Running Tips for Beginners

by David Dack

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If you’re thinking about starting a running program, then you’re on the right path!

Running will not only help you shed weight and get into the best shape ever, it’ll also help you become a better mom (and human being).

According to studies, cardio exercises, such as running, minimizes stress, wards off heart related problems, and adds years to your life. Not to mention being a model and an inspiration to your family and friends.

With that in mind, here are a few guidelines that can help you start running without risking injury or burnout:

Run/Walk

"First-run" horror scenarios are universal, but easily preventable. If you never ran before or haven’t done much exercise lately, then running is going to be uncomfortable to some degree until your body becomes conditioned to it.

Luckily, you can minimize that discomfort by taking walk breaks and keeping your pace slow. This is what known as the walk-run-walk program.

The walk-run-walk program is the ideal training strategy for building endurance level without running the risk of injury or burnout. Interspersing walk breaks into your running helps you get your breathing under control and protects your joints and muscles from any unnecessary damage. The length and intensity of each interval depends, mostly, on your fitness level and training goals.A 30-second interval run interspersed with one-minute of recovery is recommended for a beginning female runner. However, feel free to adjust it according to your own needs and fitness level: no suit fits all. Nevertheless, as you get stronger and fitter, aim to increase the time spent running and take fewer walk breaks until you’re able to run for 30-minute straight without much huffing and puffing.

Keep your training consistent

The main reasons why people can get their running past the second week of training are injury and burnout. Fortunately, you can avoid most of the trouble by opting for the walk-run-walk training recipe. However, to boost your motivation levels and make your training stick for long haul, make sure to incorporate these guidelines into your training program:

Reward yourself. When you hit a milestone, whether it’s your first non-stop 15-minute run or completing your first race, give yourself a treat.  Keeping in mind you are not a dog, do not reward yourself with food.  Rather reward yourself with an experience, like a new iPod arm band for running, or a spa pedicure.  Once you start associating pleasure with your running training, motivation will come in handy.

Enlist family. Support from your family and friends is crucial if you really want to keep it up for good.  If you’re being nagged by your significant other or your children every time you go for a run it can soon become an unpleasant task.  Therefore, get the whole family on board with your decision.  Educate your family, and show them the benefits of running in terms of health and fitness. If you’re lucky enough, you might get a new workout buddy.

Add variety. Running for on the same track over and over can become tedious. However, a new route can banish the boredom factor and enliven your running program. Therefore, make sure to keep looking for new trails, routes, different areas to try. Be an explorer but keep your safety an utmost priority.

There you have it! Now it’s the time to take action on what you’ve just learned.  You will see that success happens only with the right implementation.  

You may face setbacks and disappointment, but remember that fitness is a journey of ups and downs, not a finish line.   

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