Ready to start running? Here are our tips to achieve success
Running is an appealing exercise because it doesn’t cost a lot to take part and you can run at any time that suits you. It is however very important to take it in moderation, and get started on the right foot … Ready to start running? Here are our tips to achieve success.
Ready to start running? Have a goal
Having a running goal, however big or small, can help you to keep focused and motivated. Your running goals can be ambitious or otherwise, but they should remain personal to you and relevant to your own training targets. Whether you’re setting out to be able to run a set distance or are planning on entering your first race, as you progress through your goals, you will find that your motivation and enjoyment increase.
Set SMART running goals:
S = Specific. Make your running goals precise, so rather than saying you want to run further, why not say you want to be able to complete a 3km run inside 20 minutes by the end of the month.
M = Measurable. Don’t guess when you’ve reached your goal, but monitor your improvement with a stopwatch, GPS, etc.
A = Achievable. Don’t set something that you’re not going to be able to achieve. That will be demoralising. Running your first 10km race would be an achievable goal, while a top 20 finish in that race may not.
R = Realistic. Setting a target of improving your half marathon time by an hour this year is an extremely difficult target. However, a goal of improving your half marathon run time by minutes is likely to be more realistic.
T = Time-related. Make your goal time-related because you can then create a deadline to work towards. ‘When I run this event next year, I want to improve my time by 20 minutes’ is a good time-related goal.
Ready to start running? Check your technique
Improving your running form can help you run faster, more efficiently and comfortably, and with less stress on your body and reduced injury risk. Proper running form also reduces your risk of fatigue and ensures that you are getting the most out of your run.
- Maintain good posture, engage your core, and gaze forward.
- Avoid tilting your head down and slumping your shoulders.
- Broaden your chest, and keep it lifted as you draw your shoulders down and back.
- Keep your hands loose, and use a relaxed arm swing. Avoid crossing your arms in front of your body.
- To prevent injuries to your lower body, use a midfoot strike, and avoid hitting the ground with your heel. This allows your foot to land directly under your hip as you drive your body forward. A heel strike may cause your leg to slow down your stride and stress your knees.
Ready to start running? Strike a balance
“Wogging” is a combination of walking and jogging. Wogging can be a step toward running, or a workout all on its own. It offers an exerciser a way to increase intensity, reduce musculoskeletal joint stress associated with doing too much of any one repetitive motion, and create more challenge and variety to his or her workout.
A walk-run program works best for someone who’s already been walking at least 30 minutes consistently a few times per week and wants to start running. The idea is, over time, you increase your jogging time and decrease your walking time. The reality is that you can improve your fitness walking or running or a combination of the two. As with any new program, the hardest part of wogging is sticking with it.
Speak to the team at your nearest The Local Choice Pharmacy before establishing a running plan, especially if you have a medical condition or have not exercised in a long time. We are here for you!
Disclaimer: All content on the The Local Choice Pharmacy is created and published online for informational purposes only. It does not serve as a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health advice.