Starting to run can be daunting, but it’s one of the most rewarding activities you can do. Not only that, but it’s low cost and easy to do anywhere you are. Just lace up your shoes and head out the door!
When starting any rigorous exercise its important to consult with your health care provider to ensure you are clear for exercise.
When taking the next steps to progress from a walking regime to running, it’s always best to consult with a coach or personal trainer to build a program that suits you. This will help ensure you follow a program that builds up slowly and allows the body time to adapt to the impact of running. One of the limitations to running is being prone to injuries or stress on knees and back, but if a plan is built and followed correctly, you can alleviate many of these misconceptions that running is too hard on the body.
As you start your running journey, it’s a good idea to start and finish each session with a 10-minute brisk walk to warm up (or cool down) the muscles. It’s also recommended to do light stretches after each session to flush out the muscles and keep them moving freely. These two simple tasks can greatly reduce your chance of injury.
As you look to build your running program, some things to consider are starting with a walk and run program. You should follow a timed walk/run interval, which allows the body to build up the strength and adapt to the muscle strain caused by the increased impact from running.
The walk portion allows the muscles to have a short break and recovery before the next run interval. It is also a good idea to space out your exercise days out throughout the week to ensure you give your body time to rest and recover before the next session and to follow a three week build program, followed by one-week recovery session.
Starting your journey to running should be pain free and fun. By following a few of these suggestions you should be able develop a passion for running.
Some other helpful tips are finding a friend or a group to run with to help keep you honest and motivated. We all know how hard it is to get out the door some days, so having a support network can really help.
There are many helpful resources online or with your local specialty running retailers.