What a beginner level runner needs to know
How do I get into running?
Congrats! Being a runner begins at the moment you decide you want to give it a try. Many people are discouraged to get into running because they feel it is something for a certain body type, for people of a certain age or any other number of reasons that simply aren’t true. Runners come in all shapes, sizes and ages but what they all have in common is the desire to improve their fitness, feel better about themselves and they all welcome the challenge to participate in the worlds oldest sport.
Get the correct running shoes for your foot and/or body type
The most important piece of equipment you’ll need are running shoes! Visit our page: http://www.citychallengeurbanrace.com/what-kind-of-running-shoes-should-i-buy for a thorough explanation of each type available, and which might be best for you.
The importance of warming up and cooling down
A warm up helps prepare your body prepare itself for the coming rigors of exercise, and should never be dismissed. A warm up also helps your heart by minimizing stress over the course of the workout. A cool down essentially does the same thing in reverse, and allows your body and heart to slowly wind down from the vigorous effort and restore itself to normal operating conditions. Walk first, then jog and then run to begin, and slow to a jog, then walk to end your running sessions. Blood pressure and heart rate need to gradually increase and decrease for a variety of health related reasons, but in general, you will feel much more comfortable and reduce the risk of adverse health conditions by taking your time at the beginning and also at the end. As for time, 5 minutes at the beginning and 5 minutes at the end should be sufficient for most, but consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program.
Avoid tensing up your upper body!
One of the most common mistakes new runners make is being tense and awkward from the waist up! Don’t make fists and don’t pump your arms wildly. Keep your elbows bent at 90 degrees or so and relax your hands at about your waist level. Be mindful of your posture. Keep your chin up, your back straight and your shoulders back and level.
Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing
Many new runners will go straight into a sprint, get burned out and call it a day. They will do this a handful of times and decide running isn’t for them. There are several things to consider here: A new runner shouldn’t be at all concerned with speed, run/walk/run is perfectly acceptable (and encouraged) for all levels of runner and too much too soon will burn you out before you realize how much fun running can be. Don’t think about how slow your mile time is, or whether or not you can even run a complete mile. It will take awhile for your body to adapt to running, and speed will come in time. Slowing to a walk or jog when you are maxed out is actually the accepted practice for elite level runners, cyclists and any number of athletes. They refer to it as “interval training”, but it is essentially the same concept; perform to max, slow down to recover and repeat.
Pay attention to physical cues and listen to your body
If at any point along the way you feel any pain or discomfort, stop! If you ever feel too sore to run, take the day off. There’s a fine line between motivation to work through discomfort and pushing physical boundaries that might create a major problem physically. Be patient with your progress and you’ll reap the rewards of steady and consistent training over time.