Running is fairly easy to get started, but it is also easy to give up. In order to have a consistent running program, you must have a solid plan and motivation to carry you through. I have compiled 7 effective tips to help you get started:
• The One-Minute Tip- It’s just that! Try running for one minute at a time and then walk a bit. If you feel good, run for another minute. We all have to start from somewhere and this is as good a place as any.
• Running Goals- I will provide you with detailed plans to prepare for your first race, mileage goal or losing weight. If you don’t have a goal, I suggest that you start here.
• Get Motivated- Motivation is the difference between those who give up and those that keep going. I suggest increasing your motivation by posting your goals and accomplishments, running with friends and reading inspirational quotes.
• Don’t Overdo It- You want running to be a healthy lifestyle for the long haul. Listen to your body. Only schedule 20 minute workouts three times a week at first.
• Warm-up and Have Great Running Technique- Before and after every run, it is important to stretch your leg muscles. When you begin a run, walk for a few minutes, have good posture and take appropriate strides.
• Running Shoes- Take the time and money to visit a shoe store that specializes in running apparel. Talk to the salesperson and listen to their recommendations. It will pay off in the end.
Next, we need to discuss the basics of nutrition for runners. Running is a sport and a form of exercise and has specific nutritional requirements. In order to get the best results, endurance and recovery, you will need to focus on what you eat and when you eat. Running extra miles requires fuel from food to keep your muscles going. You will be burning extra calories, so it’s important to keep them fueled with the right mix of food. Here’s a few suggestions to help get you started:
• Complex Carbohydrates- Foods such as whole grains, unrefined pastas, vegetables and potatoes provide your body with steady, reliable fuel to help keep you going.
• Proteins- As you run longer distances, your muscles will need to be repaired. Lean proteins such as eggs, fish and chicken are great. They are also great if you want to lose weight.
• Fats- Mono. fats such as canola oil, flax seed oil and avocado are the healthiest for runners. Stay away from lard and deep-frying anything.
• Balanced Meals- As a runner, your meal should be about 60 percent complex carbohydrates, 20 percent fats and 20 percent proteins. Get as much fresh vegetables as you can. Make your plate colorful!
• Water- Consumption is important for everyone but more so for the runner who is going to sweat a lot. You should consume no less than 64 ounces, evenly through the day. Stay away from alcohol and caffeine!