How to Start Running and Living A Life–Expert Tips

Running is a sport that you can pause and resume at any point throughout your life, and it’s not dependent on other people – Jeannie Rice

The above quote is absolutely true, as running is basic to human nature andif you take a general fitness or any field sport, running is an essential part of it. Despite being basic to human nature, many of us still do not utilize our inherent potential. In addition, modern lifestyle also affects our running instincts. Therefore, how to start running and living an active life remains a question. Everyone has his or her reason for running; either to lose extra weight or be fit or become active or to get better timing and for some it’s a way of proving their self-worth. More so we as a human are born to run.

So if you happen to start running – there are a few basic steps you need to follow:

Beginning: As a runner who has just begun, you need to focus on getting used to being on your feet for a longer period of time. You need to start with slow walks for 5 to 10 minutes and gradually increase your timing over 2-3 weeks to 20-30 minutes. Observe the changes in your body. Once you are used to being on your feet, you can start with 3:2:1 ration of Walk:Jog:Run – 3 minutes of walk, 2 minutes of Jog and 1 minute of run. Over a period of time you need to reverse this order to 1:2:3 Walk:Jog:Run – 1 minute of walk, 2 minutes of Jog and 3 minutes of run, ultimately leading to nonstop running for 20 to 30 minutes.

Phases of Running Workout: Three key phases of any Running Workout – Pre-workout / Workout / Post Workout

Pre-workout: This is a critical step where your body gets ready for run or workout. You do Dynamic warmup to move all your joints for the workout. It also helps increase body temperature and heart rate and gets you going

Workout: This is the core of workout where you are doing walking, jogging or running. Over a period of time, you will include different techniques of running.

Post-workout:Post workouts are essential for body to recoverand help them for the next workouts. Once you finish your run you need to do static stretches to get blood and nutrients flowing in to the muscles, which will help them in recovery.

Running Basics:

Running is not just putting one foot in front of another, it is an amalgamation of entire body into one continuous activity. It’s like viewing an orchestra in motion.

Basic elements to be taken care during running training plan:

RUNNING = Strength x Flexibility (Range of Motion) x Endurance x Neuromuscular Strength x Technique  

Strength: Running is an impact exercises where each step is two to three times of your body weight. Strength training of muscles is very important to bear this impact. Simple bodyweight exercises will help you building the strength – Squats, Lunges, Planks, Ab Curl, Burpees, etc.

Flexibility (Range of Motion): For taking full advantage of body during running, we need to improve range of motion of specific joints to avoid being restrictive and ensure full flowing motion during the run

Endurance: This forms the base for long runs. Endurance is all about body being able to sustain the efforts for a longer period of time. There is no short-cut to it. It’s a slow process, but the best part is once it is built, it will remain in muscle memory for a long time.

Neuromuscular Strength:Often this is one of the most neglected part of running where we build new neuromuscular connections to help us run better. There are specific drills to be done to achieve that. Dedicate some time to build this element.

Technique:Proper technique will help you in becoming a more efficient runner. The technique of learning on how to run and cover the distance in the most efficient way, can be achieved under the guidance of a coach, and make your running journey long andmore rewarding.

Please note in addition to the five elements discussed above, your running is greatly influenced by your base heart rate, diet preferences, hydration/refuelling during runs, smoking/drinking history and genetics. All these factors play an important role in your running abilities.

SOME KEY TIPS:

  • Do not get into the trap of Too Fast – Too Soon and keep your focus on Starting Slow – Building Strong – Enjoying Long. Avoid Overdoing
  • Please note Pre-workout and Post-workout phases are not an OPTION but an essential component. Do not try to avoid these.
  • Each runner’s body is different. Listen to your body, it takes time to build the body for long endurance efforts, do not get into competition and comparison with anyone.
  • Rule of 10% mileage increase,i.e., each week you increase your distance by no more than 10% from the previous week. This rule helps your body to adapt for increasing the workload.
  • Get a coach. Running is as much a technical skill as tennis or cricket is. If you are serious about taking this hobby for long, try to get assistance of a coach to set the things right at the beginning of your running journey
  • Exertion level – always listen to your heart. When you are running, listen to your body andthe body will give you signs on how to proceed further.
  • Try to keep a running log to keep a track of your progress.
  • Have a running partner, it helps you in pushing to the next level.

Running will bring in a lot of changes in your personal and professional life. You will get a new level of strength,physicaland mental and make you more resilient and cheerful. It will also bring in new people in your life with similar passionsand goals. In short time, you will be having like-minded friends to live your life to the fullest.

So Enjoy Your Run – KEEP RUNNING and KEEP INSPIRING