How do you become a runner?

September 17, 2013

Running is a great option for cardio workouts. It can be done with cardio fitness equipment like a home treadmill or in the great outdoors. Running anywhere and it’s helpful for overall body, mind and heart health.

Maybe you’ve heard friends, coworkers or family discuss their love of running, seen people gathering in your city for a race or maybe you just want to try something new for your fitness plan. No matter your reasoning, becoming a runner can be a fun and exciting new adventure as long as you follow some simple steps to train properly and avoid injuries.

Easy steps to start running
Start with brisk walking:
While it seems like running is pretty straightforward, jumping right into a full run without proper preparation could lead to injuries. Whether you’re on a treadmill like the True ES900 Home Treadmill or you’re heading outside, begin by talking walks at a faster than normal pace. Walking will begin to strengthen your lower body muscles and get you warmed up for the high-impact exercise that will follow. Gradually work your way up to 30 minute brisk walks a few times a week.

Intervals: Once you’re comfortable with walking fast and you feel like you’re ready to take it to the next level, add in intervals. Walk for three minutes, then jog or run for two minutes. This will begin to introduce your body to the movement of running without causing you to fatigue too quickly before endurance is built up. You can alternate how frequently you move through the intervals and as you get stronger, you can run more and walk less.

Go for short runs: Once you’re ready to go for a full run, don’t worry about how far you go. As you build up endurance and stamina, you’ll be able to run greater distances. In the beginning, time is more important. Start with something simple like a 10 minute run and increase by 10 minutes every week. This will help you avoid injuries from going farther than your body is ready for.

Use the proper equipment: For running in place, a decent treadmill is important. Just as crucial, however, are items like shoes and clothing. Before you decide to start running, invest in a quality pair of running shoes that are appropriate for your foot type. Everyone’s feet are different, so find out what sort of feet you have and what footwear suits them best. Be sure you wear a shoe meant for running and not walking or cross training, because running shoes are designed to absorb impact and cushion feet properly. Additionally, proper fitness gear is important. You want something that won’t cause chaffing, which can be painful. You also need clothes that fit well and are designed for runners.

Employ proper form: Just like with all other exercise, running with good form will ensure you won’t get hurt. Keeping good posture takes pressure of joints, especially your back, so keep your shoulders down away from your ears and your chest up. Also, stay relaxed during your run. Don’t clench your fists or face muscles because it creates unnecessary tension. Running can be a meditative experience, so staying as relaxed as possible will help and ease and stress you’re feeling.

Don’t forget warm ups and cool downs: To mentally and physically prepare for your run, spend five minutes warming up your muscles with a brisk walk or some easy squats and lunges. Warm muscles are less susceptible to injury and more flexible. This is also a chance to get into the right mindset to successfully finish the day’s workout. Following the run, your body needs a chance to come back to a normal state, so don’t forget to cool down, stretching out the major muscle groups and your legs in particular.