Getting Started As A Runner

March 31, 2014 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

So you made yourself a promise to get fit, got yourself a gym membership, and decided you want to learn to run. Good for you! Now you’re wondering how to do it, right? Running can make you healthier, happier, and can actually help you live longer.

You can’t just decide one day you want to be a runner and go for a 30km jog. It just doesn’t work like that. You need to work up to it; you’ll need to give your muscles and your cardiovascular system time to adapt and strengthen. Start off slowly – in fact, walk. Walk a lot. The best way to learn to run, even if you want to run a 10km race, is to do a run/walk program.

After you’ve become accustomed to walking at least half an hour at a time, add in small portions of running into your walk. Walk for four or five minutes, and then run for 30 seconds to one minute. Then walk some more. Do several cycles of this run-walk combination until you’ve been moving for at least half an hour. Do this three days a week, with at least one day of rest in between each run-walk routine. After a few weeks you can add in a fourth day of training. Of course, you’ll also increase the amount of time you’ll be running compared to walking. You can do this by either increasing the running segments, or by increasing the number of one-minute running segments you do and decreasing the amount of time you spend walking.

If your goal is to work up to eventually run a 10k, whether you want to do it just for health and fitness benefits, or if you want to run a race, you should aim for four or five days of training every week. Always start with a five minute walk to warm up and end with a five minute walk to cool down.

Make sure you use the proper upper body form. Keep your arms bent at a 90 degree angle, with your elbows at your sides. Don’t clench your fists or your face! Keep your back straight, your head up, and your shoulders level. This will help reduce injury and tight muscles.

Don’t worry about your pace at first. Instead, be more concerned with just running. As a beginner, you want to keep your pace such that you can carry on a conversation. If you’re starting off with a reasonable cardiovascular health, then you can increase your pace and exertion so that you find it difficult to carry on a conversation, but not so hard that you’re gasping for breath. Take deep belly breaths and breathe in through both your nose and mouth.

Fitness First offer a range of choices when it comes to exercise advice, there is bound to be a gym located in your local area, its best to speak to an expert before taking on any new fitness regime, why not try out the nearest Fitness First gym, and start achieving your running goals today.

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