Running is an enjoyable physical activity that doesn’t cost a lot for you to participate in. It is an exercise that you can do at any time. There are benefits to running as an exercise, and though many people hate exercise in general, it is the perfect sport for everyone.
This article will teach you how to start running, the various types of runs, the proper form of running, and the benefits of engaging in running as an exercise. If you also want to learn how to start running again, you should finish this read.
What Are Some Benefits Of Running?
Running is an exercise, and like all exercises, it has several health benefits. All these benefits affect the physical, social, mental aspects of an individual positively. Since you do not need any fancy equipment to begin, you can start to indulge in it now. Benefits of running include:
- It helps to build robust bones.
- It strengthens muscles
- It also improves cardiovascular fitness
- Running can help you burn plenty of kilojoules
- Running can also help with weight loss and enables you to maintain a healthy weight.
- It can also help to reduce your stress and relieve your anxiety
- Running can help to boost your mood.
- It improves your mental, social, and emotional health.
- With running, you will improve your lung capacity and metabolism
- It lowers the body’s total cholesterol levels
- It reduces the risks of osteoporosis
- It increases the overall body energy.
It is a sport that unites people together, including the family. This is because it encourages quality time while enhancing excellent and healthy values. Like most sports or exercises, running teaches perseverance, discipline, and determination to its proponents.
Learning How To Run? Check Out The Types
Knowing all the different types of runs will be great for you as a beginner. It means that you can try different styles and not get bored while also improving as a runner. The nine basic types of runs include:
This is a short run that you perform at a casual pace. It adds a little bit of distance to your training and does not take away your ability to perform harder in other essential workouts. You should make a recovery run after a more challenging workout. Make sure you do them softly, slowly, and easily so that you can be comfortable even with the weariness from your previous run.
Base runs are relatively short to moderate-length runs that you take at your natural pace. It would help if you did them frequently, and these runs help improve your endurance and running power. They also help to improve your aerobic capacity. You will indulge in these runs the most on your training schedule.
A long run is a base run. However, it is a run with mileage enough to keep the runner very exhausted. The function of this type of run is to improve a runner’s endurance. The distance that you have to run depends on your current level of endurance. During this run, you can progress the pace from the start line to the finish, or you can mix intervals, all to help you maximize your endurance. It is always best to train to beat your current endurance level to limit you during races.
This type of run starts with the runner’s natural pace while ending with a faster speed. It is a challenging run, although it is not as intense as a threshold or interval run. The recovery time for this run is also shorter than those of threshold and interval runs.
This is a base run. However, a Fartlek includes intervals of different durations or distances. If you want to develop your efficiency and resistance to fatigue, this is the run. You should start this run at the early stages of your running training. You can also use it in the later stages of your workout to add to the fast doses of running you already have at that stage. A fartlek can also serve as an alternative to an interval run.
These are repetitive short segments of severe uphill running. These runs help to improve aerobic power and pain tolerance. They also increase your resistance to high-intensity fatigue and your running strength. Since you are running on a hill, you should use one with a moderate gradient of 4 to 6 percent. Hill repeats help you transition into the more demanding phases of your training.
A tempo run is a continuous effort at lactate threshold intensity. A lactate threshold intensity is the fastest running pace for runners. Highly fit runners can sustain this run for an hour. However, it is a pace that you can sustain for about 20 minutes for lesser fit runners. You should do tempo runs to increase your sustainable speed for a longer time. It will also help you to increase the time you can keep at that fast pace. A tempo run should comprise a warm-up mileage run, an increased effort in the middle, and a slow-down run at the end. The least distance for a tempo run can be as little as 3 miles.
These workouts consist of repetitive short segments of fast running separated by slow jogging or standing recoveries. The excess amount of fast running in a single training improves endurance, speed, aerobic capacity and leads to exhaustion faster than the other types.
In sprints, you will run short distances quickly, and during a workout session, these runs will be repetitive. Sprints build strength and power, enabling you to run faster and longer. It is an exercise to reduce your fatigue rate.
Learn How To Run Correctly
Although running is a natural movement, it still requires some training to improve your efficiency. Also, a proper running form will help you to learn to conserve energy, improve your pace, and reduce injury risks. It will also help you to run very long distances. It is crucial to improve your form to reduce the stress exerted on your body while running. Also, without a proper form, you cannot maximize your running potential. Therefore, some tips to help your form are:
Look Ahead While Running
You should not stare at your feet while running. Always keep your head focused on the ground to a distance of 10-20 feet ahead of you. Apart from this being a proper form of running, it also keeps you safe from any obstacle in your way. Also, keep your head from jutting forward as you run. If you don’t do this, you will put much tension on your neck and shoulder muscles. Therefore, hold ears directly over the middle of your shoulders at all times.
Keep Your Hands At Waist Level
Always try to keep your hands at the waist level. You should also ensure that you keep your arms bent at an angle of 90 degrees. Try to avoid holding your hands up by your chest. If you keep your hands that high, you will experience tension in your shoulders and neck. Therefore, you will help yourself from falling faster into fatigue when you keep your hands at waist level and arms at a 90-degree angle.
Relax Your Hands and Shoulders
Relaxation is key to running. Always ensure that your hands and shoulders are as relaxed as possible. Try not to tighten your hands into fists. If you do this, you will create tension in your shoulders and neck. Your shoulders should also face forward, not hunched. When you round the shoulders, you tighten the chest and restrict your breathing. Always ensure that your shoulders are not raised too close to your ears. You can keep them lower by squeezing your shoulders together on your back. Please keep them in this position, and make sure to check again to ensure that you are on track.
Practice Your Posture
Your posture must be upright. When running, you should keep your head lifted, your shoulders relaxed, and your back long and tall. Always be mindful of your shoulders and focus on the ground, some feet ahead of you. Maintain a neutral pelvis as you run; do not bend forward or backward at your waist. Put out your chest when you feel yourself slouching. If you keep a good form, you will weary less and finish strong.
Monitor Your Footstrike
Your footstrike is how your foot hits the ground. You can land on your toes, on the middle of your feet, or on your heel. It would help if you first recognized your natural footstrike and then improve on it to reduce any form of injury.
Landing on the middle of your feet is the safest method of footstrike, and with practice, you can change the manner of your footstrike. However, your footstrike does not change your speed; it depends on your endurance and speed levels. And with recurrent practice, you can improve on both of these qualities.
Keep Your Arms at Your Sides
Do not swing your arms from side to side. When your arms move from side to side, you are more likely to slouch. This means that you are not breathing well, which can cause cramps in your stomach area or side stitches. If you are feeling tired, drop your arms and shake them out. Remember, always keep your arm at a 90-degree angle with your shoulders relaxed.
Make Sure You Rotate Your Arms From Your Shoulder
Proper running means that you swing from your shoulder joint, not your elbow joint. As you run, ensure that your elbow swings back and forth with your arm. If you are rotating correctly, your arms will almost graze your hip as it swings back and forth. Also, make sure to avoid hunching your body; it can make it harder to breathe. When you run, always keep your arms parallel to each other.
Try Not to Bounce
When you want to start running, you should learn not to bounce. Bouncing implies that your head and body are moving too much, and therefore, you are wasting too much energy. Also, when you bounce, you absorb more shock upon landing and will experience fatigue faster. You should run lightly and land softly. Keep your stride low and make quick strides as you run. Doing these things will help you to avoid bouncing while you run. With a bad running form, you are more susceptible to injury. If you want to learn how to get started on your running, you must master these forms.
Check Out The Importance of Nutrition And Hydration
You can focus on form or footstrike when you want to learn how to start running; however, you will have issues without proper nutrition or hydration. Eating right and drinking a lot of liquid can help you improve your efficiency as a runner. You lose a lot of body fluid during runs, so ensure you drink a lot of water before, during, and after your runs. You should always drink about 16 ounces of water or non-caffeinated fluids an hour before your run. Also, drink water as you run and after your runs to keep from dehydrating.
You can still gain weight even with regular running exercise, if you eat anyhow, you like. Therefore, eat something light with many carbohydrates before your runs. This meal should be about an hour and a half before you begin your workout. You should also consume about 100 calories every hour while you run. On your runs, you can carry along energy gels and chews, sports bars, or candy. Always make sure to eat some 30 minutes after your run. Make sure that this meal has carbohydrates to protein ratio of 3:1.
How to Get Motivated
As a beginner, it is exciting when you want to learn how to start running. However, after a few sessions, you might begin to lose interest in your commitment. If you’re going to stay motivated, you can join a running group. You can also try running with music. However, running with music requires you to run in a safe environment for your security. Another way to stay motivated is to keep a training journal. A journal can be your venting outlet and a place to record your achievements. If you seem to be losing focus, you can go back to your journal for some encouragement.
The most crucial aspect of your running schedule is your goals. Make sure to highlight what you want to achieve and go for it.