Running seems to be the go-to sport for those looking to improve their health and fitness. All you need is a pair of tennis shoes and the open road right? Well, perhaps it isn’t that easy after all. While running is an amazing form of exercise for any age and body type (not to mention it’s free!) starting from scratch can require a little more preparation than most realize. Without the proper foundation and support, many new runners quickly get disappointed and underwhelmed with their progress and find it difficult to stay motivated. If you do not experience that coveted “runner’s high” in the first week of your newly found hobby, don’t get discouraged! Running, just like any sport, is a process and if you put in the time and effort you too can cross that finish line. Here are our top tips for success for all those looking to get into the running game.
Pick a plan
Whether you are a first time runner or have had some experience, finding a running plan is always a great way to keep motivated and stay on track. A run/walk method like Couch to 5K helps beginners gradually ease into the sport and maintain a running schedule. Yes, we would all love to get out the door and start sprinting with ease, but taking it slow will pay off in the end. Walk/run intervals build up endurance and are one of the most effective methods for beginner runners.
Join a group
We highly encourage all beginner runners to join a running group or at least run with a buddy. Your motivation will increase dramatically and you’ll always have someone to hold you accountable to get up for that morning run. It’s always easier to stay committed when you have others counting on you. Ask your local running store for tips on where to find local groups and coaches in your area.
Find the right fit
The right gear can make all the difference. It’s important to have to right shoes, many first time runners make the mistake of wearing any old tennis shoes and then pay the price later. Take a trip to your local running store and get fitted and (if available) have your gait analyzed. This will ensure you have the right shoes for your feet. Once you have the proper footwear, invest in some technical fabric athletic wear. Avoid cotton clothing – it tends to collect sweat and weigh you down. A fabric like lycra or nylon will keep you comfortable throughout your run.
Pick the right music
The right running music is crucial. Whether you’re running solo or in a group, the right playlist can get you in the zone and push you further than you thought you could go. To have your tunes you have to have the right gear. The last thing you want during your run are pesky wires getting in your way. The BTS Sport headphones from 66 audio are wireless and fit snuggly so they won’t fall off no matter how hard you are running.
Set a race goal
Signing up for a race can be a major motivator to keep up the training. If just starting out, start with something achievable and give yourself about 6-8 weeks to get ready. Runner’s World Race Finder is a great way to find the right race for you.
Fuel your body
Hydrating is key. It’s very important to drink about 20 oz of water two hours before running. Chugging a bunch of water right before a run won’t do much good, you need to allow the water to pass through yours system before the run. During a run, drinking water is fine in small gulps when thristy. On runs lasting an hour or longer you will want to incorporate electrolytes into your water or switch to sports drinks.
Timing is everything when it comes to eating before a run. You will want to eat about 200 to 400 calories of complex carbs and a small portion of protein about 1.5 hours before your run. Any sooner and your stomach may not be too happy with you. On the other hand, running on a totally empty stomach can cause fatigue and sluggishness.
Listen to your body
If you are going from a mostly sedentary lifestyle to that of a runner, naturally you are going to experience some muscles aches and soreness in the beginning. Don’t let that deter you but do listen to your body. If you are experiencing anything more than regular workout related soreness, don’t run through the pain. Powering through the pain and doing too much too soon can result in shin splits and other injuries. If your body is telling you to take it easy, listen and rest for a few days until you feel ready to start back up.
Find your style
Don’t get caught up in running with the perfect technique and proper running form. Find what feels natural to you and makes the exercise enjoyable for you personally. While finding your own natural rhythm and technique, be sure to stay mindful and keep your back straight and relaxed and your shoulders down.
So now that you have all the tricks of the trade – the rest is up to you! Let us know how your running journey is going by tweeting us @66audio or tagging us at 66audio. If you are a first time runner, let us know what tips works best for you! And if you’re a seasoned runner, let us know what helped you most when you first got started!