Do you want to know how to become a runner? Did you used to be a runner, and now you need some tips on how to start running again? Running burns calories, improves physical health, and reduces the risk of conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Plus, it’s a great way to get out and about and can even be beneficial to mental health.
How to Get Into Running
The first step is getting motivated. If you don’t feel motivated, you won’t be committed, and you won’t stick to your running plan. Ways to feel motivated include:
- Find a running buddy
- Join a running group- online or face-to-face
- Make your run part of your daily routine
- Reward yourself for achievements and progress
If you’ve never run before, you might want to start out by finding a local route to take a brisk walk. The added benefit of this is you can scope out good routes for running once you start to increase your pace.
Get yourself some decent running footwear. Go to a high-quality sportswear or footwear store, and talk to someone about the best running shoes for you. Will you mostly be running on the sidewalk or off-road? How much arch support do you need? The right pair of shoes will help you incredibly in your running adventure.
Finally, once you’re committed to becoming a runner, think about setting a long term goal. Pick a race you’d like to take part in and work towards that. Alternatively, choose a distance you’d like to be able to run and build up to it.
Do I Need to Be Fit to Run?
If you have a physical disability that limits your mobility or causes you pain when you walk or run, you may want to talk to your doctor about different ways to get fit. Otherwise, there’s a running plan for people of all fitness levels. We all start from somewhere, and even absolute beginners can get running with the right help and advice.
Creating a Running Training Plan
Running workouts can be short, long, arduous, or gentle. It all depends on your level of fitness and your experience. Here are some tips for creating a running workout plan you can maintain:
- Run at the same time on your running days
- Create a warm-up and cool-down routine and stick to it
- Set yourself a goal, either of distance or time
- Run three days a week- you don’t need to run for long each time, but run regularly
- On at least two of your rest days, do another form of exercise, such as weights or swimming
- Eat well to support your increased level of activity
Best Time to Run
Those who already do fasting-cardio will find that running first thing on a morning, before breakfast, will fit right into this plan. Others might find running on an empty stomach arduous and hungry work. Often, the best time to run is when you can fit it in around your schedule. This might mean before work or taking the kids to school, or after the kids are in bed.
Running at any time has its benefits, but running early or late means less traffic (pedestrian and vehicular), cleaner air, and it’s usually easier to go at the same time on every running day. Just be aware that running late might be hard if you’re very tired, and could affect your sleep if done too near to bedtime.
How to Get Back into Running
If you used to be a runner but gave it up for a while, the key thing to remember is that you can’t simply pick up where you left off. If you try for a five-mile run after a six-month break from running, you are likely to be left with sore feet and pulled muscles at the very least. Knowing how to get better at running again means being gentle with yourself while you get back into a routine.
Try for short distances at first, or running gently for five minutes, then ten minutes next time you go out, and so forth. Using the run-walk method could help, which is where you run for a minute then walk for one or two minutes. This can help you get back into the swing of using your leg muscles regularly.
Always stretch out thoroughly before and after running, focusing on calves, quads, and hamstrings, but not forgetting the neck, arms, and bac, which can also stiffen up during a run.
Long Distance Running
Training for longer distances like half marathons and marathons means running regularly and for further. The half marathon is a starting point for many wannabe long-distance runners and is a distance of 13.1 miles.
How to Run Longer
You should expect to train for around twenty weeks before attempting the half-marathon. Each week involves running for a little longer than the previous week, which trains your body to run for longer.
For example, week one might involve three runs of one, two, then three miles. If you can’t manage the three-mile run at this point, go for a three-mile walk instead. Work to your own level. The next week would still be three days of training, but looking at working up to a four-mile run, and so forth.
How Long to Train for a Marathon?
The marathon is the ultimate running goal for many people. It’s a hefty distance: 26.2 miles. Many people use the run-walk method to go the full distance, as for them, it’s about completing the distance, rather than getting a fast time.
If you are training for a marathon, expect to spend at least six months getting to the level where you can run this distance.
Running can be fun, competitive, or both! Choose a goal, create a running plan, and discover the benefits of one of the best exercises around.
Takeaway: Running has many benefits for health and wellbeing. People of any fitness level can start running with the right motivation and running plan. Setting goals and sticking to a routine are the keys to becoming a committed runner.