Minimum Viable Fitness

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How to start running: a complete guide for beginners

How to start running

Sooner or later many people think about starting to run. If this is your “first date” and you do not want to give up everything in two weeks (maximum in a month – checked by personal experience), you need to go to it prepared. And we offer you this opportunity – a simple guide for those who want to start running.

The reasons that people often throw run usually are three: physical – difficult, psychological – hard, both physical and mental – very hard. The third option is when you run; your side starts hurting, legs – in general everything, and immediately very tempting thoughts appear in your head to throw it all and go to do something socially useful. You are also an integral part of society, right? And here the most important thing is not to leave the race. This is why you need to start and observe correctly not only those rules that relate to your physical condition and help you avoid injuries, but those that support the correct psychological attitude.

Test yourself

Running is a pretty serious cardio load and a load on the joints, so it’s important to make sure that it does not hurt your health and you have no contraindications. For this, it is worth consulting with your doctor and going through a series of studies.

Before you begin to run, it is necessary to understand your health: check your heart and see if you have any contraindications. Then it would be nice to get tested on the gas analyzer – this will help to assess the functional state of the body, and then, whether you are ready for running training or are still too early for you. The test will reveal your anaerobic threshold, the pulse zones in which you are safe to train, the areas you should not go into, and the areas in which you, for example, burn fats – it’s very cool, especially for those with Through running, he tries to lose weight.

Choose right sports clothes

When you are correctly and comfortably dressed, it is more pleasant to be engaged. Assemble yourself kits for different weather, so as not to interrupt training in the cold or heat. Pay particular attention to shoes: the choice of running shoes should be approached especially carefully.

Before you go to training, take care of the right shoes. Make the right choice for you to help in any specialized store, but recognized brands – Asics, Mizuno, Nike. As a rule, beginners need sneakers with excellent shock absorption: until you have learned how to run technically, most of the shock load will be taken solely by the sole, not by the joints.

Consult with the running GURUs

  1. Jeff Galloway
  2. Merhawi Keflezighi
  3. Dean Karnazes

At least for the time of the first training, do not spare time and money and work with the coach: he will help you learn how to run without injury, economically and efficiently, and tell you which training plan is best to pick based on your form and tasks.

Consult with the trainer: let him see how you run, evaluate the technique, point out the errors and tell you how to fix them. This will help to avoid injuries and increase the speed of achieving the goal. It is better than the coach shows everything personally to you. There is no such thing as “the right technique”: it is individual for each person, depends on its physical characteristics, body proportions, angles of inclination of joints and many other factors. It depends on the speed and goals: the technique in the sprint differs from the jogging method. So here you need a full-time specialist consultation.

Check Tony Writon’s podcast with Ultramarathon man Dean Karnazes:

Revise your nutrition

Pay special attention to what and how you eat: read the fitness literature to understand what our food consists of, what you can eat before playing sports, and what is better, on the contrary, to abstain.

If before training you used to eat somehow, irregularly and ate everything, then with the advent of sports in your life you will have to reconsider and your habits. First, learn what fast and slow carbohydrates are, what are fats and proteins. So you will understand why before jogging it is not necessary to “shower” with ravioli or borshch. If you run in the morning, then your best choice is oatmeal on the water with a handful of berries or a spoon of honey with tea. Sandwiches, cheese and sausage are best left to others. Acute, salty and fat, too, is better not to eat – especially before training: once you have eaten the pickled cucumbers before the race, you will forever understand why it is not necessary to do so. After a meal, it is better to wait 30 minutes for the food to be digested – and then go running.

Start by walking on long distances

As it usually happens. You put on sneakers and a sports uniform, go out on the street or a treadmill and start off at high speed, which leaves you breathing out literally after 500 m, gasping for air and wringing from the pain in your side.

How it should be. Everyone can become a runner. Running is our innate ability, we just need to remember how to do it right. New York coach Gordon Bakoulis (Gordon Bakoulis) advises to start slowly and increase the pace gradually, but it is better to start at all with walking! Just walk a lot. Do not get on weekdays because of work, then do it at least on weekends.

Then you can start running at a languid pace, alternating running with walking. The tempo should be such that you can talk during the whole run. As soon as you start to choke – slow down the pace or go for a walk. A number of trainings – three times a week. Over time, you can increase them up to 4-5 times.

Plan for running and walking for ten weeks

Week count Running minutes Walking minutes
1st 2 4
2nd 3 3
3rd 4 2
4th 5 3
5th 7 3
6th 8 2
7th 9 1
8th 13 2
9th 14 1
10th Run all the time

Each run begins and ends with a 5-minute walk. If you feel tired before completing a workout plan, then you either have taken too high pace, either you have chosen too hard training, or run too long. Reconsider your plan and pick something easier. And do not worry, even if you move a little faster than you just go, you’re already a runner.

Always warm up well before training

A proper warm-up makes training more comfortable, and you can run longer, reducing the risk of injury to a minimum.

Also, a warm-up is much more than just activating the muscles and increasing the flow of blood. It also launches our neuromuscular system, through which the brain gives the command to contract muscles and be ready to run. Our body begins to actively develop fat-burning enzymes, which, in turn, help our aerobic system work more efficiently. The synovial fluid heats up, which helps to lubricate the joints.

During the hitching, our body cools, all our systems return to the standard mode of operation. A sudden stop affects the health of the cardiovascular system. For such a slowdown, it’s enough to walk a couple of minutes after the run is over. As for the stretching, if time is concise, you can do it at home before going to bed.

Unfortunately, not only beginners but also those who gave themselves a second chance to become a runner after the first failure, ignore the warm-up and the hitch, arguing this lack of time and not understanding how important it is for training in general and well-being both during and after running.

Alternate different running surfaces

Many runners do not even think about the fact that the variety in the running can be brought not only by a change in tempo but also by a change of surface. Each surface introduces something of its own, and our body adapts to it. For example, one week you can run on a treadmill. The second one is on the asphalted pavements of its district. On the next, you can try running on dirt tracks in the park, which then changes to beach sand. What should not be run, so it’s for concrete, since even asphalt even springs a little. The concrete is solid and does not completely absorb the impact of the foot. Your feet will fully feel the power of impact on this running surface, which can lead to injuries.

Any training should be regular: allocate yourself three training days a week (two for the beginner is not enough, and progress will not come soon), and preferably with one day to recover between them. It is better to run in the park, along dirt tracks, but if there is nothing better, then some pleasant route along the asphalt will also work.

Watch the position of your body

The quality of running depends not only on how fast you are fingering but also on the work of all other parts of the body.

Head position. The view must be directed forward. The chin should not be pressed against the chest or, conversely, extended forward.

Shoulders position. Here everything is straightforward: they must be relaxed. Many runners strain them, which causes physical fatigue and slows down the pace of running. If you feel that you have twisted your shoulders, just shake your hands and try to relax them. Remember this position and try to keep your shoulders relaxed until the end of the workout.

Arms position. Your feet do what their hands dictate to them. Remember this and try to work with your hands so that your legs run beautifully and straight. This means that the hands should move like a swing – forwards and backward – with right amplitude. Do not press them to the body with your elbows and do not swing them from side to side. Elbows should form an angle of 90 degrees; the hands are slightly compressed into fists, fingers touch the palms slightly.

Housing position. It must be kept straight, avoiding tilting forward or backward.

Hips position. Must be carried forward and straight. Do not throw them back and do not wiggle them from side to side.

Legs and feets position. Your feet should spring, push away from the ground. The landing should fall in the middle of the foot, not on the toe or heel. It is necessary to push off that part of the foot where the thumb pad is located. You seem to roll over, and do not knock your heel against the ground. And do not make wide steps! Ideal: the foot impact on the surface should occur directly under your body.

Move forward slowly, but confidently

The phrase “Hurry slowly” is excellent for running. If you want to learn how to run fast and long, you can not rush in any way. The classic mistake not only of beginners but also of those who started running after the break is to increase the tempo or distance too quickly.

If you take an average person and ask him to just run without rest for an hour – it’s pointless and even dangerous. Start small: alternate running and walking. Run for one minute; then you go for two minutes. And so half an hour. Then increase the time to an hour. And then increase the running time and reduce the walking time: first 2 minutes walk, 2 minutes run, and then 2 minutes run, 1-minute walk. And so, until you can continuously run for an hour. The pace is not essential; it should be comfortable for you. An important indicator is a pulse. You must keep your comfortable pulse zone, so it’s better to buy a watch with a stopwatch and a heart rate monitor.

Remember the golden rule of ten percent: every week increase by 10% the distance or speed compared to the previous one. For example, if in the first week the total time of training was 90 minutes, then in the second week you can safely run for 9 minutes longer. Only for 9 minutes, not for 20 or 30!

The same applies to distance: the first week – 12 km, the second week – 13.2 km.

Make a Variety

Each runner periodically lost inspiration, and it becomes boring to run. What to do? Find different ways to diversify your jogs. I am glad that there are quite a lot of ways and everyone can choose the one suitable for him.

Music. Is it boring to run only under your thoughts? Gather a playlist of your favorite tracks and enjoy the music. The main thing is to remember that we unconsciously adjust our pace of run to the rhythm of the music, so either watch yourself or choose individual playlists for runners taking into account cadence (frequency). If you are not satisfied with the music, you can listen to your favorite podcasts or audiobooks.

A group of like-minded people. If you are bored to run alone, find friends who are ready to support your sporting undertakings or join a running club. Running will become more fun, and responsibility will appear. Now you can hardly find 101 excuses why it’s worth staying at six in the morning in a warm bed and not going to run if you are already waiting for friends on the street.

Running diary. This is an option for fans of keeping logs of observations and studying statistical data. Tracking your progress and learning about the processes and circumstances that affect running results can be your incentive. After all, now you run not just so, but you can track your progress, study the factors that influence it, draw the appropriate conclusions and make the adjustments necessary to improve the results. This can be done with the help of cross-country applications or whole social networks of health.

Meditation. Another way to diversify the jogging is to include conscious meditation in it. You learn to listen to your body, understand your feelings and use it all for your purposes, and also pay attention to the surrounding world: sounds of nature, smells, landscapes. It helps a lot during long distance running.

Beginners mistakes

  1. Wrong shoes. You need to play sports in special sneakers, and running is no exception. It is important to choose exactly the pair that suits you and correspond to the type of pronation and the features of running technique. Go through the gate analysis and select sneakers in a specialized store. Running in sneakers or Air Max’ah – is extremely stupid and traumatic.
  2. Refusal to help a professional or even more experienced runner. At the initial stage, it is essential to put the right running technique, to understand how to alternate workouts and recovery periods, how to increase the load and much more. If possible, do with the coach or in the running club.
  3. Load distribution. Often newcomers overestimate their strength, begin to run daily and already on the second or third run they set the goal of a distance of 10 km. The main thing in running is gradualness, so define yourself a reasonable goal and go to it step by step. This can be a distance or a certain race.
  4. Neglect of the OPP. Strong muscles – the guarantee of a correct and safe running. Functional training is simply necessary for runners because successful work on speed or distance is impossible without a strong muscular corset. Include in your training plan weight training of any type and pay particular attention to pumping important for jogging muscles.

Remember that it’s never too late to start running!

Never think that it’s too late to start running at your age. Running is never too late! No one requires you to sprint speed or endurance ultramarathon. It can be jogging, turning into walking. It does not matter what others think of you. Do not be afraid to look ridiculous against the background of more experienced runners. The main thing is that it should be non-traumatic, maintain your health and please you.

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