Monday, May 4, 2015

Great Tips For How to Start Your Run/Walk

Too many people have been turned off of running simply by trying to start off too fast. Their bodies rebel, and they wind up miserable, wondering why anyone would possibly want to run in the first place. If you've never run before or you've had a long break from running, it can feel intimidating to get out there and start running.

Running can strengthen your cardiovascular system, increase bone density, and clear your mind. But to avoid injury or burnout, begin slowly, says John Honerkamp, the head of training for the New York Road Runners club. Here are some tools and tips to help you get fired up about your new fitness lifestyle, give you a heads-up on where to start, and what to expect when adding running or walking to your routine.

Everyone Starts Somewhere

A lot of people may be able to run faster and longer than you and that’s OK. Don’t be afraid to embrace your current level of fitness, and focus on making incremental progress. Simply moving more than you were before is a huge accomplishment.

Find the Right Shoes for You

Make sure that the shoes you wear when walking or running are a good fit for you. Your shoes are your foundation—you don’t want to hurt yourself or experience unnecessary aches and pains that could be prevented with proper footwear. If you can get your feet and stride tested at a specialty running shop, go for it! If not, just be prepared for some trial and error until you find the shoe that suits you best.

Pace or Length, not Both

A big mistake that runners (of all levels) can make is to run faster and longer at the same time. This can be a recipe for disaster; I actually had to find this out the hard way. Make sure you choose a goal and intention for each run or walk: Are you going to try and go farther or faster today? Focus on one metric at a time so that you don’t overdo it.
Walk and Talk

Going for a walk, or even a jog, can be more fun with company. Running with a partner or group increases your motivation to run. Especially at first, a "running buddy" can really help you make running a habit. Make sure you are working at the same fitness levels and agree on your running plan. When running with a group, try to keep pace with the others, accelerate when they do but only if you feel comfortable with it. Do not force yourself.

Get a Training Plan

Don’t be afraid to seek out help from experts. Training plans are designed and scheduled in a way to help you safely start where you are, and get you to where you want to be. Whether you want to be able to run 30 minutes without stopping or conquer your first 5K, there are plenty of good tools to help you find your way to success.

Be Prepared for “Off” Days

Some days you won’t feel like moving—that’s totally normal. As with anything new, there are going to be some complicated times and days when you have more motivation than others. On days when you’re well and uninjured but just don’t feel like training, lean on your workout buddies, or show up at your local running shoe store for a group run. Your friends will lean on you when their motivation runs low, so they’ll be happy to return the favor when you’re in need.
If you’re feeling really run down and exhausted in addition to lacking motivation, take an unplanned rest day. Often, one day off provides the mental break you need to get back into training the next day.

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