So, the summer holiday season is officially over and you’re looking to get back to fitness? Why not try running? Aside from providing some much-needed me-time, running has numerous benefits, including strengthening the cardiovascular system and increasing bone density (which is especially important for women). Here are 8 tips to help you pick up a running habit!
It’s very easy to get injured or burnt out, if you push yourself too much in the beginning. If you’re not used to running for 30 minutes at a time or more, start with shorter jogs or even power walks a couple of times per week. You can even mix it up, e.g. 15 minutes of jogging and 15 minutes of power walking. In fact, some experts say that mixing your routine helps burn more fat. As long as you’re consistent, you’re giving your body a good workout!
Stretch It Out
Before you do any kind of workout, especially a new one, you must remember to stretch. Stretching cold muscles can lead to a greater feeling of pain and stiffness. So, precede your stretch with a quick warm-up, such as 5-10 minutes of cardio. Once your muscles are warm enough, try a few dynamic stretches, such as kicking your arms and legs forward and then swinging them back. Always repeat your stretches a few times. Finish your run off with a few static stretches to relax your muscles and restore length.
Track Your Progress
There are plenty of gadgets out there to help you track your progress. To begin your running training, you may want to keep a log of the distance you’re covering each week with a pedometer, and the actual duration of your runs with a stopwatch. A heart rate monitor is also a good way of making sure your effort level is where it should be. There are plenty of running apps to choose from, with all of these incorporated. So, there’s no excuse for overexerting yourself!
Before you start running, it is essential that you invest in high quality running clothes and trainers. In order to find the perfect running trainers for you, first think about the kind of surface you will be running on (e.g. a purpose-built track or country road). You need to feel comfortable, which means having enough space to move your foot around in your shoe. Here’s a tip: Try your trainers on with running socks to get a more accurate idea of how they will fit.
Whether they be leggings, capris or even shorts, opt for bottoms that are built for movement and moisture. Keep an eye out for stretchy fabrics and moisture-control features. Dress for the season! Autumn has arrived, so mastering the layering technique is essential. Wear a fitted top with performance fabric under a light jacket, and always remember to invest in a reliable, high-support sports bra.
Feel The Rhythm
The key to running with style lies in the positioning of your head. Always keep your eyes on the prize, looking straight in front of you. As for your shoulders, keep them down and loose. The position of your head and shoulders will help determine that of your torso, which is to be upright. Don’t forget your arms! Keep your elbows at a 90 degree angle and unclench your fists. Most importantly, stomping is not running. Your foot should touch the ground lightly, landing with your heel first. You should, then, quickly roll the rest of your foot forward until your toes are able to spring off the ground. Run tall and relaxed!
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Focus on Your Breathing
Breathing efficiently is essential to a good run. The key is to establish a pattern that works for you. It may be worthwhile counting your breaths in your head, e.g. in for two counts, out for two. Just remember to always breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, and maintain a steady pace. Getting enough oxygen is how you can avoid nasty cramps!
One of the best things about running is that it allows you to leave your stress behind and focus on yourself. That being said, sometimes it just isn’t that easy to motivate yourself to slip into your running clothes and head out (especially with the notorious unpredictability of British weather). The best solution? Create a playlist of your favourite workout tunes for a feel-good energy boost or find a running partner. When you run with someone else, you can motivate each other. It’s worth a try!
Get Your Protein
Running burns a lot of calories. Instead of reaching for the crisps, adopt a runner’s diet – rich in protein and full of vitamins. Simple changes to your daily diet, such as switching to whole grain and choosing salmon or chicken over red meat, go a long way. Need a quick snack before your run? Reach for a handful of almonds, which will provide you with a much-needed dose of Vitamin E; a hard-boiled egg, nature’s powerhouse; or even a piece of dark chocolate, rich in potent antioxidants. Most importantly, remember to stay hydrated as you break a sweat!
Ready, Set, Go!
-Your Fabletics Team-