Winter is almost over! That means all your days complaining about the wind, ice, and cold are almost finished. Since we know running is mental, let’s re-frame running outside – especially in moderately cold temperatures – as the perfect time to get started as a beginning runner. (Being active in fair temperatures will warm you up very quickly!)
Maybe you’re interested in starting a healthy new lifestyle? Or, just revisiting your commitment to running after a long, long break. Regardless, I’d like to offer a few tips for beginning runners.
Tip #1 – Wear the Right Clothes
Running in jeans is not a good idea. If you are running outside, make sure to wear bright, reflective clothing (especially if you run at night). Wearing the right clothes helps to keep you from getting overheated, to stay dry, and to be comfortable.
In colder temperatures an extra layer of clothing, such as a sweatshirt, can also provide a great source of relief. Plus, you can take the extra layer off if you get too warm.
It’s also good to wear supportive shoes designed for activity. You don’t want to injure yourself.
Tip #2 – Stretch Before Walking/Running
Stretching releases a lot of tension and can affect how comfortable you are on your run. Don’t just stretch your legs. Work over your shoulders, neck, and back with a good stretch. For great stretching techniques, check out this below info-graphic from Your Fitness Today.
Tip #3 – Start Slow
Don’t push yourself too hard! Start your training to run by first walking.
Walking is a great exercise and it’s easy on your joints. Walking builds up your leg muscles and gets your heart beating faster.
Walk for distance, and push yourself to walk quickly. Once you have that down, challenge yourself and start to jog/run. Start with whatever you know you can do. Take pride in the fact that you are getting better for you (you’re not competing against anyone else!).
Tip #4 – Track Your Progress and Make Goals
You can track your walks and runs with the website or app called mapmyrun.com. It’s fun to look back and see what progress you’ve made along the way. You can see how many runs or walks you did in a week or a month. Additional features allow you to map your own routes, track your run time, and even set goals to share them with your running support system.
Also, did you know that you can be rewarded at Walgreens for tracking your activity and committing to health goals? It’s a great motivator and it saves you money! The link is here: https://bit.ly/2GZHl5p.
Signing up for a race is great motivation. When you spend money on something the greater your desire to get your money’s worth out of it and to do your best.
Tip #5 – Have a Support System
I can’t encourage this enough.
Starting anything new that requires you to push yourself is difficult. That’s why you need to find an accountability partner or a support system that drives you. And sometimes you may be pushed – as my spouse has done in the past when I need to get out of bed and run.
My advice: get moral support. Finding a team of people to train with and to lift each other up is a great way to not only meet but to exceed your goals.
(P.S.) Tip #5.1 – And, Finally…
Stick with it. Carve running into your schedule and make a commitment. Have someone watch your kids or find a gym that offers babysitting. Run at odd times if you have to. But, do it. The most important thing you can do for yourself is to stay active.