Beginning To Run? Check These 5 Important Running Tips First

running tips

Running and exercise seems to go hand in hand. Even moderate amounts of exercise (5-10 minutes a day) can stave off future poor health. Running- and its offloading mirror: swimming, can have a positive effect upon your body. Walking also has the same effect- not a casual stroll but a good walk. They:

  • reduces stress
  • allows insulin to be more effective (insulin gets used up most in the muscles
  • reduces bad build up of food byproducts
  • reduces blood pressure
  • increases heart strength
  • helps maintain strong bones
  • increases the feeling of happiness

Unfortunately a lot of patients just go straight into exercise. So for running you get a lot of stress injuries, tiredness, rubbing, cuts, blisters and a whole lot more. As per usual check with your doctor before doing any sports or increased activity- adding electrolyte drinks might cause medication to act up, increased exercise might put additional pressure upon your heart. So check it out first.

So here are the 5 ways to limits those effects and make running, as well as walking, fun.

1. Use The Right Tools

running shoes

The right shoes will keep you free from injury and the correct gear will ensure your comfort so that you can enjoy your runs. While both are a fair investment, it’s really the only cost towards your new fitness goal. Remember that after around 700km running shoes start to reduce in effectiveness.

When buying your shoes, don’t be afraid to ask for assistance because this will ensure that you get the right:

  • fit,
  • flexibility,
  • durability and
  • support you need to enhance your performance.

Avoid cotton clothing and opt for synthetic fibers such as CoolMax or DriFit that keep moisture away from your skin and prevent chafing. For women, a good, supportive sports bra is strongly recommended.

Apart from your shoes and clothes, hydration is the most important tool for any runner. When you exercise, your muscles get hot, and they disperse this heat through sweat. It is of paramount importance that you replace the lost fluid when you are running, otherwise you run the risk of adding additional pressure on your cardiovascular system.

How much water should you drink when running? Because we are all different, a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work. Consider the temperature and climate, as well as your reaction to exercise and establish a hydration plan that responds to your needs. Remember though that adding just water wont build your electrolytes.

2. Don't Just Go For It

running and relaxation

The biggest mistake beginners make is to go full steam ahead by running as fast as they can and for as long as they can, right out of the proverbial starting blocks.

Like most things, starting off slowly will help to build up resistance and will help to get your body used to the new strains of running.

Warm up with some basic stretches, and then start by adding one minute of running for every four minutes of walking. This will help your body to make small adaptations that strengthen your feet, hips and knees.

When you feel confident, gradually increase your running time until eventually you are running for twice the amount of time as you are walking. By easing into it, you will avoid over exerting yourself, which could lead to injuries.

Some people start with a running group and then when they feel confident they move out on their own.

If you feel pain, dont run through it, stop. Find out what is the pain and get it checked. Pain is a good indicator from your body that something happened that it doesn't like and it is warning you about it.

3. A Running Plan?

running plan

Set goals but make them realistic and achievable. Don't say "I want to lose 30 pounds" because if you dont do it you will beat yourself up and lose confidence. Also fat reduces and muscle increases so you will find eventually your weight drop won't be that drastic.

Set a goal like:

"I want to run for 20 minutes in 2 months time"

In 2 months a 20 minute run is very achievable. The best and effective ways to keep a goal?

  • write them down
  • break them down to mini goals- so, run for an extra 5 minutes per week
  • go with a friend or group
  • if you dont achieve your goal, dont beat yourself up, figure out why and then recreate a plan to achieve it
  • reward yourself when you have achieved your goal

4. Listen To Your Body

running and listening

If you have never run before, it can be a shock to the system. So, although you may feel accomplished about your first run and want to keep the momentum going, you need to give your body a day to rest. 

Your body needs time to adapt to the new demands you’re making of it, and it needs to prepare the bones and muscles for the next run. Incorporating rest days into your program will help to build endurance and maintain overall motivation. Also, learn to differentiate between an ache that’s part of the process, or a pain that’s telling you to stop.

If you’re loving your new-found fitness feeling, rest days don’t have to be spent on the couch. Join a gentle yoga class or go for a swim, or simply do some light stretches at home to massage those tired muscles.

5. Find Your Own Running Style

own running style

Try your best not to copy others. Some people run weird, some run "fast" and other run depending upon the latest fad.

Learn from people but eventually you will find a style that you like, that you find comfortable with and that you feel happy about. It is very unnerving doing something that makes you feel odd and uncomfortable.

I have seen people run just faster than a quick walk through a park and are having a great time. Others I have seen blast past trying to break the land speed record.

The cool thing is you are trying and thinking about exercise which can only be a good thing your your health now and the future.

The text here is adapted from the "5 tips to start running: take it easy". The original source can be found here at longevitylive.com

More info about running shoes and orthotics can be found here.

The medical information on the ldfootcare.com web site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

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About Dominic Hough

Hi. I'm Dominic. I treat patients every day at a local clinic. I am a trained Chiropodist and I care about prevention. I designed the website to help readers understand treat and even prevent issues from happening to their feet.