So maybe you want to lose weight or just get fit, and let me guess, you don’t fancy sweating it out on a running machine in a crowded gym. No, you prefer the fresh air and the serene surroundings of nature. Thing is, you hate running and always did as a kid, yet you know you need to start because it’s so flaming good for your health!
First up by a decent pair of all purpose running shoes. Don’t try running in your slippers, high heels or substandard plimsolls. The feet are delicate parts of the body and need to be taken care of, not to mention that running is so much easier with specially engineered running shoes. Running shoes are light, comfortable and designed to enhance the running experience. Whatever you do don’t buy track running shoes, opt for $40+ all purpose outdoor running shoes.
Next up is creating a schedule, because you and I know if you don’t do this you will never stick to the plan in your head. Plan for three runs a week to begin with and schedule them on a plan to stick on the fridge. Why the fridge? Because if you miss a session you will feel guilty every time you eat. You don’t need to run at the same time on each scheduled day, but having a routine will most certainly help you get used to running.
Map your route. If you don’t know your local area too well then get a map and pinpoint a potential route. Try to pick a circuit rather than having to double back on yourself. A physical map is also a great way to measure your progress as you start being able to run further with each session.
The clothes you wear for running should be as light as possible to aid your agility. Don’t make the mistake of wearing a ridiculously heavy tracksuit. Go for shorts, leggings or running pants. Wear a vest or a specially designed lycra running top. If you are a little on the larger side and embarrassed to wear tight clothing, then find a 100% thin cotton t-shirt to begin with. In the winter you can wear thermals underneath. It should be noted that some athlete’s deliberately wear layers to make themselves sweat. As a beginner this isn’t advisable because you may pass out from the heat.
Now, ease yourself in. Don’t go belting around the block like a lunatic. Start the first session by walking for 10 minutes, getting faster and faster until you naturally start to jog. For this first session just jog until you get too tired and then slow back down to a walk. Walk for 2 minutes and repeat the process.
With every session you will be able to run that little bit further, and you should be aiming to increase the distance by 10% each week. Always complete your circuit even if it is by walking, this practice will at least get you used to covering the distance.
Lastly and most importantly you will need to run with a water bottle in the initial stages. To do so without is dangerous because you may become dehydrated and feel light headed. Visit a sports store to buy a specialist strap on lightweight water bottle; alternatively run with one in your hand until you are confident you don’t need it.