Running is one of those exercises that simultaneously sounds ridiculously easy and challenging at the same time, especially when you are first starting. In this post, you will learn five tips to help you make the most of this exercise. And if you have been running long before now; these tips might help you improve your running routine.
Gear is subjective, and it may take a bit of experimenting to find out what works for you. Firstly, let’s talk about your running shoes. Shoes, like feet, come in different shapes and sizes. Some are built for a high arch, some for the trail, and some to mimic the barefoot, and so on. There is a variation of running shoes for anything you can think of. Therefore, the shoes that work for your friend or colleague might not work for you and vice versa. Having established that shoe preference varies, there are a couple of things to bear in mind when picking out a pair of shoes if you will be running in it.
- Can you wiggle your toes? You should be able to.
- Are the shoes snug? They should be, but not too tight.
Another piece of gear you need is a flip belt. Flip belts allow you to carry some things on you when you run. These things include your phone, wallet, identity card, and keys. Since most workout clothes don’t come with pockets, flip belts can come in handy. Not to mention, you would need a pair of comfortable workout clothes.
Determining when or what to eat before running can be difficult. “Should I eat a large meal or a snack?”, “Should I eat anything at all?”, “When should I eat?”… These are some of the puzzling questions beginners have. Like gears, the choices of what and when to eat are subjective. For many, a short fasted run first thing in the morning works for them. Another set of people might prefer a light carb-rich snack, such as a banana or an apple, about an hour before a run. A light snack could give a light amount of energy to power through cardio and wouldn’t make you feel heavy like a large meal would.
3. The mobile apps to use
There are numerous mobile apps available out there, and figuring out the one that works for you might be difficult. Some highly recommended and free running apps for iOS and Android are ASICS Runkeeper, Map My Run, Adidas Running App by Runtastic, and Pumatrac. As I have initially stated, there are many apps out there. You can try out more till you finally find the one that suits you.
When you start running for the first time, it is easy to jump the gun and start running at an aboveaverage pace, especially when you might not be familiar with your personal average pace. But after a couple of minutes, if you run too fast, you would feel a burning sensation in your lungs and an uncomfortably racing heart. It would feel impossible to catch your breath. This could lead to frustration as you might have expected yourself to be much stronger.
The key is to slow down, note how fast you’re moving when you are taking a brisk walk, and how it is to hold a conversation. Then very slowly, you can increase your pace to the lightest of jogs and get comfortable with your body moving at that pace.
Motivation goes hand in hand with pace. Instead of trying to go at a lightning-fast pace, try focusing on how far you can go. And the most challenging part of running is not your legs giving out or the sweat pouring down your face; it is your body telling you to stop because running is too hard.
There’s a trick to this. You can tell yourself – “I’ll take a break at the end of this song,” and when the song ends, you can say again, “I will continue till I get to the end of the street”, and when you get there, you can say, “I think I’ll stop at the next street light”. The truth is, your body will always tell you that you cannot do it, and you should always tell it that it’s wrong. Sometimes this works; sometimes it doesn’t. What matters is that at the end of the day, when you finish your run, regardless of how far you went, you feel proud that you could get up and do something. Running should be one of the ways you tell your body who’s in charge and that you won’t stop until you say so.
A word from HealthFacts to you
Regular running is a healthy form of exercise. You can adopt these tips to ensure a healthy lifestyle. Finally, take this quiz to consolidate this information.
Till next time, stay informed and stay healthy!