I’ve never been big on running, but the holidays have been making me quite stressed, which in turn has my anxiety surfacing. I never thought I’d say it, but I’ve started to turn to running to help de-stress and calm down, and I’m slowly starting to really enjoy it. I’ve only been heading out for 30 minute walk/runs every day, but by the time I’m back, I feel so much more relaxed and ready to tackle things. Plus, it’s an excellent way to get fit and up your daily motivation. If you’re trying to get into running, here’s some tips that might prove really helpful!
Learn the right form
First and foremost, before you start getting into running, make sure you understand the correct form of running. Obviously we want to avoid any injuries and reap all the benefits. How your foot strikes the ground when running or jogging can affect proper running form. This is a great article for those wanting to learn proper running & jogging techniques.
There are so many different types of running shoes out there now with different gaits, arches, foot shapes, and body weights. My advice is go to a store that specializes in running shoes and sports fitness, and let them find a pair that suits you. A good pair of shoes will make running all the more bearable, reduce fatigue and keep you from any injuries.
Don’t go too hard too fast. Ease into it. Create a map of where you’re going to run – whether that be a block, 15 minutes, 40 minutes, etc. Figure out what you’re comfortable with and once you’ve mastered it, then add to it. You don’t have to go all in at the start, you’re allowed to take as many breaks as you like and spend the majority of the time walking. DON’T push yourself to the point where you’re miserable because you wont end up going back the next day. Consistency is key.
Don’t even think about your pace in the beginning. Many people get discouraged at first because they want to run ‘fast.’ So they go out and kill themselves, then feel dejected and discouraged. Teaching your body aerobic endurance and to become more efficient is all part of the journey.
If you’re going to run, you’re going to need the right kind of fuel. You best bet is to eat a light snack or meal about 1 1/2 to 2 hours before you start running. Choose something high in carbohydrates and lower in fat, fiber, and protein. Some examples of good pre-workout fuel include: rice cakes with almond butter, bananas, an energy bar, or some oats and yogurt. After running, you’ll want to consume primarily carbs and protein. Some examples include fruit smoothies, peanut butter, fruit and yogurt.
A good playlist
My most important essential for running is a good playlist. A good playlist is everything. I usually make my playlists on Spotify or browse ready-made ones. If I know I have good songs in my playlist, it gets me all the more excited to zone out and run. Remember to keep them updated, too! If workout music isn’t your thing, there are some really fantastic apps out there for running. My favourites are Run! Zombie, Run! and Couch to 5k.
Set goals and rewards
I feel it is important to set fitness goals, but it’s equally important to reward yourself once you reach them. There are many different kinds of goals you can set, some examples are:
• “New training bra when I hit 10km”
• “Treat myself to a spa day when I run for 10 days straight”
• “Get a new hairstyle when I run 20 minutes without a break”
Running is a wonderful form of exercise but it may not be for everyone. Some days I prefer yoga or winding down with a long walk. You just wont ever know if it’s for you until you give it a good try!
Do you have any tips for running?