you’ve got sitting on that piece of paper or inside your head. If I can go from not being able to run to completing marathons, triathlons from sprints to Half Ironman distance then so can you.
Don’t let me hear you say you can’t or “yeah, right", just do it, I did and here I am, just like you! Keep it SIMPLE, keep it SMART, keep it FUN!