Have you decided to start running? Awesome! Running is one of the simplest ways to exercise. It is good for your general condition and for the capacity of your cardiovascular system. Additional advantages are that you do not need a gym subscription, and that you can do it whenever it suits you. If you’re just getting started with running, it’s a good idea to keep a few practical things in mind. It would be a shame if you didn’t go through with your sporting intention due to a beginner’s mistake that could easily have been prevented.
The beginning: walking
If you really start from ‘0’ and have no experience with running, you would do well to walk alone for the first few sessions. This allows your muscles to prepare for the final run. In addition, this is the first step towards developing a daily routine. Start the first week with about 20 minutes of walking every day, and build up to 30 minutes during these first days. After this first week you can start the real walking. Alternate two minutes of walking at a running pace with four minutes of walking. If you repeat this five times, you will be active for a total of 30 minutes, which is more than enough for a daily effort. Your heart rate will increase during this effort, which is a good workout for the body.
One pitfall for beginners that is easy to avoid is thinking in miles when extending training. Most beginners are not ready for that yet, because they first have to build up the running themselves. It is highly advisable to think in minutes instead of kilometers. This way you teach yourself to maintain the effort at least for a minimum time.
Another pitfall that beginners sometimes overlook is wanting to run too fast. You quickly get out of breath and your leg muscles are overloaded. Not ideal conditions for a pleasant walk, and it would be a shame if this discouraged you from continuing to run. To find out what the ideal pace is for you, you can take the so-called ‘talk test’. If you can just talk to your training partner while running, then you are maintaining a correct speed at that moment. If you can’t talk, it means you really need to slow down a bit.
To prevent injuries
The last thing you want is to get injured. To prevent this, there are a few more tips that will certainly help beginners. First of all, it is important to do a good warm-up or stretch before the sporting effort. This warms up your muscles and makes them less tense by stretching. This runs a lot more pleasantly, and also helps to prevent injuries or strains.
A second factor that influences the occurrence, or rather the prevention, of injuries is the surface on which you walk. It is always best to choose a softer surface, such as a nature park, a forest or a running track. However, do you have no choice but to walk on the road? Then remember to walk on asphalt roads as much as possible and always against the traffic. Finally, also make sure that you do not walk on roads that are higher in the middle and slope to the side. Walking on such a sloping road can cause very annoying injuries.