Fitness is something many of us lack these days. It’s an unfortunate fact that most of us spend the majority of the day in a sitting position. We either sit at our desks, drive a car or sit on a bus, metro or train or simply relax in front of the television. As a result, our bodies lack fitness, we are out of shape and feel like we can’t run a mile.
And, it is running that many of us choose when trying to get back in shape. There is a solid reason for that. We don’t need any training prior to starting running. We don’t need any special equipment to do so either. All that is needed is a strong will and a good weather (although rain would do too if you are determined to do it).
However, from my experience many of us don’t do a great job at running, especially at the beginning. Running is a sport that can really put you off if you don’t do it well. And, this is what usually happens.
You get out of the house and set off to run straight away. You try to run for as long as you can, as fast as you can. The trouble is, you are usually done after few feet and that’s it. You come back home disheartened about the whole thing.
In reality, this is not how you train running, not at the beginning at least.
How to start running
If this is your first time running, then you have to take things really slowly. Don’t expect that you will get far, or will run for long, you won’t. It is not the point anyway. The point is to get your body moving and as you progress in your training and your body gets stronger, you will notice that you can run further and for a longer time. But that will come, at the beginning, try the following to get you started:
- Warm Up
Always warm up before any exercise. Simple stretching will do but make sure that you spend at least 5 minutes on it.
- Walk first
The most common mistake people make is trying to run straight away. Instead, walk first. Get your body used to the exercise. Walk for at least 10 minutes before you even attempt running.
- Run for one minute, walk for 90 seconds
This is a well known trick used by coaches when they start off with a new group of beginners. Instead of setting them off to run for as long as they can, they mix running and walking to get the body fit but also to do not burn them out too quickly.
- When you run, run slowly
When you set off to your one minute run, don’t just suddenly burst into a full speed running. Instead, run slowly. Run at a speed at which you can still hold a normal conversation.
- Repeat the run/walk pattern few times
Repeat the pattern of running for a minute and walking for 90 seconds a few times. As you train more you will notice that you are able to do more of those rounds.
- Finish with a walk
When you are done, walk again. Spend at least 5-10 minutes walking slowly, this will calm your body down and help it to recover from the exercise. Remember, the worst thing you can do is to simply sit down in a couch again!