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From Sedentary to Healthy - 9 Simple Steps on How to Start Running

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Today everyone is running after something or someone. Some are running towards a good job or money, some are running after kids and housework, and a few are even running away from such yearnings. In their busy schedules, people often tend to forget about their passion and health. Running is imperative, but not from things or people.  It should be embraced as a passion, as a sport, and for health.

In order to start running and to pursue it, first and foremost the person should enjoy it. Running is not easy, but then that is what makes it worthwhile because good things never come easy. So, the question is how to start running? Well, the answer lies in self-discipline, unprecedented commitment, and a passion for accomplishing targets.

Let us look at the simple ways in which one can begin his running journey in a systematic way:

Start running by Walking

While many people start with a bang they end up panting in no time, the intelligent ones are those who give time to themselves in order to pace up. Start with walks. Regular walks give an idea about stamina and commitment. These daily walks can be gradually turned into regular brisk walks. Slowly, after every 5 minutes of walk, one can add an extra minute of running. This is a great way to let the body know what’s in it for it. So don’t procrastinate, start walking now.

Read all about Proper Running Form for Beginners - Guidelines to Follow

Too Soon Too Fast

Do not try to start running right away. What you really need to do is to start a running programme religiously. Give the body some time to adapt to the changing lifestyle. Slowly and gradually, decrease the walking minutes and increase the running time. If in the initial days, a lot of strain is given to legs, they might start hurting and then even a day’s gap can put the person back to square one.

So, go slowly. The idea is to turn the hobby into a habit.  

The best way to inculcate running as a habit is by adopting the run-walk method. It simply doesn’t mean walking when you get tired, but adjusting walks and runs in short intervals. This helps the body adapt to high energy levels and assists runners and joggers to increase their run timings.

Also, check Do you know the Correct Running Technique?

You can start a running programme customized according to your body capacity and style. Here is the how the run-walk method works: 

 

Total Duration of the run

Level

Run Time

Walk Time

30 minutes

Beginner

10-30 seconds

1-2 minutes

1 hour

Beginner

40-45 seconds

1-1.5 minutes

1.5 hours

Beginner

1-2 minutes

30 seconds

30 minutes

Intermediate

1-5 minutes

1-2 minutes

1 hour

Intermediate

5-7 minutes

2 minutes

30 minutes

Advanced

6-8 minutes

1 minute

1 hour

Advanced

8-10 minutes

1.5 minutes

You need to repeat the run-walk duration combination for the total duration of the run without a break. This method not only increases the body speed but develops a certain amount of endurance which helps one increase the level of running during general exercising. 

Check the complete guide on Walking to Running Program: The Perfect Training for New Runners

Train to Run: Especially for Beginners

The first day for anyone who is beginning to run is the most difficult day. But eventually, it becomes a sweet little good habit that will welcome you every day towards a path of fitness and health. There are a plenty of training and running plans available online, but if you are just a beginner then keep it simple. 

Running, as an exercise is no rocket science, but beginners who gain knowledge about this form of fitness, train to run first and then set in the motion. There are a plenty of training and running plans available online, but if you are just a beginner then keep it as simple. 

Your energy levels are motivated in the first instance but do not shootout for the stars the very first day. A first timer should not be running more than 1-2 kilometers in the beginning in order to not stress the body. The distance can then be gradually increased. 

Remember to start with small time slabs and then increasing it steadily every week. Start walking a little and then slowly switch to jogging day by day. You can opt for the walk-run method. Here is a simple ‘train to run’ plan for a novice to follow:  

Week 1: 

Start with a twenty-minute run-walk schedule. 

Walk for two minutes and run for thirty seconds. Repeat this eight times and then cool down.

Week 2: 

Extend the run schedule to around 30-40 minutes each day. 

Start running for about 2-3 minutes, followed by a walk for around 30 seconds. Repeat this ten times and cool down your body. 

Week 3:

You can now start running for an hour each day with ease. 

Run or slow jog for about 7-8 minutes and then take a walk for about two minutes. Repeat this five times and stretch through before cooling down. 

Week 4:

Now your body will start feeling light already. Running by now should become a habit, provided you were doing it regularly without skipping a day. 

Make longer time slabs for running around ten minutes and then taking a two-minute walk. You can replace running with sprinting at this stage. Try some Yoga and cooling down asanas after this extensive workout session.         

Also, read Running Basics: Beginners Running Tips for the Newbie Runner

How to start running when overweight

Do you feel that only slim people can run?

Trust us, this is a myth! 

Do you want to know how overweight people can you start running? It’s simple; start slow and just don’t stress your body in the feeling of getting slim in 1 day. Stick to the walk-run method discussed above and train to run for at least two months till the body adapts to the exercise. Once you feel comfortable, only then start a full-fledged running plan to lose weight swiftly. 

Does Running Burn Fat? Here's an Answer You'll Love

You can start with these running training tips for beginners but do you feel this is enough? 

There are some sports gear and nutrition involved here too.  

Get Proper Gear before you start running

Running isn’t an expensive passion yet the kind of experience one gets is priceless. A good pair of shoes is all that one needs. So ensure that the shoes that are used for running are of good quality and replace immediately if they are torn or not comfortable.

Wrong shoes can give leg aches and other muscle problems to the runner. So, be careful!

While investing in a pair of good shoes, a smart runner will first know what kind of shoes he/she needs.

Check out the complete guide on How to Buy Different Types of Running Shoes

Do you need extra support for your arch?

Do your feet roll correctly or place more pressure on the outer edges of your feet?

Know Your Feet and Pronation, so that way you can get the right gear.

Running Shoes
Get The Running Shoes (source)

Apart from the right pair of sneakers, it’s essential to give your pair of socks importance too. Wear a breathable pair of snug socks that aren’t too thick. Make sure they cover your feet and ankle to the top part of the feet that sometimes rub with the shoes.

Read Best Compression Socks: A Must-Have Guide for Runners

Once your feet are ready, create your playlist of upbeat peppy music that makes your feet feel like running to the beat!

Run to the beat! Check the Best Running Songs You Should Be Listening to On Your Run

Wouldn’t you want to measure how much you have run? Include a handy timer, bookmark your phone clock or download these running apps for iPhone and Android as a part of your sports gear.         

Get Company

Getting some company is never a bad idea. While running is fun even if it’s done alone, it can be more regular and exciting if done with others.

Try and get a friend or partner to run. This will not only ensure that instead of one person there are two or even more enjoying something great, but it will also mean that you are not missing a day.

Exploring places, things, and ideas together is the greatest thing that people can do. All this while doing something which is refreshing your body and mind is amazing.

Hitting the pavement with a friend will also help you overcome anxiety you might have about running in public in the first place!

If you do, also read: Embarrassed of Running in Public? 9 Tips to Overcome Anxiety!

The Right Nutrition

Your food is a part of your running gear that you surely can’t be missing. Many exercisers live with a myth that nothing should be eaten before running, but it is important to fuel up your body with something light before you run. 

The workout snack should not be replacing a meal. You should identify the right calorie and protein needs according to the kind of running you are pursuing.

A low-fat sandwich half an hour before the run and two egg whites twenty minutes post the run is a good workout fuel. Many such carbohydrate and protein combinations work out for runners to keep their body fueled in the right way.

You can also consult a personal dietician or nutritionist to help you out with the right dietary requirements.

Also, read Top Running Nutrition Tips for New Runners

Register for a Marathon

The next big step is to start participating in marathons. Organised marathons are amazing platforms for enthusiastic and new runners to get some inspiration and pursue the passion with more zest. In marathons, new runners can check their stamina and, with so many runners around, the motivation blows up to an incredible level.

This is a great way to make the commitment stronger and also leads to making friends with people who have the same passion and think alike.

If you’re interested in taking your running to a new level, make sure to look at 5 Things To Keep In Mind Before Your First Marathon Run.

participating in marathons
Be a part of a Marathon: (source)

Aim for the Big Win

Once you become a regular marathon runner, the first aim should be to complete the race and then the next aim should be to become the winner. However, the passion and thrill involved in running keep a runner moving.

There are few others things that a person should keep in mind while training himself to be a good runner. Things like:

Good diet (five small meals through the day)

Plenty of water (to keep the body hydrated all the time)

Enough rest and sleep (to ensure that the body is not exhausted at the time of running)

Stretching Exercise (to ensure that warm-up is done effectively and muscles are not strained before or after)

Running is a journey that you start every day. It has its own experiences and pleasures that nothing else can replace. People who follow this culture religiously claim to get addicted to running. There is no disadvantage to this sport.

Just ensure that the body is not strained more than it can bear and make sure there are no injuries.

In case if you are injured, take proper rest, let it heal and then get back to the tracks.

Know all about Running Injuries that Every Runner Should Know About!

Age is not a Barrier - Start whenever You want!

Running is something that can be started with mere dedication, passion for it, and a good pair of shoes. There is no specific age for a person to start running. There are so many people who started in their 40s or 50s and there are so many who started in their teenage. All that it calls for is passion.

Running at the age of 50 sounds odd to a daily human, but there have been legendary marathon runners who have broken world records at the age of 104. That itself proves that running comes with no age and no barriers.

According to a research, humans are well adapted to run in their late middle age. Society around believes that strenuous activity is not good for old aged people but that might not be true. They are fit enough to run at any age and in any condition, provided they aren't suffering from any severe medical illness. Mild running and jogging with proper shoes can make life easy at 50.

Read Running after 40: 9 Easy Tips to Embrace Age and Enjoy Running

No fancy gizmos are required to pursue this dream which can lead you to a better and healthy life wherein you have something to look forward to on every run – a new road, a new track, new trees and clouds, new runners to accompany and new conversations.

Check out the Types of Running Sports: Different forms to Explore Running!

All this makes life adventurous in its own ways and, above all, it makes life more fulfilling. Start running for life and not from it.

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