- Exercise & Fitness
A Few Simple Tips For Runners Starting Out
We all would love to be the next Usain Bolt and have running come as natural as breathing. Problem is running isn't always a fun thing to do for most people. Studies have shown though that some form of cardio can be not only fun, but rewarding health wise for you. So how can one make running or jogging come natural or at least somewhat enjoyable? Like most things in life, the main thing is practice. Not only that, but being consistent in doing it.
If you were to set out and try to a run a marathon with no experience or training you would probably be disappointed. That's pretty obvious since to some just the thought can make one weak. But by keeping that thought in mind, if running doesn't appeal to you, just remember: like most things it may take some time. Patience is important, it can't be overstated enough. But here are a few tips to help you reach your goals of running. Whether you want to finish a race that seems impossible at the moment to do, or you just want get some good daily cardio in for exercise.
First Thing, Your Shoes
In order to run you'll need some shoes. But not just any kind of shoes, you'll want ones that will feel comfortable while running. Speaking from experience, uncomfortable shoes could cause some serious damage down the line. The thing is though, one person can tell you a certain brand is good, but for you it feels like you're wearing 2x4 sandals instead of running shoes. Thus, getting the right shoe is going to take time and research. Make sure you try them on and get a good feel of them before you purchase the shoes you like.
Here is a great blog talking about barefoot style shoes if that interests you:
Now that you have got your running shoes, here are some tips to keep in mind for running. Planning is important otherwise you might be overwhelmed.
- Always eat plenty of carbohydrates, but not right before you run. If you like to exercise in the morning eat the night before. If you like to in the evening, have a good size breakfast full of carbs. Remember you're going to burn off a lot of calories and you'll need it.
- Brace yourself, don't try to run 10 miles day 1. Know your limits and what you can handle. Remember it takes time to reach your goals. Gradually run faster and farther once you feel comfortable.
- Drink plenty of water even before you run. Without it, you may die.
- Bring your iPod with plenty of music to keep you motivated. Just be sure you don't have the volume too high so you can mind your surroundings. If you run in your neighborhood be aware of cars, bikers, other runners, and ducks (they never move and are very bad tripping hazards).
- Stretch properly before and after you run.
- Depending on how far you run pack a protein bar. You never know when you might feel fatigue and need a lift. Clif bars do wonders since they taste good and some can have 20g of protein.
Now that you've planned ahead and ready to go, there's only one thing now to do. Run.
Step 1: Run. Step 2:.....There Is No Step 2.
So once you’re set to run all you have to do is.....run. Yeah pretty simple. Still, there are some good tips to keep in mind while running.
- Make sure you land on the balls of your feet not your heel. You will run faster and cause less stress on your knees.
- Keep your shoulders lined above your thighs while running. This will help with your posture.
- Act like you are holding potato chips by your fingers as you run. Your arms should sway back and forth close to your body and not far away.
- Keep motivating yourself to keep going when you're tired. Remember you're awesome.
- Go to a happy place.
- Breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth. Proper breathing helps you when the going gets tough.
- Stand up straight, never look down. Keep your eyes up so as to see where you're going and again keep an eye on what’s going on (don't forget the ducks).
- Think about yourself finishing and focus on your goals. If you stop, only do so to catch your breath or take a drink when needed. You'll continue to get better with time so don't be disappointed if you have to stop at some point. Just keep going.
- FINISH STRONG! Even if you aren’t able to do much during the run, before you finish give it all you got!
With time and effort, you may come to enjoy running. The feeling of accomplishing your goals can have a great effect on you. Who knows? Maybe you’ll go out and want to run a full marathon at some point, race your neighborhood friends to show who is the fastest, or bench press a car, whatever! The sky is the limit! Just continue to focus on your goals and once you reach them, set new ones to attain. When you put forth the effort and time, your hard work will pay off. The important thing is to never give up, keep going! I hope these and other tips will aid you in your mission to run. Live long and prosper.