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Top 10 Tips for Running Beginners

Brought to you by: Icamm Pilin Stay Young and Healthy

Starting a new running program can be both exciting and scary! It can also a be a challenge, given that most of us just want to jump straight in and run a marathon without spending months and months training. But train we must - and here are ! tips for running beginners to help ma"e sure you go about things the right way.

1 Start Slo!ly

#es it$s true% you can$t jump right in and run for &! minutes straight from day ! If your body is not used to running or exercise in general then you definitely need to start slowly. 'irst things first, if you haven$t exercised for a while, are overweight or are recovering from an injury, ma"e sure to spea" to your doctor before you start running. (nd, if even wal"ing fast gets you out of breath, you might want to spend a wee" or so just wal"ing a little each day to ease yourself in. )ven when you do start running you$re probably only going to be able to do it for around *! seconds at a time to begin with. )ven if you feel li"e you can run longer, stic" to -minute intervals of running and wal"ing to help avoid injury. (s time goes on you can gradually increase your running intervals and you$ll be surprised at how +uic"ly you improve.

" #a$e % Plan

If you$ve tried and failed to stic" to a fitness regimen before then it may be time for a solid plan. If you ma"e a note in your diary of what days and what times you$re going to go for a run then you$re much more li"ely to actually stic" to it! ,ry to plan for at least twice a wee", preferably three times, with a day off in between each run. ,his means that you$ll be exercising enough to see improvements, but you$ll also give your body time to prepare in between each running session. If you don$t want to have to do the planning yourself then than"fully there are a number of running schedules already available out there. -.ouch to /0- is a great example of a free program that$ll tell you when to wal" and run and how to build this up over a period of 1 wee"s. By the end of those 1 wee"s you$ll be able to run /0!

& 'et Proper Shoes

#ou really don$t need to buy much to get started with running, but there$s one thing that you do need to invest in and that$s a good pair of running shoes! #ou see, running is a very high impact activity. )very time you land on the ground, your whole body weight is being thrown onto that leg. ,hat affects your an"les, your shins, your "nees... everything! ,his is why it$s crucial to purchase a pair of shoes

that can literally help to cushion that blow. #ou should also buy a new pair for every &!! miles you run. 2ow do you "now which shoes to buy3 ,he easiest way is to head to your nearest running shop. ,hey should be able to do a gait analysis basically watching you on a treadmill to understand the natural motion of your feet when you land. 4hen they "now that, they will be able to recommend shoes to match that and help reduce the chance of any injury.

( )arm *p

)very time you go for a run you need to ta"e the time to warm your body up. ,his will loosen up the muscles, gradually boost your heart rate and improve your breathing ready for the wor"out to come. 4arming up simply means doing something less vigorous before moving onto the normal run. ( good five-minute wal" is pretty sufficient to get you going.

+ Ta$e Time ,ff

It$s very tempting to go out for a run every day when you$re just getting started - surely that$ll get you closer to your goal! 5nfortunately, however, that$s not the case. #ou are putting your body through a lot of stress, and you need to give it time to adapt. ,his means ta"ing at least one day off in between runs so that your body can repair itself and get used to running. If you get injured then it$s more important to ta"e time off. It$s crucial that you listen to your body. 6uscle aches are normal 7and can be reduced by stretching after each run8, but joint pains cannot be ignored. ( large percentage of runners will get injured at some point, so don$t try to fight it. If your "nee is hurting every time you run then it$s better to simply ta"e a couple of wee"s off now than to ris" ma"ing the injury worse.

- Stretch
9ust as you should never forget to warm up for a run, you should also always remember to stretch when you finish a run. :ever stretch before your run, as stretching cold muscles can lead to injuries. (fter a run, wal" for a few minutes to cool down and then do some stretches after that. #ou should hold each stretch for /-&! seconds, wor"ing your way through all of the muscles used in your run. If you$re not sure how to do a particular stretch, there are a number of videos covering the subject online.

. /on0t Run Too 1ast

4hen you do start running, it$s easy just to go as fast as possible and get out of breath. 2owever, this is not the way to running success. ,he "ey is not to get so out of breath that you can$t continue, it$s to go a little slower than you thin" you can just so that you can pace yourself and "eep running for the entire wor"out time. Similarly, don$t try to lean forward or stretch your legs too much. ,his isn$t the best way to run faster. Smaller strides are a lot better for your posture and to reduce the chances of injury.

2 Set Yourself % 'oal

:o matter what fitness level you$re at, goals are a huge part of the success e+uation. #ou need to ma"e goals that are both realistic and that will push you to go beyond your limits. (iming to run /0 or for &! minutes straight is a good example for someone who is starting off with no prior running experience. #ou could even boo" yourself in for a race in a few months time! 4hen you have a goal, you have something to "eep you going even when you$re having a bad running day 7which you will at some point8. It also gives you an end point from which you can brea" it down into smaller goals for every wee" until you reach that point. ;f course, when you set yourself a goal, it$s important to trac" your

progress. (nd, when you meet that goal, ta"e some time out to celebrate that goal before then going and setting yourself an even bigger goal!

3 Ta$e 4are of Your Body

It can be very tempting to push yourself when you$re just beginning. #ou might feel joint twinges and thin" that you should ignore it, since you$re only running for one minute at a time. 2owever, remember that this is all new to your body - it ma"es sense that you could get injured at some point. :ote that aching muscles are perfectly normal. ,here is a difference between a muscle ache and a pain that you need to ta"e real note of. If you are injured, you$ll need to ta"e time out of running. If the injury comes and goes then be very careful not to push yourself beyond your limits. #ou may find, for example, that you can run for around <! minutes before the pain "ic"s in. In which case, don$t push it! (nd be sure to see a doctor to get an official opinion. #ou can still exercise when you$re injured, just in ways that don$t aggravate your injury. Swimming is a good option as it reduces the impact on all of your joints.

10 Trac$ Your Progress

)ven if you have a goal and you have a vague idea that you$re moving towards that goal wee" on wee", it$s still important to trac" your progress. Studies show that people are far more li"ely to reach their

goals when they ma"e note of how they$re improving. Seeing your improvements in blac" and white can motivate you li"e nothing else! :ote that this does :;, mean obsessively weighing yourself. Instead, it means noting how long you run for each time, using apps to trac" your speed and distance, and even "eeping a journal of how fit you feel each time. #ou could ta"e a photo of yourself before you start running and then ta"e new photos every month to see how your body is changing 7because you might not necessarily lose much weight for a while even if you$re getting more toned8. 9oining a forum and discussion your triumphs and struggles with others who understand is also a great way to stay motivated.