Thursday, 10 January 2013

Top 5 Running Tips for Beginners

While I sort out all my robot heart drama I have been forbidden from continuing with my Marathon Training Schedule this week. In other words I am living vicariously through all of you. So Go the Distance for me this week! As I pout and look on enviously from the couch...*sigh*

These are my Top 5 Tips for newbie runners! 
Here's how you can get started!

1. If you want to start running... Just start running!

Okay so that sounds silly right? But it's true. In a lot of ways there is no big secret. If you want to run - run and stick with it. It might not be easy to start. And you might not go very fast. But all that comes with practice and logging time with those sneakers.

There is a lot of research that shows it is possible to train for any race and any distance by committing to running 3x/week. Commit to run 3 days a week and you will see progress in no time!

2. Break it up

Don't go out and try to run 5km straight right off the bat. Pick a manageable distance - that could be anything from 1 mile to 5 km - and head out. Remember breaks are allowed!

I started by mapping out 8km and running as far as I could, and then taking a walk break, running as far as I could, and then taking another walk break. I used landmarks to keep track of my progress. Last week I made to the stoplight before I needed a break. This week I made it to playground. And so on, until I could eventually run the whole loop continuously.

A lot of other program recommend  more formal break strategies like 5:1 or 10:1 (aka 5 min running 1 min walking or 10 min running and 1 min walking) And I think it all works! It just depends which one you are most comfortable with.

3. Make a Goal/Sign Up for a Race

A goal without a deadline is just a dream - so set a deadline and make it happen. Signing up for a run/race is the easiest way to ensure you stick to a program.

If your goal is to run your first 5k - find a local run approx 8-10 weeks away and sign up. You know you have to get out there and train for it. It helps give those training run a focus and an event to look forward to.

4. Tell Everyone You Know What You Are Up To!

You are signed up, you are training, so now just tell everyone you know what you are up to. Tell your friends. Tell your family. Post it on Facebook. Let everyone know what you are planning and how your training is going.

It will help you stay accountable and they can also be there to support you along the way.

5. Remember to Respect Your Progress and Thank Yourself for all Your Hard Work

Keep a log. Post your progress on your fridge and be proud of each step you take!

Sometimes progress can feel slow and a bit discouraging, but every time you head out the door and doing a training run you are doing something amazing for yourself and for your body. Remember to be proud of each milestone and thank yourself for making your health a priority.

You can do it!
Happy Running!
Love your Favorite Darwinian Fail