How to start running is the question and the answer is just get out the door and run. Running is the easy part.. Actually decided how to run, where and for how long is the hardest part.
(Firstly, if you have not run or exercised in the previous 6 months or are over 40, or consider yourself overweight, you should visit your Doctor or Health Care Professional, tell them of your plans and have a check up).
Most who want to start running because they are afraid. Afraid of non-athletic friends comparing them to elite athletes on TV with rippling muscles and washboard stomachs.
So how do you start running?
Well, any clothes will do, lose fitting ones are best. You can use any trainers or gym shoes for now (getting some running shoes will be your first upgrade but we will write about that in a future post.)
Find a quiet road or park where you won’t be disturbed and just run. It doesn’t matter (at the moment) how you run, just run. After 20 seconds stop and walk. Don’t be surprised if you get out of breath very quickly.
Walk for 40 seconds and the run again. This is called interval training and is the same as elite athletes do – they just do more and faster.
You will know when you have had enough but try to stop before you get to that point.
Remember how may sets of 20 seconds running you did (work) and how many sets of 40 seconds you had (rest) and note this down.
Aim for 3 sessions of this every week for 3 weeks.
The day after your first few sessions, you are likely to be sore and stiff. This is your body adapting to the training and is normal. To counter the effects, go for a walk or if this is not possible, try not to stay sat down for long periods as this encouarges stiffness.
When you are not running, try to increase your intake of water and fluids.
After 3 weeks, if all is well and you have no adverse effects, you can either increase the work or decrease the rest.
Your first goal is to run for 10 minutes without stopping and by gradually increasing your work and decreasing rest, you will be able to do this. The quickest way to injure your body is to go too quickly too fast or too long too soon. So slow and steady and your body will adapt quicker without injuries.
Oh and about elite athletes..
The first time you run a mile without stopping, you will be very pleased and so you should be. Your “friends” will say something like “a mile, thats not very far – No it’s not… in a car…
And that’s the thing – people judge by what they see on TV without knowing or understanding what is required.
But the main thing is to get out there and have a go.