Do you have dreams of making this the year you put down the TV remote, step away from the couch and make running a favorite pastime? You could be running three consecutive miles in just two months—now that’s a goal worth working towards!
If you’re a beginning jogger, these tips from the fitness experts at Life Fitness can help make your running dream a reality.
7 Tips for Beginner Runners
1. Walk before you run. For the first four weeks of your new running regimen, take a five- to 15-minute warm-up walk before breaking into a jog.
2. Set a routine. Ease into running by sticking to a schedule. Try to run or walk three times a week to get yourself used to a regular regime.
4. Give your muscles and tendons a chance to adapt to running. Avoid running two days in a row for at least the first month, and listen to your body. If you have sharp pain, soreness that won’t go away or you’re feeling unusually tired, reconsider running that day. Accept and appreciate the fact that not every single run can be a good one. Instead, use these days to focus on stretching your muscles and re-energizing for your next cardio session. If any irregular conditions persist, consider seeking medical advice.
5. Mix it up. Hills are a great way to challenge your muscles and make running interesting. Use the incline feature on your treadmill and see how many hills you can climb. This will increase your heart rate and challenge your muscles. Cross[-]training is another way to challenge your muscles while training your cardiovascular system. Try trading a running day with an elliptical or a stationary-bike workout.
6. Take your pulse daily. Heart rate monitors are available on many pieces of cardio equipment. When monitoring your heart beat, if there is a significant increase in your usual resting pulse rate (five to 10 points), this could be a sign that you’re over-training, fatigued or potentially catching an illness. Regularly tracking your heart rate provides a good indication of your healthy heart-rate zone and will help you identify a considerable change.
7. Take walk breaks. If you’re still working up to long-distance endurance, try alternating one minute of running with one minute of walking. Work your way up to eight-minute run/walk intervals. It’s all about pacing yourself and building up endurance.
If you start slowly and listen to your body, you’re less likely to suffer injuries and more likely to stick with your running program. Soon you’ll be motivated and confident enough to enter your first 5K! By keeping at it, you can—and will—become a runner! A big thanks to Life Fitness for the running tips! —Jenn