By: Kristin Knight
Have you ever wanted to become a distance runner but didn’t know where to start? Running is a great way to stay healthy. Better yet, all you need is a good pair of shoes and a little bit of determination. You may not be running a marathon next month, but these tips will help make running a consistent part of your fitness regime.
Set a goal
No goal is too small! Maybe you want to work up to running a mile, increase the distance you cover in a 30 minute workout, or complete a race. No matter what your goal is, working towards something specific will help keep you motivated.
Make a plan
There are plenty of fitness apps out there that you might find helpful for staying on track. However, a running plan can be as simple as marking 3 days a week on your calendar as running days. Also, make sure your plan is realistic. If you’ve hardly run before, jumping into daily 60 minute workouts probably isn’t doable.
Make intervals your friend
Alternating between running and walking can be a great way to build endurance. Your running bursts can be anywhere from 30 seconds to several minutes depending on your fitness level. Check out this blog post to learn more about interval training.
Get the right gear
Running gear doesn’t have to be fancy, but if you’re serious about becoming a distance runner, you’ll need gear that performs well. The most important aspect to consider when looking for running gear is comfort. Styles and brand names might catch your eye, but feeling good at the end of your run is what matters most.
Fuel your body
It’s important to make sure you’re eating enough. You should already be having at least three meals a day, but adding in an intense workout could mean eating up to five times a day. It’s a good idea to have a pre-workout snack about an hour before working out, and a post-workout snack within 15 minutes of finishing your workout. Also, be sure to stay hydrated!
Make sure you warm, cool down, and pay attention to what your body needs. Dynamic stretching, more active movements like squats and lunges, is a great way to warm up before a run. Stretching after your workout is a good idea as well. Running isn’t necessarily easy on the body, so it’s important to pay attention to what you need. If your muscles are exhausted, it’s okay to take a recovery day. While running isn’t easy, it shouldn’t cause physical pain; if something doesn’t feel right, get it checked out before it becomes a bigger problem.
Working out should be enjoyable! Recruit a friend to run with or find a podcast that really puts you in your zone. Running is also a great way to explore new places, so mix up your route as often as you can.
Once you get comfortable running, it’s something you can do virtually anywhere. We hope these tips encourage you to give running a try!