Get Your Gear in Check
First thing’s first: having properly fitting running shoes is incredibly important for successful running and can help avoid injury. Visit an athletic shoe store to get a gait analysis, where the trained salesperson will determine whether your feet pronate or supinate – that is, the direction your feet roll when they hit the ground with each stride. They will use this information to make recommendations on what shoe type and size is the best for you.
Ease into Running
As optimistic as it is to hope to accomplish a 5-km run as your first foray into running, your muscles aren’t necessarily used to that kind of movement, and it may do more harm to them than good. It’s okay to start off slow.
Many beginning runners have found that jogging on a treadmill is an effective way to get into running. Treadmills have important variables that you are able to control, which may be just what you need. If you’ve never run far or fast in the past, start out with zero incline and warm up your muscles with a five- to ten-minute speedy walk. Then, increase the treadmill’s speed until you are jogging at a comfortable pace. Feel free to lower and raise your speed as you see fit, especially for your first few times.
Not everyone has access to a treadmill, so heading for a run outside is only natural. It can present challenges such as wind resistance, traffic, weather inconsistencies, and uneven roads, but some runners find it more interactive than running on a treadmill.
Pay Attention to Your Body
Making the transition to become a runner requires changes that may make a significant impact on your habits, including to your diet and normal strength-training routine. Generally, you shouldn’t plan running until at least two hours after a large meal, as digestion can interfere with your running performance. Plan your meals to be nutritious, with a combination of proteins, healthy fats, and carbohydrates that will give you optimal results.
Strength training is a great way to work on your muscles to build overall body strength and help you to get faster. On the days that you aren’t running, do a series of strength training exercises that focus on your leg muscles, as well as your upper body.Listen to what your body is telling you – if you’re in pain or are overwhelmingly tired, it’s time to take a break. You don’t want to risk injuries that could sideline you from reaching your running goals.