The beginning of the New Year always motivates more people to hit the pavement and start running to help get in shape and lose some of that holiday weight. Running is the perfect way to start off an active routine since it requires little equipment and doesn’t cost much, either. But for those who are new to the world of running, you can’t start with a marathon. Here are four factors to keep in mind as you begin:
Make Time to Stretch
If you hit that pavement running without spending at least a few minutes warming up your muscles with some stretching, you can bet that you’ll be regretting it the following day. And there’s nothing worse than deterring yourself from getting back out there after the first attempt. Avoid those intense aching muscles by stretching them out before and after your run. Do dynamic stretches and stay limber. Focus on lower body stretches and activating your core.
Start Small and Work Your Way Up
For beginner runners, it’s always wise to start off running small distances and working your way gradually up as you increase your stamina. You many feel okay to push yourself that extra mile or two, but this is also a sure way to burn yourself out way too quickly. Don’t push your muscles too hard in the beginning. Always give them enough time to build up that endurance and strength. Start with interval training (one minute walking, one minute running, for instance) or a Couch to 5K program to build up endurance.
Gear Up Properly
It’s easy to head out the door and forget about hydrating or throwing on old sweats and shoes until you’re half way through your run in pain, overheated, with no water in sight. Always prepare and gear up appropriately with the right clothing, running shoes, along with a water bottle. Having a belt or a bottle with a handle is extremely handy for carrying with you as you run.
Join a Running Group
Feel a little intimidated about running or feel like you could use the company and motivation of others? Consider joining a running group in your area. There are running groups all across the GTA for various skill levels and interests. You can easily find these either online through websites like Meetup.com or by simply doing a local search for running groups within your community. This is a great way to keep you committed, motivated, and to meet and train with like-minded people.
Running is a simple and effective way to commit to staying active and healthier this New Year. But just because it’s simple doesn’t mean there aren’t some essential factors involved for doing preparing adequately. In order to reap those benefits and allow you to fully embrace and enjoy it, follow these four tips before you hit the pavement.