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Welcome to the run club! Just a heads up, running can be addictive, but it’s definitely the good kind. You may also find your budget suddenly going to running accessories. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
On a serious side though, it’s always a great idea to pursue running as a new exercise. It’s one of the best calorie-buster exercises out there. The best part its, sans the accessories and other running gears, it’s a totally free exercise. All you need to do is a free space, a road or a park where you can run. It is also relatively easy to track your progress with running, so most beginners will find themselves constantly motivated. This results in higher chances of committing to the exercise.
Many new runners report feeling better after their first run. This is a fact about running, too. It is a great mood booster. That’s aside from all the other health benefits of lowering risks of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, among others. On the flip side though, running, no matter how harmless it may look, can still lead to injuries – some of them long-term.
The good news is, injuries in running can be avoided with proper training and preparation. The sooner you start with these, the better. For beginners, who simply want to start sustaining and improving in their runs, here are 5 tips to remember in order to have a fun and safe running journey.
Make your runs happy
This may be too cliché for a tip, but this is really how it should start. When you meet other runners, you may hear them talk about personal records, marathons, and training. Do not go into this yet. Don’t make running a competitive sport for you, even if you eventually decide to register for official run events. It is important that running is something that you look forward to rather than something that drags you out of the bed because you need that “PR”. Most of those veteran runners definitely started simply loving and enjoying their every run. So, how do we make runs fun? Make sure to prepare at least three different routes for your run. This adds variety and gives you something to look forward to every time. Music is also a good way to make your runs fun. You can also consider running on a treadmill in case you are busy. But, more importantly, a fun run should not be painful. Do not run through the pain, listen to your body. This leads us to our next step.
Do not overtrain
We understand the desire to be a faster runner as soon as possible. But we hate to break it to you, you cannot achieve this by pushing yourself hard every day. Recovery and rest are also essential in our overall fitness, and this applies to other exercises, as well. What makes running special though is you can do it every day. How do I run every day without overtraining? Our answer is simple, do not do the same run every day. What do we mean by this? Diversify your runs, in terms of distance and pace. For your “rest” period, allow yourself a slow run. You can even take long walks as a recovery. A well-recovered body will perform better in the long run. A great bonus is, it is less likely to be injured, too.
Get the right fuel for your body
Dr. Jordan Metzl put it accurately: “I’d much rather you are mild to moderately moderate and active than skinny and inactive.” Of course, we run to lose weight, to be healthier. But, this does not mean starving yourself too just to achieve that result. Consider your body like a car that needs fuel to literally run. Running gives you the right to eat healthy carbs. It even gives you enough caloric deficit to enjoy a snack. To prevent you from indulging after a tiring run, it’s best to have a meal plan for your pre and post run, and strictly stick to it. Proper nutrition replenishment cannot be stressed enough after any workout. It helps rebuild your muscles and prepares you for a better performance the following day.
Invest on the right shoes for your foot arch
It is not enough to simply grab running shoes. While some people have neutral feet that can easily adjust to any type of running shoes, there are those with foot arch that require specific insole support. Doctors are also in agreement that wearing the right shoes for your run can keep you injury-free throughout your run journey. Some sports shops offer a free assessment of your feet to help you find the perfect running shoes. Unfortunately, the only way to find you if you are with the right shoes is to test run them for a couple of kilometers.
Give your muscles time to relax
Running, like most exercises makes your muscles really tight. Tight muscles are dangerous ones, as they can often affect your flexibility and stability. Clearly, you do not want this happening to your body if you are to sustain your run journey. This gives you a great excuse to get massages at least every week. Massage releases muscle tension and leads to faster recovery. You can also include foam rollers as one of your running accessories. You can use it every day, after your run.
Enjoy your running journey, with fewer worries about injuries by following these tips. Remember to check with your doctor immediately if you feel any sharp pain during and after your run.