Saturday, November 3, 2012

How should I start running?


Hope you've had a great Halloween! I don't know about you guys, but we had a really quiet Halloween with just two trick-or-treaters. We didn't stock up on sweets, because we didn't want to eat all the leftovers ourselves. My plan worked perfectly, no excess candy to munch on the weekend.

I promised myself last week that I'd go jogging on Saturdays. I promised myself to keep my promises too, ha ha. Since I woke up an hour earlier than I should and I had a tremendous amount of energy, I decided to go for a 45-minute run before work. I felt awesome!

If you haven't been exercising regularly for years, start off with brisk walks. When your walks feel light in intensity, you can add a few jogs into your regular routine (read a bit further, running for beginners-routine coming up!).

How should I get started?
Make sure you're exercising properly. Don't be greedy, your fitness level won't improve massively on the first jog.

Here are a few pitfalls you should avoid when beginning your new hobby:
  • You're running too fast. Make sure your pace is mild and you feel good during your workout (and afterwards!). Running at a high velocity requires a few week's training, so be patient.
  • You're runs are too long in duration. Keep in mind that your career as a runner should start with walking and progress into jogging. Running won't become a habit if you start with high-intensity workouts and feel like sh*t afterwards.
  • You're running because you "should be running". If you have no interest in running, why do it? There are a million different cardio exercises that are just as good. If you don't like what you're doing, it's hard to stay motivated.
Set goals.
Set your own goals based on your own fitness level. Read here about setting goals, if you're insecure. An example could be to run for 45 minutes without feeling like dying.

Exercise routines -interval training

If you've never run before, start off with 2-3 brisk walks per week. Each workout should last for 20-30 minutes and you should feel energized afterwards.
When your walks feel really easy and light in intensity, add a few minutes jogs into the routine. Your walks could look like this:

Warm-up for 10 minutes (brisk walking)
Light jogging 1 minute
Walking 4 minutes
Repeat the jogging/walking-interval twice for a 20-minute workout.

After completing this routine for 2-3 weeks (and still feeling good), add a little bit of length to your runs. Keep in mind that the workout should still feel easy and you add a maximum of five minutes to each workout per week.

Your fitness level is "intermediate", you work out 2-3 times a week and have done the beginner phase already, or you've been walking/running 20-45-minute runs for 3-4 weeks.

When your fitness level is improving, you can easily crank up the volume:
Warm-up: walk 10 minutes
Jog 2 minutes
Walk 3 minutes

You can slowly move onto a more jogging, less walking type of routine: jog 3 minutes, walk 2 minutes or jog 4 minutes, walk 1 minute. As soon as this routine feels easy, start doing your workouts jogging.

In case you've been running straight for 45 minutes and it still feels easy, add a little more intensity to your workouts.
Warm-up: light jogging 10 minutes
Run 1 minute
Jog 4 minutes
Repeat the run/jog-routine 2-6 times.

Run a maximum of three times per week, keeping at least one rest day in between workouts. Remember to stretch your quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes and hip adductors after every workout!

Have a nice run ;)

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