Running is one of the best, most complete exercises for improving general fitness. It works legs the most, but also has an impact on your back, your core, chest, arms, and the cardiovascular system. Running is also one of the easiest ways to get exercise; and you don’t need a lot of special equipment. A good run can be enjoyable and fun as you move through your town or city — or as you run down country roads. Running can be great for increasing your level of athletic ability, losing weight, and making sure that you stay strong and fit — at all ages. As easy and straightforward as it is, there are a few things that you should know if you are just getting started with running.
Clothing and Accessories
First, you will need to have the right shoes. Good running shoes will be very light; this is so that you are not expending all of your energy bringing your legs up off the ground but are instead putting it into forward motion and increasing your speed. Running shoes should have some ankle support, especially if you are running outside, but should not go so high up the ankle that they add a lot of weight. They should also have some way to breathe through holes in the sides or top so that your feet do not become too hot and contained. Most good sports stores will be able to advise on a good pair of shoes for running, even better are specialist running stores which can measure the shape of your foot and recommend the perfect pair accordingly.
Next, you will want to have the right clothing. If you’re not running competitively but just to get exercise, do not worry about tight, aerodynamic clothing — however, you may want to get this if you do plan to start running competitively because the right clothes can help shave seconds or more off of your time. The most important thing to have is a good pair of shorts. Make sure they are not too heavy or bulky; also, make sure that they have a draw string so that they are not moving excessively while you are running. You want them to be tight so that they are not going to fall and cause you to trip. You can wear any sort of shirt, though a sleeveless shirt is often best so that your body doesn’t overheat.
Depending on the climate you are in, you may wish to wear a light, breathable jacket which will help keep you warm whilst your body warms up, but prevent overheating later into the run.
Finally, you may want to consider compression socks. These socks are tight near the knees and grow loose as they go down to the foot. They promote better blood flow in areas far away from the heart, helping your muscles to get the blood and oxygen that they need so that you can run better and recover faster.
What Schedule To Start With
Start by running three days a week, an amount that will give you fast, consistent improvement without taxing the body too heavily. Take a day off in between each run to let your body recover. Running on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday will give you a schedule that is easy to remember; this also gives you an extra day of rest on the weekends, which can be very nice especially for beginners and can help you fight mentally through the Friday run.
The first time you go out, pick a distance to shoot for. If you have never run before, it might be a good idea to only run a mile. You can work your way up to longer distances later as you get in better shape. Pick a spot that is roughly a half a mile away from your home, turn, and come back. Do this every day that you run until you feel that you are ready to increase the distance. Remember not to run too far too soon, because you will have to walk back if you become too tired to keep running, which will make you more likely to give up.
Where To Run
If you want to run outside, it’s best to stay close to your home when you are first getting started. If you want to run two miles, for example, do not run a mile away from your home unless you are sure that you can get back. This is true in the city or the country. Just run a half a mile away, come back, and then repeat the process if you are still feeling good. This is not to make it so that you will quit, but to make it so you are not a long way from home if you decide that you can’t carry on.
If you want to run indoors, you can get a membership at a local gym or YMCA. Every good gym will always have treadmills that you can practice running on, while watching television or listening to music. They will often have tracks made of heavy rubber; these have some give and are easier on your knees than sidewalks. Older folk or those with weak legs or knees may be best practising on a treadmill first to get a feeling for how your legs will cope running on hard ground or pavement.
For most, running is a perfectly safe activity, but accidents and injuries do happen. Take note of the safety tips below to reduce the chances of an injury.
- Do not try to do too much at first; work your way up to longer runs.
- In the first few weeks, stay close to home in case you need to stop.
- Drink lots of fluids before and after.
- Eat no less two hours before you set out.
- Stretch properly, for at least ten minutes beforehand.
- Listen to your body, take a break if you need it.
Almost any town or city will have several established running clubs. Just search your location + ‘running club’ and see what’s available near you. Running clubs can be invaluable to the beginner, and most members will be happy to provide tips and advice including where to run, timetables of local races and more.
Have fun! With a little preparation and planning, running can be one of the most enjoyable and rewarding exercises around.
Source : workingonmyfitness