HOW DO I START RUNNING? WHERE DO I EVEN BEGIN? WHAT SHOULD BE MY RUNNING GOALS?
These are the most common questions I get from athletes about running. I get them from all types of athlete from beginners to seasoned athletes who want to start incorporating running in their routine. So let's talk about it!
RUNNING IS SO SIMPLE YET SO COMPLEX
Because to be honest "running" is a broad term. Running can refer to sprinting, jogging, marathon training, 5k training, being able to run around your block, having the ability to circuit train and run a lap without stopping. SO MANY THINGS! I train a bunch of athletes who all come to me saying, "Coach, I want to get better at running." I have a high school football athlete who said that, I have a high school cross country athlete who said that, I have a 36 year old athlete who said that. Some are beginners some are seasoned athletes, but they all have one thing in common. They're new to running or at least their idea of running. That being said, the first step to getting into running is defining your reason for wanting to get into running. This will determine how you should go about starting.
Ask yourself things like, why do I want to start running? What do I want to accomplish with running? How will running enhance my athletic ability? If your answer is, "well I hate running but I want to lose weight." You can do that without running at all. If you want to start running to become a better sprinter, you probably don't need to be looking for a 5k training program.
If your answer is, "I'd like to have better endurance on the soccer field" OR "I want to conquer my first 5k" you're going to be looking at "beginner running" in a totally different way. Once you define YOUR WHY for wanting to run then you can answer the question, where do I begin with running?
HOW TO BEGIN RUNNING
Now that you have defined your why for wanting to run the best advice I can give is to start slow. Overdoing it as a new runner, even a seasoned-athlete-new-runner, is very easy to do and can lead to injuries that will set you back before you even get started. For this article's purpose let's focus on the Brand New Runner (Non-Seasoned Athlete). I'll write another article later to talk about that later.
Any well written training program will begin with a base building period of about 2-4 weeks. If you're BRAND SPANKING NEW to running, start by trying to jog/walk 1 mile a couple times a week. Time yourself and record how long your jogging intervals were and how many times you stopped to walk. Doing this will help to give you an idea of how your training is going. After 2-4 weeks of doing a mile start to increase your mileage.
DON'T PUSH IT IF YOU'RE NOT READY! You know that old saying, NO PAIN NO GAIN? Yea, I hate it. It's one thing to challenge yourself when you're exercising, but if something is painful it's a good sign you need to back off. Especially, as a new runner. Running isn't supposed to hurt your joints and it doesn't have to.
HOW TO AVOID INJURY WHEN BEGINNING TO RUN
I am a stickler on warming up. It takes the body 30 minutes to be fully warm and the number 1 reason people get injured from exercise is because they haven't properly warmed up for what their workout demands. For a runner, it's extremely important to focus on the hips, ankles and calves when warming up. Take a look at this general running warm up. This is the warm up I do when I don't have a lot of time:
It's also very important to have a strength training program to go along with your new found love of running. If you're not strengthening the muscles and joints that you're working while running you will greatly increase your chances of getting injured and you'll hinder your ability to improve your endurance.
HAVING A SOLID TRAINING PROGRAM IS THE BEST WAY TO START RUNNING.
A training program is like a road map, without one it's easy to get lost or turned around. When looking for a running training program try to find one that is all inclusive and gives you more than just running workouts. You want one that has solid strength training too. This will give you the best results and provide you with everything you need to make sure you're starting with a good base and avoiding injury.
Which brings me to my last point... If you've read this far that means you're probably looking for just that. A training program that will have everything you need to give you confidence that you're doing it the right way to avoid injury. I'm super happy to tell you that I created just that! A 12 week beginners training program!
NEWBIE TO 5K PRO 12 WEEK TRAINING PROGRAM
This program has everything you need to train for your first 5k or just prepare you to be a seasoned runner. Warm up videos, running and strength days, form drills and tips throughout the program for tracking progress and how to reuse it again and again! This program is specifically designed for the novice runner to get you off on the right foot and keep you injury free!
No other beginner runner program gives you all of this! CLICK HERE to purchase now!
I HOPE YOU FOUND THIS USEFUL!
Thanks for reading! I hope you got some good take aways for enhancing your skills. Check out other running related articles on the Train Like An Athlete Blog! or leave me your email and get articles delivered right to your mailbox!