Running is a fantastic form of exercise. It’s cheap, social and an empowering way to move our bodies, so let’s gear up for success with some pointers before you leave the starting blocks.
1. Consistency is Key
Making a commitment to your runs assists with building your fitness. Aim to run a few times per week and at regular intervals. When you first start, alternating between running and walking is great, and over time you will notice your running intervals getting both stronger and longer.
Also read: Yes, You CAN Have Fun Running!
2. Set a Distance Goal
Aiming for a solid run over a specified distance is a terrific goal. This does not need to be a mammoth session in length at first, just a consistent running effort. Once you are able to complete a run without stopping, perhaps look to entering a race as a training goal and make your mark with progress by choosing a date to challenge yourself!
Not only does this raise your effort during your runs, but this keeps you focused and on track no matter how tough the training gets.
3. Fuel Up
Pay attention to your food and avoid eating for two hours before you run. Eating too close to a run can cause a stitch and give you a heavy feeling. Fluids lost during cardiovascular exercise can massively impact on your performance during your session and without sufficient hydration after a run, can slow down the recovery process.
So drink up pre and post workout.. without fail!
4. Go Uphill
Find a good hill and work on making it up to the top without stopping. This will challenge your fitness level, train your legs up to coping with the endurance and intensity and work through some mental barriers with the increased load of the session.
Also read: Letting Go Of All-Or-Nothing Thinking
5. Mix It Up
Running on different surfaces provides a variety of challenges with each run. Running on a treadmill differs from that of an outdoor setting, due to the lack of variables such as wind, hills and an inconsistent terrain.
Switch up where you run, how long for and try to break up your stride/pace with various bursts of intensity with sprinting intervals.
6. Include Strength and Stretching
No running goal is complete without the marriage of strength work to accompany the training. Perform resistance work as part of your overall approach to prep your body for the long haul.
By alternating your training with a mix of strength work and running, you will quickly build up a stronger body, which can help with powering through better runs and keeping injuries at bay.
Remember to stretch after every session to keep your body happy and bendy! Stretching reduces muscle tightness and assists recovery between your workouts.
7. Enjoy Yourself!
Have fun while you’re running and try using podcasts/apps/music to keep things pumped!