Running was a necessity because I lacked cardio endurance. After 10 years of Pilates and body weight training sessions I’ve managed to have a balanced musculature, as well as be extremely focused on permanently maintaining a correct posture.
I’m a slow person, I’ve never been able to run too fast or jump too high, which made running all the more challenging. The necessity was triggered by the need for cardiovascular endurance, as well as a coherent stress management program.
I needed a type of training only for myself, in which I could solely focus on myself. Another challenge came after 3 weeks after I’ve started running, when I managed to strain my right ankle, with a partial ligament tear which annoyed me the entire summer. My ankle still hurts, I can’t wear hills, but I’ve noticed that proper shoes are indeed useful and they do make a difference.
Without claiming that this is my main area of expertise, please find below some of my advices on how to start training for running correctly:
Invest in good quality shoes
as you’ll be able to avoid running injuries, they reduce the impact on joints and improve your training performance. Girls should also buy a good quality sports bra with a light support level.
Make a realistic plan and monitor it
Start with 2-3 training sessions per week, based on how much time and stamina you have. The first training sessions will make you feel tired, will give you muscle soreness in the front part of your thigh, in the side of the hip and in your calves. A hot bath, a Pilates or Yoga class and eventually a massage will quickly fix the problem, and after the first 5 training sessions you won’t experience these unpleasant sensations.
Get some rest
Whenever you increase the level of physical activity, it’s normal to need more rest, especially in the beginning, when you’ll feel exhausted. It’s a normal thing, and the good news it that it’ll go away.
Be patient with yourself
At first you’ll be slow, you’ll get tired quickly, you’ll lack strength or technique. As long as you persevere, results will show. Running is easy and stamina improves quickly, which will help you stay motivated.
Find out why is it that you’re running
Any workout should always have a functional base, and running makes no exception to it. I’ve chosen running because I like to end my day in fresh air, listening to my favorite music on my headsets, and this is how I relax.
Some other people choose running because they want to lose weight, or take part in sporting competitions, ranging from cross races to marathons, or simply because they need a shot of endorphins.
You need to adjust your diet towards alkaline diets, focusing on good quality sugars, a moderate protein and fat intake and plenty of water. Eating right will make your running more efficient and will reduce the state of fatigue that you’ll be experiencing after your workout.
Set a target
Or a dream, depending on what you might call it. I dream of running a marathon in 2016. Some people dream of a certain time/km result, or at a certain number of kilometers per day or at a certain route to run on. All these targets are good, you simply have to choose the dream that you’re running for.
Get involved in the community!
This will help you have a good feeling about yourself and you’ll be able to set a positive example. Run together with your children, or with your partner. Take your friends and go outside, you’ll have absolutely nothing to lose.
By setting a personal example you’ll be helping those around you be healthier, and an activity such as running can help you meet new and interesting people, or build healthy relationships with your family and friends.
Hang in there!
Any new beginning is difficult, no matter the fitness level that you start from. A new workout requires a period of effort adjustment that’ll help you connect to yourself better. Learning and mastering a new thing will also stimulate your motivation and curiosity, as well as help you remain modest. Modesty is a virtue which will essentially help you learn new things, and this is such a useful exercise for our everyday life.
Read about running.
It is very important to do specific research on this type of workout, therefore save some time for theoretical training. It’s important to cover all the information on food, posture, training strategies, hydration, and above all it’s important to discover whatever suits you.
Judging from my experience, I may say that running has been both a challenge and a source of satisfactions and frustrations:
- the challenge comes from having to change your eating routine, adjusting your sleeping program (I still have trouble with it), and from the fact that I’m still a slow runner.
- the satisfactions came when I was able to run longer than I used to, or when I ended a tough day with a running session and realized that I was actually feeling alright.
- another source of satisfaction was coming in contact with people who inspire me, ranging from famous people to people whom I look up to with admiration and respect for their dedication and beautiful spirit.
- in terms of frustrations I’d like to mention the fact that my performance is significantly reduced whenever I’m tired, I don’t eat enough carbohydrates for lunch or I eat too much proteins, when my ankle hurts or when I have to take an urgent call during a running session.
I hope that things will get a little better over time and I’ll feel more confident in my inner forces ad be able to improve my results as well, but for the time being I simply enjoy the fact that I like to run.