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VERIFIED CONTENTAuthor: Maciej Szukała

Learn some useful and simple tips that will help you persevere in the initial period of training and will make you love running.

Starting your adventure with sport is at the beginning a fight with your own weaknesses, fatigue and an arduous way to build your dream form. This applies to any physical activity, whether you want to start a strength, combination or endurance discipline. How to start running? Get to know proven methods.

Set your goal

Of course, every day we are attacked by stories of professional athletes who train at an incredibly high level, regularly competing in competitions. Just open any running newspaper to find at least a few stories of people who completed a marathon after three months of regular training in the absence of previous activity. And the first six ultra and in the mountains.

Unfortunately, the beginnings are usually much less spectacular. Therefore, if you want to start running, start from scratch. Of course, you must have a long-term goal that motivates you to act, but try not to be abstractly difficult.

If you've never practiced regular sports before, trying to finish a marathon after a few months of training will end up discouraging and abandoning your dreams at best. At worst, you'll be injured. Therefore, grade your goals and increase them slowly.

How can you set your goal? Try to use the SMART method, popular among success psychologists. It assumes that a correctly defined target is:

  • specific,
  • measureable,
  • noteworthy assignable,
  • realistic,
  • time-related.

What does a well-defined goal look like in practice? You can choose to "Run 5km without stopping after the first month of regular training three times a week."

Of course, each goal requires periodic evaluation. A good idea is, for example, local competitions or running with a pacemaker (also the virtual one on the watch!). It may turn out to be too simple for you or, on the contrary, too demanding. Then you revise the training plan.

When is the training target incorrectly defined?

  • "I'll start running tomorrow."
  • "I want to run a marathon."
  • "I like these new running shoes."

You can see that in the first two cases, the goal is too general, and in the third, there is no intrinsic motivation.

Create or find a training plan

Exercising without any plan is like walking in the woods in the middle of the night without a light source. You seem to be moving, you will even get tired, but you never know if you are going in the right direction. How can you find a training plan for yourself?

When you are just starting to run, there is little point in using complicated training measures. A body that is not used to exertion responds perfectly to all, even the simplest, stimuli.

If you are interested in running, you've certainly heard about training ranges, intervals, continuous runs, runs, aprons and a whole host of other, strange-sounding names. Of course, all these methods are great, but you don't need them at all in the beginning.

The simplest training plans assume:

  • walk-run in variable proportions (with an increasing share of running),
  • variable length breaks between consecutive walk repeats,
  • gradually increasing the time spent on exercise and its intensity.

You can easily find these types of plans on running websites or in sports magazines. Many sports watches already have the ability to generate simple running plans based on the user's previously recorded activity or their preferences in terms of physical activity (especially the number of training sessions per week and their length).

A training plan for a beginner runner may look like this:

  • Monday - 5 x 2 minutes jogging separated by 4 minutes of walking,
  • Tuesday - 5 x 3 minutes of jogging separated by 3 minutes of walking,
  • wednesday - free,
  • Thursday - 4 x 5 minutes of jogging separated by 3 minutes of walking,
  • friday - free,
  • Saturday - 3 x 7 minutes of jogging separated by 2 minutes of walking.
  • Sunday - free.

Of course, in the following weeks, try to keep progress in such a way as to reach 30-40 minutes of continuous jogging. Once this is no longer a problem for you, slowly implement various training measures.

Remember, however, that it is much better to be under-trained than overtrained. If you feel the plan is too heavy, take it easy! At the beginning, three or a maximum of four short running training sessions in totalare enough.

Experienced runners use the help of qualified running coaches, but at the beginning such support will not bring spectacular results. However, try to maintain regularity, because it is the key to success.

Invest in running shoes and clothing

Of course, the fact that you plan to start running does not mean, of course, that the next day you have to go to the jogging store and leave a few thousand zlotys spent on shoes, thermo-active socks, T-shirt, jacket and heart rate monitor there. At the beginning, cheap things from the market and the simplest running shoes are enough for you.

It is important that the clothes are made of breathable and quick-drying materials. This way, it will be much easier for you to maintain thermal comfort, especially when the outside temperature is extremely low or high.

Remember that you can run in any weather, but it is important to dress appropriately. A commonly accepted rule of thumb is that you should feel a little cool when you leave the house. While running, your body generates a lot of heat, so you will warm up anyway. It is worth wearing the so-called an onion, i.e. in several layers, which can be removed in turn as the body temperature increases or the weather changes.

Clothing must also fit well on the body. During the run, you must not feel that it is restricting your movements. Therefore, in the store, you can easily wave your arms, jog and even jump. This is perfectly normal.

When it comes to running shoes, at the beginning of your adventure, you can completely ignore all advertising slogans about amazing grip, foot protection plates or an energy-reflecting sole. When visiting the store, first of all pay attention to whether:

  • shoes do not pinch your heel while walking,
  • the tips are not too narrow,
  • the sole is not excessively stiff and bends easily,
  • the shoelaces tend to loosen,
  • footwear guarantees good shock absorption.

Depreciation is especially important. Until you master the running technique, you should take care of your knees. Lots of foam underfoot will do the trick!

Don't be afraid to ask the seller for advice or try on a dozen pairs until you find a model that will fit on your foot like a second sock. Also, remember to always choose running shoes half a number (or even all). Your feet will always move forward while you run, thus saving your toes and nails. Don't expect your running shoes to stretch. It can slightly adjust to the width and shape of the foot, but never the length.

Find what you need in runningyou like

Every runner sees something different in regular activity. Some people want to relax after a hard day's work, others train for a competition, and others go to the element and just want to move. Many people use the time devoted to morning training to organize their thoughts in their head, plan their day and look for solutions to matters waiting at work. It is important that you find the motivation that pushes you to act.

Try to find routes in your area where you feel comfortable. Of course, it could be a sidewalk along the street, but you will enjoy running in the surrounding park or forest much more. If you only have time, drive your car to green areas. You will see that your head rests there much better than in the hustle and bustle of the city.

Look on social media for groups of people who are also running. It is not only an opportunity to meet new people, but also a chance to gain valuable knowledge from players with more experience. Besides, in a group it is much easier to find motivation. Running has become so popular that there is certainly such a group in your area.

Take care of he althy eating

He althy eating and physical activity often go hand in hand. They usually act as a self-propelling mechanism as you begin to look for ways to make your body tolerate exercise better.

Start with simple changes that you can implement every day and take care of your eating habits:

  • limit sweets and junk food,
  • replace simple carbohydrates in your diet with complex carbohydrates,
  • take care of the daily portion of vegetables and fruit,
  • stay hydrated,
  • quit smoking and reduce alcohol consumption.

Your body will thank you very quickly and return your commitment with interest. You will notice an improvement in your condition, your sleep will become deeper, and you will feel less tired after training.

"I'm starting to run, do I need a heart rate monitor?"

If you sometimes read reviews of sports equipment, you have certainly had the impression that a sports watch is an indispensable element of a runner's equipment. This is one of the reasons why running as a sport discipline has become associated with high costs.

We have some good advice for you. Forget the watch at first. Of course, a heart rate monitor is a handy tool and with a little practice you can read a lot of valuable data from it. However, it is not necessary to start running. Not only that, many beginner athletes say that watching your pace and heart rate at first stresses them out, because the values ​​are significantly different from what you imagined about your fitness.

Only with time, when you decide that this discipline is for you and want to start approaching your training in a more analytical way, you should consider buying a running watch. If you decide to use it, pay attention to the basic functions and parameters such as:

  • GPS distance and speed measurement,
  • support for split times and interval training,
  • heart rate measurement from wrist or belt,
  • appropriate water resistance class (minimum 3 ATM),
  • long battery.

On sale you will find various models for various disciplines and the so-called multisport watches that support dozens of different physical activities, topographic maps and many other functions. The latter are usually expensive and - at least in the first training period - you are unlikely to use their possibilities.

When it's raining outside and the days are getting shorter and shorter, it's not only the beginner runners who find it difficult to motivate themselves. Do not give up! There will certainly be times when you will have to let go of some activities, but remember that each training session makes you stronger and puts you one step closer to success.

Don't quit and stick to the plan. You will find that after a few weeks, running will "become your blood" and it will be difficult for you to live without it. This is a sign that you are starting to develop a habit. Remember that all runners, even professionals, used to start from where you are now.

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