You’d think it would be easy, right? After all how hard can running be? In fact many of us adopt this attitude when we dust off our gym day pass and hit the treadmill. It is at this moment when we realise our own limitations, that in fact there is more to running than a fast walk. So here we look at the issue of running and how you, as a novice, can learn to run. Yes there’ll be some hard work and commitment needed, but it’ll all be worth it in the end.
Like anything in life, it is better to have a goal to work towards, rather than heading off aimlessly in the direction we think best. These goals should be SMART too (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic/Relevant and Time based). Perhaps one such “SMART” goal would be to be able to run constantly for 30 minutes after two months.
You only get better at doing something through consistent repetition and practice. You’re not going to become a road-running champ after a week, but you can make steady improvements over time. You do however have to commit to it, and stick with it. If you take your time, and appreciate the developments you achieve, you will be more likely to stick with it long term and enjoy it for life even. Those that rush towards a race for example, often find themselves giving up once they’ve run it, simply because they’ve no more goals.
Review and Repeat
We all have days when we wake up and feel great, and others, well less so. Running is the same, there will be times when you do not want to go out and practice, but overcome these hurdles and you’ll see the benefits. You need to repeat your efforts consistently and also review your progression – so keep a track of times and distances etc. You are only competing with yourself, and progress will be slow at times – but keep at it and you will definitely see progress.
Online you can access many plans, but find one that suits you and stick with it. At first you’ll be walking and jogging at intervals, alternating the two. Over time, the walking will reduce and the running will increase, until eventually you’re just running.
Nothing kills training like an injury, so listen to your body (aches are not necessarily injuries) and always ensure that you both warm up and cool down properly. This will prolong/improve your running “life” as will the much-needed rest days
Remember that your decision to run is a lifestyle change and not the intention of simply running one race only (unless that is your goal!). Start slow, throw in intervals of walking/jogging, increasing the running time (but not the workout time) only at first. Then prolong the sessions too. A good indicator of pace is the ability to hold a conversation with your running partner (get one, they help lots!). If you’re too breathless to talk, you may be running too quickly.
Runners know that running means more than swiping the gym day pass, it’s a way of life. If you’re interested in incorporating it into your own life, then these tips will help. Remember, give it time, but do give it a go!