Running is not easy or even desirable for most people. But it can be a great skill to have, especially if you don’t want to pay for a gym membership. Whether you have a desire to run marathons or just want to be able to jog around your neighborhood once in a while, we have some simple steps for you to take to help get you started.
This might be a “duh” moment. It’s important to start slow with any kind of exercise if you haven’t done it before (or recently we should say). Start out by jogging slowly or alternating between walking and jogging. Work up until you can work your way up to a steady pace for an extended amount of time. Ideally, you should be able to hold a conversation while you run. Run at a pace that allows you to do that. If you’re breathing heavy at the beginning of your run, take it slower. Work your way up to that quicker pace.
As you’re starting out, it’s important to have tennis shoes that offer up good support, but you don’t need to go buy a brand new pair of specialized running shoes. If you have a pair of tennis shoes that are in good condition, that’s all you need to get started.
If you decide you want to start running avidly and competing in races, that would be the time to look into a more customized pair of running shoes.
When starting out, running outdoors versus on a treadmill is going to save you. Running outdoors forces you to push off the ground and work the muscles in your legs and hamstrings more than running on a treadmill does. Sometimes when people start their running endeavors on a treadmill, they don’t get into the habit of running with a supportive posture because they are holding onto or hunching over the treadmill console. Once you’ve established a habit of running outdoors and have a good feel for it, that’s when you can supplement with running on a treadmill with less risk of hurting your posture.
Especially if you don’t run often or haven’t run before, it’s important to start with a warm up to get your muscles warmed up to prevent the need for orthotics later down the road. Just take 5 minutes or so to walk briskly. Or, do some dynamic stretching (active stretching like knee highs and butt kicks) before jumping into your run.
Sometimes the biggest reason it’s difficult to get yourself out there and running is because you get bored doing it. Find ways to combat that boredom before you ever start your run. Create a kickin’ playlist or find a buddy to run with. Listen to a podcast or audiobook, or run somewhere you really enjoy the scenery. Whatever you do, just find a way to get some enjoyment out of your run.
Stick to It
Once you’ve given running a try, stick to it. Establish a habit of running 3-5 times a week. This way you can build up those leg, butt, and core muscles to be able to endure longer runs each time you go. Find a running program or training schedule on Pinterest to help you maintain your workouts without having to plan them yourself.