Ready to run? How to get started

March 28, 2022 | by Tricia Hutton
Categories: Healthy Driven Life

Running is a fun way to be active, improve your overall fitness, make new friends and achieve new goals.

When you run, you determine how fast or how far and what fits with your fitness goals.

Here are some tips to help you get started so you can enjoy the benefits of running and stay injury-free:

Start easy. Do not start out too fast or too far. As with any exercise, start out slowly to allow your body time to warm up, and then increase your effort according to what feels good to you.

  • Depending on your aerobic fitness, 10-30 minutes is a good amount of time for your first run.
  • Can you hold a conversation with your running pace? If you are huffing and puffing and struggling to get words out, you are running too hard.
  • One technique is the run/walk method with intervals. A few examples are 3-minute run/2-minute walk or 1-minute run/30-second walk. You can increase your run interval as you go along. Some people prefer this method because they always keep a walk interval.

Choose the correct gear. Get fitted for your running shoes at a running store. Experts can watch you run and help you find shoes that are best for your feet and your gait. Wear the proper running attire. You can find most clothing at sporting goods stores or your local running store.

  • You will work up a sweat when you run. In fact, you want to dress for a temperature that is 20-30 degrees above the actual temperature.
  • It’s best to wear light, sweat-wicking clothing that dries quickly and wicks away perspiration. Cotton clothing holds in wetness and gets heavy. That can make you feel cold.
  • Depending on the season, a good choice is a light shirt, jacket if needed, and shorts or tights.

Make running a habit. Once you start running, you are a runner! Plan to run a certain number of times a week and stick to it. Set a goal for yourself.

  • You can sign up for a race, plan to run in a special location or just have a personal running goal.
  • You can also make new friends or pair up with a running partner. Running is not only fun, but it also helps you stay accountable and work toward your fitness goals.

As you begin running, don’t forget to strengthen and stretch your muscles. Be mindful to include core and full body strength exercises at least twice a week. A strong body will help you to enjoy your sport for a long time and stay injury-free.

Need help with incorporating running into your workout routine? A fitness specialist can help you develop a fitness program that works for you.

Drive your health forward at Edward-Elmhurst Health & Fitness.

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