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How to Start Running

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Sooner or later, many people start thinking about starting to run. If this is your “first date”, and you don’t plan to quit this in two weeks (or a month – one of Greatpaper authors tested that on his own), it is better to come prepared. And here is a possibility – a short guide for those who want to start running. Even if you tried already, it’s nothing bad if you refresh some things in your mind.

There usually are three main reasons for people to quit running. The first one is physical: too hard. Reason number two is psychological: difficult. The third one is combined, physically-psychological: too hard and too difficult. The third case is when you run and everything hurts: legs, right side of the body, arms, and literally everything. Head starts thinking something like: “Hey, buddy, why won’t you quit this useless running? Go and do something socially useful. You're a part of society, you know?”

And that is when the main thing is to keep going. Because of that, one should start running carefully, keeping up with all the rules. That rules not only help you keep your physical condition well, but help you be psychologically prepared, too.

Walk a Lot. Really a Lot

How it often happens.

You put on your sports uniform and shoes, and then… come outside, start at a high speed, and get done very fast as a result. 500 yards and you can’t breathe, your liver hurts badly and legs can’t move.

How it should happen.

Every human is able to become a runner. We all are literally born to run. All we need to do is to remember how to do it right. Experienced coaches often advice to start slowly and get faster moderately. The best way to start is walking! Just walk a lot. If you can’t do that on week days because of your job, then do it at least on weekends.

Then you can start to run at a really SLOW tempo, changing running and walking activities. Your tempo should allow you to talk during the whole run. Once you feel you lack air, slow tempo down, or start walking. Train three times a week. Then you’ll be able to increase duration four-five times more.

10-week plan for running and walking

  1. 2 minutes to run, 4 minutes to walk
  2. 3 minutes to run, 3 minutes to walk
  3. 4 minutes to run, 2 minutes to walk
  4. 5 minutes to run, 3 minutes to walk
  5. 7 minutes to run, 3 minutes to walk
  6. 8 minutes to run, 2 minutes to walk
  7. 9 minutes to run, 1 minute to walk
  8. 13 minutes to run, 2 minutes to walk
  9. 14 minutes to run, 1 minute to walk
  10. Run only

Start every run from 5-minute walking. Same to finish your daily training. If you feel tired before the exercise finishes, then your tempo was too high, or you’ve chosen too intensive part of training, or you run for too long. Revise your plan and choose something easier. And don’t sweat it, even if you move slightly faster than just walking speed, you are already a runner.

Don’t Forget to Warm Up

Good warm-up makes your training easier. Plus, you’ll be able to run longer, and to deny the risk of traumas to its minimum.

Additionally, warm-up is not only the way to activate your muscles and increase blood pressure. It is to launch the whole neuro-muscular system which makes our body prepared to the upcoming run. The organism starts producing fat-burning enzymes, and they help our aerobic system to work more effectively. Joint fluid becomes warmer. That’s useful for all the joints.

After your training is finished, cooldown time comes. As you already understood, cooldown is the period to cool the body, bringing it back to a standard working mode. Sudden stop influences your heart and blood system negatively. It is much better to walk during few minutes after the run ends, and not to fall down at once. If talking about any bracing exercises and the lack of time, it’s okay if you brace at home before going to bed.

It’s sad, but lots of people completely ignore warmups and cooldowns. It is not only about newbies, but those who gave themselves a second chance after the failure, too. They often explain this with the lack of time, simply refusing to understand how important these exercises are for the training and health in general.

Change Running Surfaces

Many runners don’t even think about that. One can diverse running exercises not only by changing the tempo, but by surface change as well. Every surface has its own effect. The body gets used to a surface.

For example, first week you should run on a treadmill desk. Next one: go to the asphalt outside in your neighborhood. The third week: try running on dirt tracks in the park, and then on the sands of local beach.

Yet if there is a surface not worth running on, that is a concrete. Even asphalt is a bit springy. Concrete is absolutely solid and doesn’t amortize your feet while they hit the surface. That is a direct way to injure your legs. 

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