There are many perks of running or jogging as a sport. You may be doing it for weight loss, for its health benefits, or for joining races and marathons. It may even be for the adventure of it where you get to discover different routes, roads, and trails and do your "thing" on different terrains.
These are why running has become more popular. An uptick in interest in it was seen especially during the pandemic when gyms and group exercises, in general, were shut down.
What's even so appealing about jogging or running is that you don't need a lot of equipment to do it. At your own time, pace, and body time, you can go about with the sport and take it with you wherever you want. You can be far away from home and still jog without worrying about gyms or other workout classes.
Read also; How to Stay Safe and Visible When Running at Night
It has been said that going on a journey of a thousand miles needs you to begin with one step. That's Lao Tzu's saying paraphrased, but it holds true in both a metaphorical and literal sense. It applies to jogging or running because you have to start slow.
So how do you begin with your running exercise regime, exactly after lacing up your pair of running shoes?
If you are one of the aspiring health buffs and beginner runners, know this: Running as a sport is challenging and the journey takes time. It takes a lot of grit and perseverance to stick with it, but it's worth it "in the long run". Really!
The benefits of running are astounding. If you hold on, you can become the happier and healthier you or a race medal winner in no time. So it seems. When you take it one day, one step at a time, and immerse yourself in the activity, it becomes a tad easier to achieve your goals. So are you ready to set out on your running journey?
This article will guide you in commencing your running habit whatever your goals may be. The list below elucidates expert, no-nonsense running tips for beginners.
Running Tips For Beginners: What To Do To Begin Your Training Plan
#1 Look for safe jogging routes, especially those that are crowd and traffic-free
See to it that you find the most auspicious routes for jogging. They have to be safe as well as free from crowds and traffic. Above all, they must be viable for running regardless of weather conditions.
If the road you're running on does not have a footpath, go contrary to the traffic. Swap to the other side if a blind bend is ahead, and then safely cross again.
In case you're starting your jogging training plan on a treadmill, go on a slower pace. Your speed should be that of normal running. For handy injury prevention advice, don't grip the handrails.
#2 Run at the most suitable time for you so that you will be in proper running form
Being in the proper running form varies from one runner to the other. For some, it may be conducive to jog first thing in the morning. If this is not possible, look for a regular slot in the day when you can wear your favorite pair of running shoes and gear. What matters is that you do not get distracted or are inclined to make excuses.
#3 Start your jogging at a slow and consistent pace
The key to effective running is to keep in mind that you should finish strong. Beginner runners ought to keep it slow and steady at the start for warming up. Note that you should adjust your heart rate and energy levels first and avoid common running injuries.
#4 Run according to a pleasant and controlled pace
How do you know that you are in proper running form? Take note of your pacing. If you can sing while engaging in the activity, it means you're going too slow. If you're getting breathless and can feel onset muscle soreness, then you're too fast.
As a rule of thumb to gauge your fitness level, you should be able to hold a conversation while jogging. Manage your pacing when you are doing the activity to guarantee that you are an efficient runner who's exerting the right effort. Your beginner running program should gradually rev you up while avoiding injuries.
#5 Slow down when running on hills
Hills are tough to contend with no matter what your fitness and energy levels are. It's okay to slow down while traversing them. Going over a hill, even when you're an experienced runner needs you to expend effort consistently, and evenly.
Be mindful of your speed while ascending and descending. You must focus on effort, not speed. If you're huffing and puffing, go slow or take a break to foster your recovery times.
#6 Take walk breaks every now and then. They are essential, not cheating
A beginner or recreational runner should be keen on taking walk breaks. After continuous running, reduce your speed to hydrate and replenish your energies.
This wards off muscle fatigue and the quick depletion of your glycogen stores. Glycogen is your main energy source for running. Managing it enables you to run longer on overall than when you're doing non-stop running sessions.
#7 Build your overall fitness first. Mind the miles later
For starters, do not focus so much on the number of miles you are running. This is a major thought to consider when training for runners. What you should primarily care about is building your physical fitness and developing jogging as a habit.
Buckle down to elevating your heart rate so that you get the best health benefits of running. In the initial stages, work on your physique to be in the proper running form by inculcating the sport as a habit.
Do it regularly as a beginner, and proceed on to investing in gadgets to monitor your distance later on. You move on to this stage when you become an experienced runner.
#8 Manage your recovery times as a beginner
Is it necessary that you run seven days per week as a novice runner? Nope, it is not. When you're starting on your running journey, don't run every day. Don't be in a hurry to achieve your fitness goals because your body needs to adjust to your training. Give it time to recover by having rest days. The ideal jogging routine is 3 to 5 days a week.
#9 Anticipate having missed runs, and it's okay
Don't feel so bad about skipping a day of your training. It happens. However, you should get back on your feet and keep moving. At times you may feel demotivated, but keep on and continue from where you left off.
In your beginner running program, keep in mind that you are involved in a long-term project. You may have skipped a day, but there are hundreds more of days when you can run.
#10 Warm up and cool down when doing your runs
Do a bit of stretching before running. Some of them are high knee flexes and heel flicks, and you can add some side-step routines. These warm-up exercises prepare your body for the strenuous effort of running.
After your run, static moves will do for 45 to 60 seconds. Post-run cool-downs restore your muscle condition. They hasten your recovery while preventing injury.
#11 Invest in your gear, especially a good pair of running shoes and a headlamp
As a newbie, you'll do well with running with a standard pair of trainers. On your first few runs, this would suffice. When you finally decide to be a serious runner, it's worth it to buy a pair of specialist running shoes. This essential running gear will cushion your feet, consequently reducing the strain on your calf muscles. It provides ample support, too.
The right running gear makes your training comfortable, and at the same time fends off injury. Purchasing specialist running shoes from a specialist store requires that you take a gait analysis along with a knee and ankle alignment evaluation. You will be filmed on a treadmill to determine which type of shoes is best for you.
Another important device that you need to have with you is a headlamp. It'll keep you safe and comfy as you run, more so as it illuminates your path and makes you visible. A premium product, the NightBuddy LED Headlamp is ideal for this.
Conclusion: Enjoy Your Fitness Running Journey
When you get the hang of it, you'll realize that running, as an exercise is exhilarating. There's a true adventure to it as you discover and traverse new roads and trails. You're likely to get addicted to the "runner's high" as well which makes you feel good!
The Health Benefits Of Jogging/Running
It cuts both ways when you're a running enthusiast. If you're participating in a race, the prize is worth it. Or if you want to stay in shape or lose weight, you'll inculcate a positive outlook when doing so.
These are just a few of the benefits of running. But other than these, you'll get a hefty boost for your health and well-being. So what health benefits do you get from jogging or running?
- As a weight-bearing exercise, jogging helps to strengthen your bones.
- It is a workout that fortifies your muscles.
- It boosts your cardiovascular health and fitness.
- It is effective in burning calories.
- It is useful for weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight.
Inactive Lifestyle vs. Active Lifestyle
You must adhere to a regular physical fitness routine for an active lifestyle. It was found that being physically active improves your mental health, including your self-confidence. It helps you cope with aging while enhancing your quality of life.
Whereas if you live a sedentary lifestyle, you are predilected to develop coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. It increases your mortality rate. Many chronic diseases take place because of inactivity, and this leads to poor quality of life.
Fitness running is one of the best means of living an active lifestyle. It is effective and brings a host of advantages to your health and well-being.
How To Maintain Your Health and Safety When Running
- Nourish yourself with a healthy and balanced diet.
- Avoid eating or having a full stomach before you run.
- Don't jog when the weather is too hot. You shouldn't be out and running during the hottest time of the day in summer.
- Hydrate yourself- drink plenty of water- before, during, and after jogging.
- Bring your mobile phone with you.
- Be alert and aware while jogging, especially if you're wearing headphones. Don't turn on the volume too loud.
- When jogging outside and it's dark, wear reflective gear.
- Before running, inform someone close to you that you'll be out and what time you are returning.
- Avoid jogging in dangerous remote areas. Instead, do so in well-lit ones where there are people around.
- In case you get injured while running, stop your activity and call for medical help or advice.
- If you have asthma, steer clear of running by the roadside. Avoid aggravating your condition by inhaling vehicle exhaust fumes.
- Schedule your outdoor jog early in the morning or the evening and not during peak hours. Avoid the "rush hour" period when you're bound to breathe in pollution from passing vehicles.
- Wear SPF 50+ sunscreen to protect your exposed skin.
How Is Running Different From Jogging?
While you tend to have one mistaken as the other, there is actually a difference between jogging and running. Mainly, it's about intensity.
Running requires more effort than jogging. It is done faster and puts extra strain on your heart, lungs, and muscles. You burn more calories when you run than when you jog. You need to have better fitness for it.
Then again, both running and jogging are known as aerobic exercises. As a term, "aerobic" means "with oxygen". Aerobic physical activity thus combines oxygen and blood glucose or body fat to produce energy.
It is indeed rewarding to engage in a fitness running routine. Whatever your goals for doing so are- fitness, weight loss, companionship, and competition- it's worth your effort to go out and work for the best version of yourself.
When you get the clearance from your doctor, you can begin to enjoy the benefits of running, for all the adventure, fun, and wellness that it can give you.
Frequently Asked Questions
How should I breathe when I run?
Inhale and exhale using your mouth and your nose when running. This way, you'll experience steady breathing that engages your diaphragm for optimal oxygen intake.
Should I drink water before running?
Yes, and during and after running as well. It is just as important to drink water while you are exercising and for the rest of the day. Drink at least 2 cups of water before your training.
Can I run on an empty stomach?
Yes, but only if you'll do light to moderate running.