There are two common mistakes that are made by people who are new to running. These mistakes can set your progress back quite a bit and so it is important to know what they are so you can avoid them. More details about these mistakes can be found below.
You may have a goal in mind when you start running that you will want to achieve as soon as possible. In the first few weeks you could go out running everyday in order to reach this goal.
However, in the weeks that follow you may find that family commitments prevent you from going out everyday or that you have to put in some extra hours at work. Before you know it you can have gone from running everyday to going a whole week without running at all.
This type of inconsistency can really hamper your progress as you will find yourself constantly starting from scratch again.
A better approach is to start off slowly so that you can build up a running routine that you will be able to stick to. Even if you can only start by doing a few miles twice a week, as long as you do it every week then you will be making progress.
You could set yourself a target of adding a mile or so to your course as every week goes by. If you do this consistently then in just a few months you will be running longer distances than you may have thought possible.
Better than this, because you have built up to this level gradually it will now be easy to fit into your schedule so you do not have to worry about ever becoming inconsistent with your running again.
Getting A Running Injury
There are times when you may pick up an injury through no fault of your own and there is nothing you can really do to prevent this. However, there is action you can take to make the chance of getting injured much lower. This action comes in the form of strength exercises.
Strength training will help your body to be able to cope with the additional pressures that are being put on it when you are running. You can compare it with running a car, if you just keep driving it without doing any maintenance then sooner or later it is going to break down.
There are certain types of injury that can stop you running for weeks and months at a time and so it is really important that you incorporate some strength training into your running routine.
You should ideally spend thirty minutes on this training at least twice a week, preferably on days that you are not running. You do not need any specialist equipment to do these exercises and they can be done at home.
The routine that you choose should include exercises such as squats, lunges and push-ups. These will improve the strength in your hips and glutes which keep the whole leg more stable and less prone to injury.
Now you know the two most common mistakes to avoid when you start running you may think that you are ready to get going. However, it is not quite as easy as that and there are some things that can make the whole process much easier.
The following list will make sure you have all the equipment and knowledge that you need to get started on your quest to become a serious runner.
Make Sure You Have The Right Gear
One of the main things to bear in mind when you are choosing the gear to get you started is that a lot of it is down to personal preference. What works well for someone else may not work that well for you.
There may be a bit of trial and error involved in finding exactly the right gear for you but there are two basic things that you are going to need for the very first time that you run, a good pair of running shoes and a flip belt.
The type of shoe that will work best for you largely depends on the shape of your foot. If you are unsure about the type of shoe that you need then it is always a good idea to buy the shoe from a sports store rather than online. The staff in these stores will be able to assess your needs and help you find the type of shoe that is going to suit you and your running style.
Two things that you should be looking for in particular is that you are able to wiggle your toes with the shoe on and that is should feel snug but not too tight.
You may not take a lot of personal possessions out with you while you are running, but as a minimum you will probably have your keys and your phone so that you can listen to your music.
Some people use armbands but these often do not come with a pocket for your keys and workout clothes themselves also do not often have pockets.
A flip belt is a great alternative because it comes with several pockets so you will have enough space to fit in everything that you want to carry. The belt fits snugly around your waist and will not move around while you are running.
Learn What To Eat Before A Run
What you should eat before a run is dependent on the time of day that you are running. If you want to run before having anything to eat, then this will need to be done as soon as you wake up.
You may find that you can’t run for long as you may start to feel light headed and nauseous. This is your body’s way of telling you that you need to have something to eat so is not something that should be ignored.
Many people find that after they have completed a fasted run in the morning that they have a lot more energy in the morning compared to days where they don’t run.
If you are not able to run first thing in the morning or you do not feel that a fasted run is for you then you should have a light snack about thirty minutes before you intend to run. This should be something that is high in carbohydrates and a piece of fruit such as an apple or banana is a great choice.
This will provide you with all the energy you need to complete your run. If you were to have a large meal before you ran you would more than likely find that you feel sluggish and you may also start to feel sick.
Make Use Of Apps For Beginners
There are plenty of apps out there that have been designed for people who are new to running. In fact, there is so much choice that you may feel overwhelmed when trying to find one that is going to work for you.
One thing to bear in mind is that a lot of these apps are free and so you have nothing to lose by trying out a few until you find the one that is right for you. Before you download an app, then you should be able to read the reviews so you can see what experience other users have had with it.
One of the most popular apps that is available is Runtastic. This app gives all the information that you would want to know about your run such as the distance you have covered, the calories that you have burned and the pace of your run. An interesting feature of this app is that it will speak these stats as you are running which can help keep you motivated.
If you have never done any running before then you may find that Couch to 5K is a good choice for you. It will take you from doing nothing in terms of running to being able to complete a 5K run in just a matter of weeks.
You can follow the app at your own pace and it is really good for helping you figure out a routine for fitting your running around your other commitments as you start off by doing short runs a few times a week. As you progress through the app then you will be able to run more frequently and for longer distances.
If you are looking for something a little different then Zombies, Run! is something that can bring a bit of fun to your running. As you run you will listen to an interactive podcast with the premise that the world is in the middle of a zombie apocalypse.
You are from a small town that needs to be protected from the zombies with the help of virtual items that you have to collect as you run. It is a good motivational tool as it encourages you to keep running in order to progress in the game in situations where you might otherwise not feel like running at all.
Learn To Pace Yourself
When you first start running, you may not have any idea of which pace you should run at in order to be able to run comfortably over the distance that you want.
You may start off running at a pace that you think is alright only to find a few minutes later that your heart is racing and you are finding it hard to catch your breath.
This can make you feel unmotivated as you may be thinking that you will never be able to run very far without experiencing these sensations. However, this does not mean that you have to give up altogether, it just means that you have to slow down.
Pay attention to your breathing as you run and if you feel as if you are starting to struggle then you may need to slow down just a little.
Focusing on your breathing can help you increase your pace in the long run because you can learn to keep breathing properly so that you can run faster and for longer periods.
You may not have given much thought to the way that you breathe before but most people will breathe in and out through the nose as this is what our bodies are hardwired to do. When the tongue is resting it will be lightly pressed against the roof of the mouth and this helps facilitate breathing through the nose.
Breathing through the nose is the what you will be doing when you first start your run and this is something that you should try to maintain for as long a possible.
When it does become too challenging then you need to open your mouth slightly. This will move your tongue into a different position and allow you to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. When this becomes too difficult then you can switch again to breathing in and out through your mouth.
Knowing that you can switch between the different ways of breathing can give you confidence in your ability to begin to run at a faster pace. Remember that it is in no way a failure if you feel you need to slow down slightly as this can help you achieve the distance that you want to run.
Learn To Motivate Yourself
One of the biggest barriers to achieving your running goals is keeping going when you feel as if you really can’t do anymore. Your body may be trying to tell you that you can’t keep going but it is just a case of mind over matter.
When you feel as if you want to stop look for a landmark nearby and tell yourself that you will just run as far as that. When you reach this landmark repeat the process and keep repeating it until either you have finished your run or you know that you can’t physically do anymore.
There will be days when you can complete your run quite easily and other days when it will be more of a struggle. If you have had a bad run it may feel as if you are not making any progress but this is not true.
Think about how far you have come since you started and even if you have not managed to complete the run on this occasion you should still be proud of yourself for trying. When you first started running you may have had a goal in mind such as competing in a particular event or trying to lose some weight.
Whenever you are feeling low tell yourself that you are a lot closer to achieving this goal now then you would have ever been sitting on the couch at home.