Running is in fashion. People who never dreamed of being athletes are now doing 5km races or half marathons. And I include myself in this mass of the population. Years ago, in school, I could not finish the typical “course navette” but now I feel capable of doing half a triathlon or a race like that. In these years, I have learned some tips, which are very valuable to me and that I would like to share with you. Check them out for yourself and tell us if they are beneficial or not:
Running tip 1: Safety first.
Before you start running regularly, be sure to consult your doctor if you have any conditions that may prevent you from running regularly.
Running tip 2: Buy yourself some good quality running shoes.
Nothing is worse than periostitis. Leg cramps tend to occur when you don’t have good running shoes. You probably already have some sneakers but; Are they really good for exercising?
Running tip 3: Start slow, don’t try to eat the world.
There is no need to run 5 or 10 km on your first outing. Try interval running, that is, run for five minutes and walk for another 3 minutes and so on until you do about 30 minutes in total. After a couple of weeks, you can slowly increase your running time and decrease your walking time.
Running tip 4: Know that it’s okay to walk.
I go crazy when new runners have the goal of “Running X kilometers without stopping”. They want to run non stop and they don’t know what the tendency is to have a breakage, because the muscles are not used to it yet. Walking during your training allows your body to rest and your muscles to adapt to the new circumstances and gather energy to run again.
Running tip 5: sign up for a race
There is nothing more motivating than a race. When you know that you have spent money to sign up for a marathon, for example, it is easier to follow a daily training to get in shape for the race.
Running tip 6: Make sure you stay up to date on your overall body training.
If you only perform one exercise, you are not using all the muscles of the body so the others will weaken. These muscles are needed to support each other so that you are receptive to injury. All muscles have to be trained uniformly, at least twice a week. Exercises such as bicycles, stairs or elliptical are great allied exercises to avoid suffering any type of injury.
Running tip 7: Design a training plan
If you are subscribed to a race, you need a plan. You have to run, follow a general training and have two rest days a week (If it can be, they are not followed). A good example is Hal Higdon’s training plan. If you search a bit online, you will surely find their plan for free.
Running tip 8: Find out which foods are right for you.
Everybody is different. Some runners are not able to eat certain foods just before running, while others have iron stomachs that never get sick. A basic rule of thumb is to eat something with carbohydrates an hour before training (it can even be a meal if your stomach allows it), and then eat carbohydrates and protein to replace lost energy. When you run for more than an hour you should consider drinking isotonic drinks (Gatorade, Powerade, Aquarius, etc.) to replace the sodium and potassium lost through sweat.
Running tip 9: Hydrate properly.
This is another tip that will depend on your body. Most bodies need to hydrate after 30 minutes of exercise. Hydration also depends on weather conditions. Is it dry? It’s humid? Are you sweating right from the start? I always carry water with me and take small sips when I see that I’m thirsty to ensure I don’t get dehydrated.
Running tip 10: Listen to your body.
If you have trouble walking, you may need to sit for a day or two. If you feel like you can run at a faster pace, give it a try! That’s part of the fun of testing yourself while exercising.
Running tip 11: Lastly, have fun.
It’s hard to get motivated to exercise when you’re not enjoying what you’re doing. Find out the way you like to run and stick with it. If you’re going through a romantic bump, for example, try running with a friend outside. Find new routes or even take a well deserved break to come back totally refreshed. The bottom line is: You don’t have to run because yes, you should exercise because you like it and in a safe way.