Running is not a science (although some say it can be)and pretty much anyone can do it, but if you want to get the best results out of your workout and not strain yourself you will need some beginner running tips so that you will avoid the some of the common mistakes people make while exercising. We’ve talked to Josephine Moran, a trainer and a former athlete and she gave us the following 10 running tips to help you run better and get the results you need out of your workout. Let’s take a look at what she had to say.
10. Get the Right Running Shoes
This is extremely important, you should invest in your shoes and not be stingy when out shopping. A good pair of running shoes shouldn’t cost less than $60 – honest to God! If you get the cheap ones, you’ll most likely hurt your feet and experience pain and discomfort and you won’t even think it’s the shoes. Adidas makes really great running shoes. Another thing: they should be replaced every 400 miles!
9. Enjoy It!
You don’t HAVE TO run, if you don’t like it. It’s not for everybody and that’s OK. You can do other type of cardiovascular exercise such as spinning if you don’t enjoy running, because it really comes down to that: enjoying your workout. If you enjoy it, then you will get better at it in time, if you don’t then don’t waste your time and energy on it.
8. Measure Your Pulse
The resting heart rate will tell you the shape you’re in. The lower the heart rate, the better, because this means that your heart doesn’t have to work hard just to pump the blood. For example an athlete’s resting heart rate is around 55 beats per minute and an alcoholic smokers’ resting heart rate is around 100. Think about that and what that means for your heart. For best results, measure your resting heart rate in the morning, 10 minutes after you’ve woken up, before doing any strenuous activities or showering. If it’s higher than 75 then you should consult your physician before starting to run, they will want to talk to you about the process in depth.
7. Relax Your Body
When running, don’t clench your fists, shoulders or neck, simply let them hang loose. It may be a bit difficult at first, because you’ll be paying attention to your running technique, but try to relax as much as possible. At least remember to shake your arms and hands from time to time and move your neck and head to make sure you’re not gripping. If you relax your body, you’ll be able to run better and have less muscle pain the next day.
6. Stay Motivated
You should find something that motivates you to keep running, so that you don’t give it up. Until you get into a nice routine you’ll need that motivation, because once you do, your body will be craving the exercise and you won’t find yourself thinking about motivation when it does. But if you’re just starting out, set yourself a goal, such as a race or a charity run. If you can’t run 5 kilometers, then set that as your goal!
5. Warm Up and Cool Down
‘Not warming up is such a common mistake among rookies, that it is the leading cause of muscle strain’ says Josephine Moran, a trainer. People don’t think it’s that important! But it is paramount. If you warm up before starting to run you’ll not only avoid injuries, but also will be able to run for longer periods of time, because all your muscles and joints will be all warmed up and ready to go the distance. Walk for 5-10 minutes before running and stretch your arms and legs. After you’ve finished running, don’t just stop! Walk some more until you feel your breath is steady.
You’ve heard this and you’ll keep hearing it because it’s very important to stay hydrated during your run and it is one of the best beginner running tips. Water is your body’s main fuel (that and food) – you sweat so much when you run, getting rid of toxins, but also electrolytes that are good for your body. Without water you simply can’t run and you shouldn’t run. Get a bottle that you can comfortably hold in your hands.
3. Learn Proper Body Form
There is such a thing as a proper body form when running. If you look at athletes running, they all run pretty much the same, but if you look at regular people, they all seem to have their own styles. When you run you should try to keep your hands at waist level with your elbows at your sides, gently brushing your hips. Do not clench your fists, your arms will get tired. Don’t hunch, stand tall and try to look forward and not down at your feet.
2. Don’t Overdo It
If you’ve just started running and you like it, chances are you’re pretty enthusiastic about it and you want to do as much of it as possible, but you shouldn’t! Do not overdo it, build up slowly, so you can save yourself the muscle pain and exhaustion. Increase your mileage by around 10% each week and make sure you’re not feeling too tired. Also, it is very important that you take rest days – your muscles will need that time to relax, grow and get stronger.
1. Push Yourself Within Reason
What does this actually mean? Do you push or pace yourself? Which one is it? Well, our expert Josephine says that a combination of both is really the key. When running you’ll feel there’s a threshold – you’ll feel tired and you’ll want to stop, but if you run past it, you’ll find it’s much easier to continue that expected. That runner’s rush that gets a hold of you once you’ve gone past that threshold is why running is so addictive. At first you may not be able to go past it, take it easy. Push yourself but also listen to your body and if it’s telling you that it wants to stop, then do so.
Will you follow any of these beginner running tips? Do you have any tips that you’d like to share with us? Then leave us a line in the comment section below because we love hearing from our readers!