Want to Become a Runner?
Do you want to get fit? Have more energy? Drop a dress size or just lose some pounds for the summer? Read on to find out how…
Want to Become a Runner?
Very few people see themselves as runners. It always starts as a great idea to get into shape fast and then gets put on the back burner after the first attempt. Here’s why you should go out and get running and the know how to do it.
Can I go for a run?
Before beginning any new exercise regime or routine, you should always seek the advice of your health professional or doctor. Generally, if you’re not heavily overweight or underweight and have no illnesses or injuries preventing you from taking part in sport… you can. Remember to stop any fitness regime immediately if you feel faint, dizzy or unwell.
What will I need?
You will need a pair of well fitted trainers, some shorts and a t-shirt. It’s that simple. That’s also why running is one of the most popular sports – it takes very little initial outlay to begin. When you get more experienced you’ll begin to wonder what the terms over-pronator and sweat wicking mean… but until then ignore all the know-it-all’s around you and go for whatever feels comfortable.
Remember the trainers are the most important thing, they want to be cushioned and supportive or your ankles will let you know. As for your running tights, shorts or t-shirt; just make sure they’re comfortable and won’t rub.
Should I do it on my own or rope a friend into it?
It depends on your will power. If you can get outside and go for a run without needing to be physically prodded out of the house, then going on your own is fine. If you need someone to drag you outside bodily for any sort of exercise, then find a supportive friend. If you have enough breath left on your circuit… you can even have a conversation!
What should I be looking to achieve if I’ve never run before?
Not a lot, so don’t panic! The beginning of any new physical activity is the hardest part by far. Your body isn’t used to working its lungs and heart so hard and it will let you know about it in no uncertain terms. Yes, you will get a red face, you will sweat and you will feel your lungs burning. This doesn’t last. A couple of weeks into your routine and you’ll already notice an improvement – each and every successive run will get gradually easier until you’re running around the block able without even breathing hard. No one starts off by just floating around the park running at warp speed. You have to be prepared to suffer a little bit at first. The first few weeks will see you with sore calves and stiff muscles, because they just aren’t used to being used in this way. So what’s the good news? The stiffness and soreness doesn’t last. Anyway, life is all about suffering and it will stand you in good stead when you have to run for the bus next time.
How should I breathe when running?
You’ll need to breathe through your mouth AND nose when running, because breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth simply won’t deliver the oxygen you need.
Why does it feel like my lungs/throat is burning?
Normally you breathe in air through your nose which warms and moistens the air before it reaches your lungs. When you exercise you are often breathing harder and faster and the air is going straight from your throat into your lungs which dries out the mucus lining, causing temporary inflammation and the ‘burning’ sensation you feel. This should subside within 10 – 15 minutes of running but if you are a beginner and not running for a long period of time, it will seem like this painful feeling goes on forever. A few weeks into your routine it will subside as your lungs grow stronger and your running periods become longer.
A sample running routing for a beginner:
Beginners for the most part are ‘woggers’ which means that they walk and then they jog. This is the first step to becoming a runner and you’re not expected to go out the door and run for five miles in the first week. Here’s a sample routine to get you started. It’s only a sample, some people will need to walk more and some people will find they can jog a bit more, just try your best!
Week 1: Walk for five minutes and then jog for two minutes. Repeat two more times if you can. Aim for at least two sessions in a week, preferably three. Make sure you have days off in between sessions to allow your body to recover.
Week 2: Walk for four minutes and then job for two minutes. Repeat two more times. Aim for three sessions this week.
Week 3: Walk for three minutes and then jog for three minutes. Repeat two more times. Aim for three sessions.
Week 4: Walk for two minutes and then jog for four minutes. Repeat two more times. Aim for three sessions if you can.
Week 5: Walk for two minutes and then jog for five minutes. Repeat two more times. Aim for four sessions.
Week 6: Walk for a minute and jog for 6 minutes. Repeat two more times. Aim for four sessions.
Week 7: Walk for a minute and jog for 8 minutes. Repeat two more times. Aim for four sessions.
Week 8: Walk for a minute and jog for 9 minutes. Repeat two more times. Aim for four sessions.
Week 9: Walk for four minutes to begin your session, jog for 20 minutes and then cool down with another four minute walk.
Week 10: Walk for three minutes to begin your session, jog for 25 minutes and cool down with a two minute walk.
CONGRATULATIONS!!! If you’ve made it to week 10 you can officially call yourself a runner and you’ll already have noticed a startling change in your body tone. You’ve probably have lost some weight, you’ll feel fitter and you’ll have more energy. The only question is where do you go from here? The New York Marathon perhaps? Anything is possible.