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Getting into running? Make sure you know what you should and should not do to improve your speed, time and technique without compromising your health.
Running, just as any other sport, requires specific technique, strategy, and training cycles to reach your ultimate goal. Running for the sake of running can often be considered boring, and many who take it up without any definitive reason have a hard time keeping it up. Long distance running is especially a tough sport to get into if you don't have your ultimate goal in mind. If you'd like to run a marathon in decent time, taking your time to perfect running technique and preparing your strategy for a race is going to be a big one.

If you are just starting out, there are a few very important measures to be aware of.

Find your motivation

If you're considering running, ask yourself why. Write down at least 3 major reasons why it is right for you above all other activities you might enjoy. This will help to give you an idea of why you're ready to commit to running for the long term.

Use a warm up and cool down

Many beginners forget that even a light run should always include a warm up and cool down. You can start with a few minutes of a light jog to heat the muscles up before beginning your run. To cool down, walk for a few minutes and be sure to stretch for several minutes.

Don't skimp out on gear

Running requires just a few pieces of equipment compared to many other sports. Never skimp out on a good, comfortable pair of shorts and top which won't chaff after many hours of running! More importantly, ensure you have high quality shoes which are built for running long distances. The right shoes will decrease the chances of ankle, knee and hip injuries or pain.

Stay hydrated and energized

To stay at the top of your game, you'll need to keep the body hydrated and energized with a regular intake of water and carbohydrates. Consume carbs every hour to avoid draining the body of all sugars. You can use energy drinks which replenish electrolytes and sodium in the body, including gatorade, guru, and many more. These are simple for the body to break down into usable energy for the muscles. Staying hydrated is a unique skill, humid or dry climates make it difficult to tell at times how thirsty you may be. Keep several small bottles on you at all times, and get used to taking regular small sips.

Use interval breaks

Don't be afraid to stop if you become very fatigued and walk every so often. As a beginner, there is a long introductory phase, and using walking breaks at regular intervals during your run can help to smooth that process along.

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