How to Start Running: A Complete Beginner's Guide to Running
A complete guide for those who want to start running from scratch and not quit. We have collected the answers to beginner's questions about running, recommendations, and principles of training in one place.
Where to Start: Set a Goal
To begin with, it is helpful to determine what the primary goal of training is. Usually, people start running with one or more of the following goals in mind:
- Improve your well-being and physical fitness
- Lose weight
- Participate in a particular race
- Run a certain distance
- Distract yourself from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and "unload" your head
- Make "running" friends and become part of the running movement
Of course, there are many other individual goals as well. But the very fact of formulating a reason to start running is essential: first, a training plan can be rationally created according to the current goal, and second, by mentally returning to the original intent, it will be easier to track progress and maintain motivation.
Preparing a training plan
According to the goal, you need to make a plan for running training.
The fact is that beginners, running "on intuition," often give themselves an excessive load and get injured. This happens because the cardiovascular system develops faster than the joint and ligament apparatus and muscles, so it feels easier to run, and a person disproportionately increases the load. As a result, the body cannot endure - and an injury occurs.
The best and most expensive way to get a plan is to see a professional trainer. Make sure that the trainer makes individual plans, not gives the same template to all newcomers.
A cheaper way is to train in a group. It's easier to keep motivated, but there's no individual approach, and there's a risk of getting a load lower or higher than optimal.
It's even easier to download a standardized plan in a running app or join an online beginner's stream. This gives freedom of action (no need to come to group workouts) and costs much less than other options. It's ideal if such a course includes asking questions and getting advice from your trainer.
Warming up before a run
Before jogging, it is desirable to stretch the body to warm up the muscles and joints.
This can be done in several ways:
- Self-Massage or Foam Rolling. By massaging the muscles, we improve blood circulation in them. It is more convenient to use a roller, but this procedure can be painful. You should "roll" the back of your thighs, calves, quadriceps, and glutes before you go for a run.
- Joint warm-up. Circular movements in the joints: ankles, knees, hips, pelvis, shoulders, and neck.
- Light exercises for general physical preparation (OHP) for 5-10 minutes.
- Walking, jogging, or very light running for the first 10-15 minutes of the workout is also a warm-up.
Any problematic part of the workout, such as speeding up, can be started when you are warmed up and starting to sweat a little.
Where it's best to run
First of all, when choosing a place to run, you need to consider the pavement. There are several options, and they differ in stiffness, hence the load on your feet, and in other ways.
In the city
- Asphalt: the most common pavement in the city; challenging, but still acceptable for training; in addition, if preparing for a city race - it is best to get used to the pavement that will prevail on it.
- Tile: An uneven and hard surface that is best avoided; as a rule, tile is more rigid than asphalt, and it can also be variable, which increases the risk of tripping or putting your foot down.
- Concrete: Probably the hardest and therefore the most dangerous of all coatings - the impact load on the legs will be the maximum.
- Stadium or indoor arena: as a rule, it is an artificial surface tartan (or its analogs), which is relatively soft and gentle for the feet; however, it is worth remembering that in winter, tartan can be slippery.
Out of town
- Ground: probably the gentlest option for the joints; however, you should consider the unevenness, as well as the fact that in the rain, it can be slippery and muddy; if the goal is to prepare for trial starts, the ground is preferable to other pavements.
- Sand or snow: running on an unstable surface can be equated with strength work because the load on the muscles is much higher. In addition, the stabilizer muscles are engaged; the pace on such a surface will be much lower, and it is uncomfortable to use it regularly. However, doing such workouts periodically helps work out different muscle groups.
When deciding where to run, you should also consider the presence of cars, traffic lights, passersby, and lighting in the event of darkness. It is better to find flat areas without intersections with other roads and frequent turns for speed training.
How to Run Properly: Running Techniques
We start running from an early age, almost as soon as we start walking. It is a natural type of movement for humans: if you look closely at how children run, you can see how easily and effortlessly they do it. But as we get older, it is as if it becomes harder for us to run.
This is because the modern way of life affects the mechanics of human movement. We use comfortable cushioned shoes, which allow us to land on the heel. This changes the entire biomechanics of running - landing on the heel in front of the pelvis with the extended leg creates an impact load on the knees, pelvis, and spine.
The ankle and foot, consisting of 52 bones, 66 joints, and more than two hundred muscles, ligaments, and tendons, must practice landing while running. They are made for this by nature.
Proper, natural running consists of three phases:
- Runner's pose (the heel of one leg is pulled up to the buttock, the knee of the supporting leg is slightly bent);
- Pulling up the leg to the pelvis.
Center of gravity - at the hips, back flat, knees slightly bent, look - forward, not down.
When you "pull up," the heel goes to the buttock, and the landing occurs without additional force: the foot itself falls to the ground precisely under the pelvis.
Running can be called a controlled fall. It takes time to feel it, which depends on the coordination and connection of the head and body.
The surest way to learn to run correctly is to contact a professional trainer. It will probably take several sessions to feel progress, but you can take forever to perfect your technique.
Another option is to learn on your own from books and videos on the Internet. But it is still desirable to record a video of your run and send it to the coach to get a professional commentary.
Special running exercises
SBU is a unique running exercise. It is a set of activities that are helpful for runners to do:
- To work the muscles involved in running, which not only helps on the run but also reduces the risk of injury;
- Improve your running technique - SBU has a collection of movements to help you do this;
- improve overall physical fitness.
Each of the movements is a separate accent element of running.
As a rule, SBU is performed in complexes of five exercises, and the coach chooses their length and duration by the goals, objectives, and stage of training.
When is better to run: in the morning or the evening
In terms of the effectiveness of training, the time of day does not significantly affect the results. Instead, it is a matter of personal preference.
It is better not to run in the morning immediately after waking up but to let the body "wake up." In addition, any speed workouts should not be done on an empty stomach, but quiet runs will be more effective for burning fat just on an empty stomach. Finally, if you run in the morning, you don't have to be tied to a workout for the rest of the day.
You should not do a hard workout right before going to bed in the evening because it will be difficult to fall asleep afterward. At the same time, it is a great way to unload your head after a hard day's work.
How to breathe while running
Breathing is a natural process, and it happens reflexively. However, runners often experience shortness of breath during training, and there is a perception that you should breathe in and out after a certain number of steps. But the pace of running can be different, as can the cadence, so this reference point is very relative.
The body knows perfectly well how many breaths and when to take them to provide itself with the necessary oxygen. That's why it's not a good idea to precisely control your breathing - even during physical activity. It's better to let the body breathe "on demand.
So the answer is simple: breathe the way your body requires it at this moment.
But several points are still worth paying attention to:
- The occurrence of severe shortness of breath is an indicator of high exertion. If it is not necessary to run as hard as you can in the training task, the pace you took is too fast, and you need to slow down to normalize breathing. If the study is to run in the aerobic zone, there should be no shortness of breath, but, on the contrary, it should be possible to talk. If the task is to run at the threshold of anaerobic metabolism, there may be shortness of breath, but it is moderate and controllable.
- Often we don't exhale fully - this is what's called "shallow breathing. If you don't breathe out fully, the exhausted air takes up space that fresh air could have taken the next time you breathe in. That's why it's better to concentrate on making a complete exhalation and breathe in profoundly, engaging the lower parts of the lungs.
What to Run In: How to Choose Running Equipment
Starting to run regularly, there is an essential question about the right clothes for training. There are some factors to consider when choosing running gear:
- Material and its quality: unique synthetic fabrics wick moisture away from the skin's surface without absorbing it and allowing it to evaporate quickly. This makes it possible not to overheat in hot weather and not to freeze in cold weather. When choosing a garment, you should give preference to proven sports brands, and it will be helpful to read the characteristics of the fabric on the label: as a rule, its properties are described in detail.
- Functionality: pockets, clasps, light-reflecting inserts (when running in the dark, they make the runner more visible to others and, particularly car drivers), easy fit.
- Size: sports outfits should sit freely and not hinder the movement. This also applies to clothes and shoes; shoes are better to buy a size larger than usual.
- Attention to accessories: a sweatband, phone holder, water bag, gloves - all these things that may seem unimportant at first can make a run much more comfortable.
Clothing for running depending on the temperature
59 °F - T-shirt or top and shorts
50-59 °F - Shorts and a T-shirt or long sleeve
41-50 °F - Tights or pants, long sleeves made of functional fabric, headband covering the ears (optional)
23-41 °F - Tights or pants, a long sleeve of functional fabric, fleece jacket or windbreaker, gloves, headband covering the ears, buff
14-23 °F - Tights or pants, windbreaker, and fleece jacket, a long sleeve of functional fabric, shorts, gloves, hat or headband to cover ears, buff
What else can influence the choice of clothing for running:
- Duration of the workout: The longer the run, the warmer should be dressed.
- Type of workout: the more intense the run, the lighter the clothes.
- The presence of wind: a windproof jacket is required.
- Rain: waterproof windbreaker required.
Let's understand why you should buy special shoes for running and why you should not go out for a workout in ordinary sneakers.
There are several reasons for this.
- Running shoes have specific properties that "help" the foot when running and thus reduce the risk of injury. This is especially relevant when the body is just getting used to regular exercise at the initial stage.
- It is much more comfortable to run in specialized shoes. Manufacturers make sure that sneakers conform to the anatomical structure of the foot and do not chafe.
- Regular sneakers simply can not withstand regular jogging and will soon fall apart.
Now let's talk about the properties of running shoes.
Perhaps the key characteristic. It dampens the shock load and makes you run softer and more comfortable. It is ensured by using different types of special foam. Its main enemies are weight and speed: the more cushioned the shoe, the safer and more comfortable it is, but at the same time, it is heavier and absorbs more force, reducing speed.
The manufacturers' claims about "energy return" are a marketing ploy: the only thing they manage to achieve by using new materials is reducing this energy absorption compared to previous models.
That is a fixation of the foot through the curves of the sole and lateral seals. It is usually recommended for people with pronation and supination issues. Pronation is a natural cushioning mechanism for landing, and support is only needed for people with severe orthopedic problems or excessive weight.
It is also an opportunity to bend the sneaker in half. Easily tested by hand: the sneaker should turn quickly in them. A fixed sole gives stabilization but provokes running from the heel and incorrect technique, which in the long run leads to injuries. Our feet are designed by nature to run, and framing them is not a good idea.
It can be classic or in the form of a "toe." The second option is more comfortable and softer but can give the feeling of shifting the foot over the sole during a turn. Lightness and ventilation are also essential characteristics. In summer, it is desirable to use more breathable models in cold weather - denser. Perhaps the choice of upper is a matter of taste.
How to choose sneakers
For beginners, cushioning is an important aspect: until muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints are strengthened, and the foot positioning is not perfected, the "help" of running shoes will be very helpful. But here, it is essential not to go too far: too shock-absorbed sneakers "steal" the feeling of contact with the ground and "teach" to run incorrectly: any landing seems comfortable in them. Therefore, the degree of cushioning should be chosen based on two factors: weight and the presence of orthopedic problems.
If there is no excess weight, you can take models with moderate or little cushioning, but if it is present, then it makes sense to consider running shoes with soft soles. In the second case, you can also pay attention to supportive models.
If there are no orthopedic problems, it is better to choose sneakers with a well-bent foot; this will allow you to practice the correct setting of the foot from the very beginning - a sneak will not "interfere" with the natural mechanism of landing.
As for the top of the sneaker, the critical aspect is comfort. You can also consider the season and the weather, but remember that the probability of feet freezing is small during running. Still, in warm weather, ventilation is beneficial: because if the foot sweats, it can provoke chafing.
An important rule: buy sneakers should be 1-1.5 sizes larger than regular shoes. As you run, your foot may increase in length, and if your toes get caught in the fabric, it will cause discomfort and pain.
Finally, it must be understood that if the sneaker does not fit well in the store, then it will not "wear out" or "sit on the foot. Running shoes should be completely comfortable right away. Although the design is an excellent addition, still when choosing running shoes, comfort and functionality are a priority.
Can I Drink While Running
The issue of hydration is especially relevant with the onset of the hot season. Do I need to drink during physical activity? How much to drink and what exactly? What happens if you don't?
When we run, we lose a lot of fluid: first, the cooling mechanism is activated during exercise, and we sweat; second, we breathe intensely through our mouths and thus lose a lot of moisture. All this can lead to dehydration, a situation in which a lack of fluid in the body harms its functioning.
Mild dehydration is not so bad: 1-2% dehydration results in elevated body temperature and a false perception of fatigue and exertion. However, later stages of dehydration (5-10%) can provoke hallucinations and even cardiac arrest.
Common symptoms of dehydration include headache, elevated heart rate, dark urine color, and a small amount of urine. However, it is better to take action before these symptoms occur. To do this, in circumstances where fluid loss is exceptionally high, increase fluid intake.
There are two approaches to hydration strategy during exercise: to drink only when thirsty and to drink "in advance." Perhaps the best option is something in between: the danger of the first approach is that while running (especially during competitions), a person may become distracted, simply forget to drink, and not be aware that they feel thirsty.
On the contrary, in the second case, you can drink too much, which will lead to leaching of microelements, disruption of the salt balance, and subsequently - to no less severe consequences than severe dehydration.
How to understand how much and when to drink
Each person's rate of flow is different. It also depends on the temperature and humidity of the air and the level of effort. Your rate of fluid loss during a run can be calculated using a simple formula: Your body weight immediately before training, minus your body weight directly afterward, plus the weight of fluids you drank during your run - and divide by the duration of your run in hours.
The result of the calculation is the fluid intake per hour. According to this figure, you can understand how much you need to drink during and after your run so that the water balance in the body is not disturbed.
When to take water for a run:
- if it lasts more than one hour;
- if it's hot outside;
- If you don't have access to water after your workout.
How to drink:
- regularly in small sips, for example, two sips every 10 minutes.
What to drink:
- regular water;
- isotonic (special sports drinks containing micronutrients);
- water with lemon, other fruits, and a pinch of salt (natural electrolyte).
How many times a week to run
To begin with, the optimal number of runs per week is three, that is, running every other day. This option will allow full recovery between workouts. The body will not be overloaded, which will reduce the risk of injury and let you go out on each new run full of energy.
If you immediately start running every day, there is a high probability that after a while, there will be an injury because the body is not ready for such frequent exercise, or there will be a psychological burnout, and the desire to train will disappear.
It is essential to understand that form growth occurs precisely on days of rest, so you need to give yourself a rest between workouts.
Method of alternating running and walking
At the first stage, the novice runner will likely not maintain a running pace for a long time without intense shortness of breath and an increased heart rate. However, don't let this happen: such a load is not beneficial while the body is ready for it.
Therefore, at first, it is better to alternate between running and walking. For example, after ten minutes of warm-up with intensive walking, you can do ten repetitions of one minute of running and one minute of walking. Then gradually increase the length of the running segments.
When it becomes possible to run for 30 minutes without much shortness of breath, you can move on to lengthening the length of the workout and increasing the intensity.
Is it possible to run with music?
Music is a great way to diversify your workout. It's fun, it sets the mood, it can help you keep a rhythm, and it's not a bad motivator. Listening to music while you run is not harmful in and of itself, but the fact that headphones in your ears block out the sounds of the street can play a cruel trick.
There are a couple of tricks that make listening to music on the run safer:
- low volume;
- the use of bone conduction headphones;
- running in places where there is no car traffic and no dangerous areas.
At what speed to run
The pace of running that you should choose for your workout depends on many factors. First of all, it depends on the training task: e.g., speed work, recovery or a long run. The same pace can be a completely different strain for different people. Therefore, when choosing a running speed, you should be guided by your feelings.
At the beginning of the run, you should train in the aerobic zone: this is the pace at which you don't have a lot of shortness of breath and can keep up a conversation. This is sometimes referred to as low-pulse running.
It is essential to understand that the main criterion here is a personal feeling. It is worth focusing on them and not on the pace of a training buddy or a running group.
Running by heart rate
The concept of running by heart rate is gaining popularity. However, people who train by heart rate do not always understand its meaning.
The heart rate is a scale, an indicator of the level of exertion. With the help of the pulse reading, we can measure how much strain the body is experiencing.
However, universal heart rate zones are incorrect because they are individual for each person. They can be accurately determined only by a particular functional treadmill test with a gas analyzer. As a result of such a test, you can select your heart rate values at aerobic and anaerobic thresholds.
Aerobic exercise is the one in which the body produces energy using oxygen. The chemical reaction characteristic of this system is called the "Krebs cycle": during this process, fats, proteins, and carbohydrates are oxidized and "transformed" into carbon dioxide and water. With this load, the primary source of nutrition is fats, which are corrupted.
Since the amount of oxygen is not limited and even a thin person has enough fat reserves to run several marathons in a row (because one gram of fat has 9 kcal, while the same amount of protein or carbohydrates contains only 4 kcal), the aerobic system is the most beneficial in terms of energy expenditure.
Aerobic zone workouts have the following effects:
- decrease in resting heart rate;
- increase in the stroke volume of the heart;
- improving the body's ability to use fat as an energy source;
- reduced dependence on the use of glucose as an energy source;
- development of the capillary network;
- mitochondrial growth.
Anaerobic threshold or PANO
The Krebs cycle takes a long time, and when you increase the load (accelerating or running uphill), the aerobic energy produced is no longer enough. The anaerobic system comes into play. It uses lactate from the muscles and glucose from the blood to produce energy. This process takes place without the use of oxygen and is called the Corey cycle.
Glycogen (glucose) is stored in the liver and muscles. A person weighing 70 kilograms can store 1,500 kcal on average. Simply put, the anaerobic system makes it possible to run faster, but only as long as there are enough glycogen reserves. Once they are depleted, it is inevitable to switch to the aerobic system, resulting in decreased speed. This is the marathon wall when on the 30-35th km of the marathon, "legs refuse to run."
To prevent this, runners eat energy gels during the marathon, thus replenishing their glucose stores.
In energy production, by-products such as lactate, private, and hydrogen ions enter the bloodstream. At the same time, they are absorbed again and used for further energy production. Up to a specific load level, these processes - lactate excretion and recycling - are in balance.
The moment when lactate processing ceases to "keep up" with lactate production is called the lactate threshold. And in the case of a further increase in workload, the breakdown products accumulate exponentially, which forces the person to reduce the workload.
By training in the aerobic zone, the athlete:
- develops muscles;
- develops VO2max;
- develops speed endurance.
In practice, both systems work simultaneously in the body, but as the load increases or decreases, the percentage of their use changes.
However, treadmill testing to determine your heart rate thresholds is an expensive service, and it is not comfortable for a physically unprepared person.
At the initial stage, it makes sense to be guided by the feeling. The aerobic zone is a run where it can keep up a conversation calmly, without shortness of breath. This is how you should run at the initial stage while laying the foundation for subsequent workouts.
Is it possible to lose weight by running
A lot of energy is expended during running, with an average of 500 kcal burned in an hour. It sounds like a great way to lose weight. But it is essential to understand that weight loss is not due to running itself but to maintaining a caloric deficit - when we spend more energy than we consume.
To burn 500 grams of fat, you need a deficit of 3,500 kcal. Nutritionists recommend keeping the difference between calories spent and calories consumed between 300 and 600 kcal per day (then losing one kilogram of weight will take 6 to 12 days). This strategy does not stress the body and does not provoke an acute hunger, leading to overeating.
To make the best use of running for weight loss, you should know what happens to your body during exercise.
The highest percentage of fat is used as fuel for energy production during aerobic exercise. This is usually a load below the so-called aerobic threshold. This is low-intensity running: you can keep up a conversation, and for optimal results, the workout should last more than 30 minutes.
Running at such a "fat-burning" pace should preferably be alternated with high-intensity workouts. So the body will not get used to the monotonous load, and the muscles will develop, contributing to a more significant expenditure of calories.
During high-intensity exercise, it is not fats primarily used, but glycogen contained in muscles and liver. If it is not replenished after exercise, glycogen will continue to be used up for several hours afterward, which will hurt the recovery.
After such a workout, eating something carbohydrate-containing and light is advisable, such as a green apple. However, you should not overdo it because energy is expended after such a workout, and the process of burning fat starts. Therefore, the main meal should consist mainly of protein.
Fatty tissue for energy production will be mostly consumed during non-fast running on an empty stomach. Since blood sugar levels are low after sleep, the body will use up fat during low-intensity exercise. This works exceptionally well if you did a strength or high-intensity workout the night before, and the glycogen stores in the muscles will be reduced.
The exercise is not a good idea, but you should not run on an empty stomach too often because you may become accustomed to it, which will reduce the effect. In addition, it is necessary to drink a glass of water before such a run, and it can last 30-40 minutes.
Expecting quick results is the wrong strategy. Of course, the initial parameters play a significant role: a person with a lot of extra weight at first will lose it faster than someone who wants to get rid of only a few kilos.
Summary. To lose weight, you have to:
- Maintain a calorie deficit of 300-600 kcal per day.
- Running at low intensity for more than 30 minutes.
- Combine low-intensity running with speed training, such as intervals or fartleks.
- Occasionally run in the morning on an empty stomach.
- Do not "compensate" for the calories spent during the workout by eating more food.
Where to run: on a treadmill or outside
A treadmill or treadmill is a good alternative when running outside is not possible. In a study of running on a treadmill and the street, scientists have concluded no significant differences. However, there are many nuances.
- Load. There is no headwind on the treadmill, so the burden is slightly lower. But if you set the slope angle to 1%, this is compensated for.
- Technique. There is an opinion that it is more challenging to run with the correct method on the treadmill because it may seem strange to keep the body leaning forward. However, if you have already run correctly, the form will be maintained on the treadmill. But it's better to learn on the ground.
- Maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max). Scientists have found that the MPC is the same in both cases.
- you can precisely control the tempo;
- you don't depend on the weather;
- comfortable to drink and eat;
- you can watch the video;
- you adjust the "relief" yourself;
- it doesn't prepare your feet for the rigidity of asphalt and bumps;
- no one will keep me company;
- it is not comfortable to prepare for a trial run because the treadmill simulates only running on asphalt.
- teaches you how to feel your pace;
- teaches psychological resilience regardless of weather conditions;
- simulates the actual situation at the race;
- fresh air and sunshine (vitamin D);
- a variety of routes;
- you can run to work, errands, etc.;
- weather and terrain can "disrupt" a training assignment;
- dangers: animals, cars, and even people, for example, at night.
Thus, ideally, it is better to run outside, using a treadmill on occasion when:
- the weather is too bad (a hurricane, severe frost, or extreme heat);
- it's slippery, and there's a high risk of falling;
- unsafe area or time of day;
- you need to run a vital speed workout, and there are no conditions for this on the street: for example, in the city center, where it is crowded, and there are a lot of traffic lights;
- quarantine and curfew.
How to Start Running Faster: Interval Training
To develop the pace of running, you need to do speed work. Their most popular type is interval training.
These are repetitive sections with a high tempo with breaks for recovery steps or jogging.
The idea is that by dividing the total load into separate segments with the rest between them, you can run more and better than if you do it in one long feature.
For example, making ten accelerations of 200 m very fast is possible, but at one time, running at the same pace of 2000 m will not work.
Interval training comes in two types:
- with sections for maximum acceleration;
- with teams at the level of the anaerobic threshold.
In the first case, the segments are usually relatively short. In the second case, they may belong. The rest between speed sections depends on the preparation stage, the level of fitness, and the training objectives.
Maximal training develops maximal oxygen consumption (MOC), short muscle fibers, and as a result, power and speed of running. In contrast, PANO intervals develop speed endurance and lactate utilization and teach you to run competitively. Gaps also develop heart rate variability, that is, the ability to recover quickly after exertion.
However, do not forget that this kind of training should be started only after passing the base-building stage - running in the aerobic zone.
Power exercises for runners
It is helpful for runners to incorporate exercises that develop the muscle groups involved in running into their training schedule. Training can be of different types: strength exercises with weights, plyometrics, functional training, and balance exercises. Stretching has a positive effect because it improves muscle elasticity and thus protects against injury.
Particular attention should be paid to the following areas:
- Feet, ankle;
- Leg muscles: front and back thighs, buttocks, calves;
- Cor: abs and back, including stabilizer muscles.
How to choose a race and take part in it
Race is a great motivation for training. It is an exciting experience in itself: to run a distance in the company of like-minded people on the blocked streets of the city or in nature, to feel the atmosphere of the event and yourself as a part of the popular running movement, finally to realize your goal, to cross the finish line and get a medal - all this brings unforgettable emotions.
But for the grace not to be a torment, you need to choose it, following some rules and common sense:
- Count your energy and time to prepare; a beginner should not run a marathon in two months;
- For your first run, choose a comfortable distance, for example, 5 km;
- It is better to run for the first time in your city so that there is no additional stress associated with unfamiliar surroundings, hotels, and means of transportation;
- Get your starting kit in advance, not on the day of the race;
- Do not put off getting a medical certificate (if you need one) until the last minute;
- Arrive at the start in advance, so that there is enough time to change and find your sector in the starting corridor;
- Study the rules of the race, the schedule, and the starting town layout before the start;
- Wear the most comfortable and tested equipment, and the race is not the place to try new sneakers.
The main mistakes of beginner runners
Beginning runners tend to make several typical mistakes. It is better to know about them in advance and avoid them:
- Running too fast or running too much leads to overtraining, injuries, and psychological burnout;
- The absence of rest days - the consequences are the same;
- The wrong choice of sneakers and the rest of the outfit;
- Insufficient fluid intake;
- Clothing is not for the weather - remember that at the beginning of the run should be calm;
- No physical training or strength training;
- Running despite pain is a direct route to injury; pain is the body's way of showing that something is wrong, so you should reduce the load when it occurs. This will allow recovery and not lead to a severe injury.
How to stay motivated and make running a habit
It is not uncommon for people to quit a sport sometime after starting it. At first, there is euphoria from something new and determination, but then boredom and lack of motivation replace it. How to pass this stage and continue training?
- Think back to what you started with, what goal you set for yourself. Is it still relevant? If you achieved it, don't you want to keep it? Or maybe you want to keep going and set new goals?
- Think about why the motivation is gone. Maybe the progress was fast at first, but now it seems as if it has stopped? If that's the case, remember that improvement in physical fitness comes in waves: once you reach a new level, it solidifies, and only then does a new spiral begin.
- Write down for yourself what you get out of running. What has changed in your life, what results have you achieved physically, what psychological changes have occurred since you started running? Maybe you have made some new joggers, you know?
- If it's hard to go for a run every time, try this psychological trick: decide to follow the program for a week (a month). Having made this decision, follow it without a doubt before each workout. Then each new run will be part of the implementation of the plan already made, and before it, there will be no sense to make a decision again.
- Diversify your running: change your route, change your playlist, put on an audiobook or podcast instead of music, buy a new windbreaker. All these changes work as good motivators.
- Watch movies about runners.
- Look back and appreciate how much work has already been done. To quit running now would be to give up the results of that effort.
- Sign up for a race, and you can start with five kilometers. Running events are a unique atmosphere, and participating is a good motivator to get ready for the distance.
Running is much more than just an opportunity to burn calories and expend energy. It brings much more to life: from the chance to be alone with oneself to feeling more vital and more enduring, from active meditation and self-reflection to the opportunity to make new friends.
Not all of these benefits are revealed immediately; you need to run for a long time for many of them. The next time you want to skip a workout, think about what you'll be missing out on.
To summarize this guide for the novice runner, we can put together some fundamental rules that are helpful for anyone who is about to begin their journey in the running.
- It is necessary to train regularly, but to do rest days between workouts: three workouts a week is enough to start with.
- The running pace should not be fast, in the aerobic zone, that is, such a load at which you can run and have a conversation.
- If jogging causes shortness of breath and a high heart rate, you should alternate between running and walking.
- The load should be increased smoothly.
- It is desirable to combine with running strength training, physical fitness, and SBU.
- When choosing equipment, you should prioritize quality, functionality, and comfort, and remember that the clothes should not constrain the movement, and shoes should be more significant.
- Dress for a run so that it is excellent at the beginning of the workout.
- To achieve weight loss results, you should watch your diet and combine different types of workouts.
- High-intensity interval training should be added to the training plan only after the stage of working off the baserunning in the aerobic zone - is completed.
- The races should be chosen according to your abilities and the time available for preparation.
Remember, running, like any activity, bears fruit if done systematically and regularly. So the main thing is not to give up training and keep moving forward, and the result will not belong incoming!