RUNNING is the cheapest, most effective form of exercise there is and with Run Geelong under a month away, a great time to try is now. We all have to start somewhere, and by following these easy steps by Twosix Wellness co-founders, Bree Pagliuso and Emma Udorovic, you’ll be calling yourself a runner in no time.
1. The right equipment
You don’t need much to start running for ﬁtness, but you do need appropriate footwear. As a beginner, make sure you are properly ﬁtted for running shoes that work with your gait – don’t go straight into wearing minimal running shoes at the start, as your feet and ankles won’t yet be strong enough to deal with the lack of support and you will be turned off running for life.
2. Start off slowly
Running is like anything else in the ﬁtness world, you need to ease your way into it. Start by running around the block, or doing laps of the local park, and walking when you need to. Don’t be too focused on pace and distances at the start, but assess your runs on how you feel before, during and after each session.
Eventually, you’ll ﬁnd you’re comfortable to be running longer distances and at a faster pace. If you overcommit and over-estimate your ability, you run the risk of overtraining, injury or burning out very quickly before you’ve even really begun.
3. Be consistent
Slowly build up to three sessions a week, which will help you become a much faster and stronger runner. Try scheduling your runs for the same days and times each week to stay consistent. Find yourself a running buddy who can help hold you accountable. Do what you need to keep your motivation up, be it crafting the perfect running playlist, revamping your activewear wardrobe, or having rewards for yourself once you reach certain running goals. Keep track of your progress, there are heaps of ﬁtness apps out there to log all of the information for your runs, but pen and paper will do just ﬁne too.
4. Look after yourself between runs
There are things you can do off the running track, to keep you on track. Dynamic stretches (holding the stretch for no less than 20 seconds) will lengthen the muscles and help them recover. Using a foam roller will release built up toxins in the muscles and increase blood ﬂow, and Epsom salt baths will help with muscle recovery also. Implementing these self-care activities into your regular routine will help you on the fast track to success and keep you running for the long haul.
5. Take it up a notch
Once you have been running for a while, you will notice that if you take the same path each time you run, you will not only get bored but you will only develop so far and your ﬁtness will plateau. Mix it up by adding hills, stairs, and trails to your route.
Try throwing in some short, sharp sprints, which will increase leg power and speed. In your overall training, be it at the gym or at home, try weight and resistance training. These will strengthen the leg and core muscles.
HIIT training will also boost your stamina and overall ﬁtness, allowing you to amp up your running game and recover much faster.