Running is a great way to exercise, lose weight, stay fit, and have fun! However, it can be very difficult to actually start a running routine and run consistently. Many people start and fall off the wagon because they get tired, bored, or get injured.
Here are some tips to help you start a running routine:
- Pick a race. A 5K (about 3.1 miles) is a great race to start with. Sign up for a race to keep yourself accountable and give you a goal to work towards. If you know that you have a race in a month or two, it will give you the motivation to start running on a consistent basis.
- Find a running group. Just like a goal can keep you accountable, other people can help too! Finding friends that like to run and run consistently can help you to maintain the habit as well. A running group can also help you to improve your form and your time.
- Buy some new gear. Make sure you have the proper running shoes, clothes, and gear. If you are running outdoors, you will want to make sure you have water, sunscreen, and other basics too.
- Start with a run-walk method. Basically, you’ll walk for a few minutes and then alternate to running for a few minutes. This can help you work your way up to just running by increasing your stamina. If you just start running after not exercising for months, you might hurt yourself.
- Learn proper running form. Ask a trainer or look up videos on proper running form and technique to avoid injury.
- Choose a training plan. There are many free apps available like the Couch to 5K plan that can help you start a running routine easily. You may also want to schedule runs in your calendar just like you would an important meeting. Start with several times a week.
- Make sure to stretch. Stretching is very important to help you avoid injury and have a successful running routine. Stretching is most important after your run.
- Learn what foods are good to eat before and after your run. Small snacks that contain carbs and proteins are great before and after a run. You should aim to eat about an hour before you plan to run and then eat within a half an hour after you run. Bananas, peanut butter sandwiches, and chocolate milk are all great options. Many people like to make protein smoothies as well.
- Have a reason in mind why you want to start a running routine. This can help you stay focused on days where you just don’t feel like running. Perhaps you want to lose weight or you just want to move your body to feel healthier. Whatever the reason, keep it on a Post-It note to remind yourself when it feels tough.
Do you currently have a running routine or would you like to start one? What is your favorite tip on this list?
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