Starting out in running can often be a difficult & confusing process!
What do I do, how do I do it, where do I do it, how often do I need to do it? All
perfectly good & relevant questions when it comes to starting out in running!
So what I want to do here with the article & blog post is to hopefully help someone
new to this wonderful sport. Help them realize that they are good enough and that
with enough patience & persistence you can see progress. That progress being both
physical & mental!
Now let’s get into some practical tips you can implement today & going forward to
help you along the way!
Take it easy
I guess it is the typical tip to give from the outset really! Personally, I think
people get very hung up on numbers, stats & data. Yes, they have a place and
are important sometimes. But they are not the most vital part of the puzzle! In
your early days, I think you should be focusing on two main things & they are
(1) consistency and (2) enjoyment.
So taking your sessions easy, not going hard trying to hit paces or numbers or
distances in the early days is really important. Run to enjoy it and get the extra
daily movement in. Then, in time, add in your watch & trackers if you want to!
You might read online and in magazines etc that you should increase distances
by X amount per week. I like to take a bi-weekly approach where someone that
is just starting would increase their weekly mileage or load every two weeks.
This just gives the body a little bit more time to adapt to the training! You can
also run to time at the start which seems to work really well for people too!
A Run-Walk Combo Is Okay!
Rome wasn’t built in a day & neither were you! So my advice here would be to
look at adopting a walk-run strategy to help get the overall distance up and help
with the specific conditioning. It will take a while for your body to adapt to the
new training & the extra training stress so give it the time!
For example, a walk-run combo might look like this. Jog for as long as you can
whether it be 15 seconds or 50 seconds. Nice work!
Now walk until your heart rate comes down and do that 15 or 50
seconds again after jogging! And then recover again for as long as it takes! Repeat this
cycle 5,6 or even 10 times. Be proud of yourself & then come back in a day or
two and do it again!
The real key here is to keep showing up each day folks - not leave one hard
session to get you down & know that long term you will win & you will change
for the better!
Mix It Up!
I think it is important to train the body in more ways than one!
Now cross-training isn’t just for the elite - it is for the likes of me & you too!
So for example instead of starting out running 3/4 days per week & burning the
candle from both ends - why not run three days per week, walk one evening a
week & attend a fitness class on the 5th evening or morning in the week! This
way you are training consistently but also able to safely increase your overall
volume on a weekly basis!
It might also be a good idea to look at mixing up the surfaces you run on when
starting out! Change it up and add in some grass or park area running, maybe
the beach or the track too! Just to take some pressure off the joints too!
Breathing is something everyone asks me about when they start out on a
running plan. Running out of breath is completely common, your body is trying
to meet the increased demands of you, probably trying to run too fast. Relax.
Slow down. One of the biggest mistakes beginners make is to run too fast.
Concentrate on breathing from deep down in your belly, and if you have to, take
walking breaks. Build it up slowly.
At the start don’t make it overly “hard” or strenuous! People often fall into the no
pain no gain mentality, but when it comes to starting your running journey, this
is not good advice! Keep it easy at the start and run within yourself!
Written by Shane Finn