The most difficult thing about changing your lifestyle is that first step, and you’ve just made it! You’ve decided to get back in shape, and hopefully, it’s not just a vague resolution that you’ll get to on that mythical Monday.
Running is a fantastic form of exercise. It’s great for your respiratory and cardiovascular system, it will help you build some muscle, and it doesn’t require a lot of equipment. Just grab a decent pair of shoes, find a stretch of road, and run.
Or maybe not…
There are a few steps that you will have to take before you burst into a sprint. If you push yourself too far and too fast, you risk an injury or giving up.
But, as long as you keep in mind a few things, you will become a successful runner in no time. So, here’s how to start running when you are out of shape.
Talk To Your Doctor
There is a very good reason why every fitness video starts with the message to consult a doctor before you start. It would be best to figure out if you have a health issue or an injury that can flare up when you go on a run, otherwise, you could end up injured.
And yes, it may well be that running is out of the question for you now, but at the same time, it may not be off the table forever. You may need to spend extra time walking or concentrate on other forms of cardio until you build up some more muscle and stamina.
Chances are that this little chat will also help you figure out how to plan your routes or which gear to buy. For example. when you’re shoe shopping, do you need to look for something with extra ankle support, or do you need something to correct your gait?
Look, if Regas Woods can win himself a few medals, you can get ready for a marathon at some point. Just listen to your doctor and your body, and don’t give up!
Don’t Forget To Stretch
And not just before and after every running session. It might be a good idea to spend a week or two just stretching before your feet hit the pavement!
If you are out of shape, it is safe to assume that there was a looong period of inactivity in your recent history. Well, muscles get tight from inactivity as well, though not as much as they do from a super intensive workout.
Sprinting right out of the gate may earn you a lot of muscle ache and discomfort at best. At worst, it can turn into an injury that will take you out of the race for good.
On the other hand, just a handful of stretching sessions can get rid of the tightness and fatigue. And if you stay diligent, it can improve your mobility and overall performance.
So, sign up for that yoga class, or may I recommend Essentrics? That one’s very popular in running and hockey circles in the northern wild region known as Canadia. I hear a few guys in the back go, “Ugh, that’s ballet, that’s for girls. Girls have cooties…” And Essentrics girls have a Youtube channel with full workouts, so no one has to know that you wear a tutu in your spare time.
You have to something something before you something something. Or something.
Okay, so there’s no way you will be able to run when you’re totally out of shape.
You may manage a few minutes before you get out of breath and that Netflix binge starts to look more and more appetizing. So, take a walk.
Walking is a great exercise all on its own. Not only will you burn a few calories with little
chances of injury, but you will also give those leg muscles a nice workout. It’s also a great way to get to know or plan a running route.
Since you’re not zooming past things, You’ll have enough time to figure out what the terrain looks like, where you can trip or where you can rest. where the Hewitt family lives, etc.
Start by walking at whatever pace feels comfortable to you, then slowly speed up as you go. Use this time to practice proper breathing as well, analyze your gait or break in your shoes.
Put Your Seatbelt On And Speed It Up
This part completely depends on what feels natural to you. You may start with speed walking and let it gradually turn into a jog, and eventually into a run.
Or you can walk a little, then run a little, and then every time run a little more and more. Walking intervals will lessen and eventually disappear, and then you can concentrate on the intensity of your run.
There is this weird line between not doing enough and doing too much. Unless you have been running and working out for years, it can be a bit difficult to recognize at times. On one side, you will not progress, and on the other, you may injure yourself.
Here’s a little trick – run to the point of discomfort, then push yourself for a few more seconds. You can do a little countdown from ten if you wish. Once your condition improves, you can make that countdown start from a higher number.
When you reach zero, walk. Stretch. Don’t sit down or stand still, but take a little break. Then, once the pain or discomfort fades a bit, start running again.
Relax…Take Your Time
One of the best ways to make sure you will commit to regular running is to sign up for a Marathon. There is no way you can finish one without proper training. And there’s all that extra pressure when you spend the money and tell your friends and family that you’re going to do it.
So, obviously, you have to do it now. Still, make sure to do it at your own pace. Just because Karen brags around the office that she trained only for one month and won second place, that doesn’t mean that you have to meet those expectations. Or delusions.
Let’s get some things clear – you are not a professional athlete (for now) and there is no threat to your livelihood if you don’t win a certain race. However, you are always competing against yourself. That means that as long as you are better today than you were yesterday or yesteryear, you are winning.
And as long as you’re moving forward, it doesn’t matter at which speed you’re doing it. So, take your time and listen to your body. Let it tell you when you need to add an extra mile to your route
or when to pick up the pace.