So you want to start running? Thinking about where to start? Whether its just for exercise, a fun run or a marathon, here are some tips to get you on your way and keep you safe from injury.
Making a start…
- having the right supportive but flexible shoes so you can keep going
- a training plan to build up your running form from your particular starting point
- consider how many days a week you will train, remembering rest is important.
- ensure you make regular time in your week for your training
- give some thought to diet and how it will fuel your run
- comfortable clothes, as chaffing or overheating could shorten your run
- will motivation sounds help? do you have your music ready?
- a running buddy may help to motivate you
Where are you headed?
Running just for exercise is a great goal in and of itself, but having a specific event in mind can motivate you to keep running. When choosing an event consider where you are at right now and the timing to the event. Give yourself enough time to build your run to match the requirements of the event.
Vary your training to build up strength and stamina in a variety of ways:
- walking to help boost your endurance
- cross-training to help balance muscle groups and work on cardio fitness
- weight training to build muscles
- yoga for flexibility and stability
- rest to allow for recovery and prevent injury
- and remember to stretch every time you train
Consider whether you need supplements to aid your training and stamina.
- protein to build muscle
- magnesium to help muscle recovery, prevent cramps, maintain electrolyte balance
- energy gels for the long runs
Ready, Set, Go!
Having run for fitness, then chosen an event, what else do you need?
- register for the event
- check your shoes and clothes, will you need new shoes and need to break them in? Race day is NOT the day for new shoes
- plan your run, can you run the full course? Where is it best to walk for a breather before completing the course at a run?
- if you get a chance, walk or run the course beforehand
- will water be provided or have you made arrangements to carry what you need? Consider electrolyte drinks as hot weather and running are certain to deplete electrolytes fast leading to some serious health problems. Remember to sip, no gulping of water.
- eat lightly at least an hour before the run
- stretch, stretch, stretch! get those muscles ready for the run!
- what about at the end of the run, plan what you need by way of rest and nutrition as well as getting home