If you have been thinking about running but just haven’t been able to hit the pavement, these tips will help you get started and stay on the right track.
1. Work into it Slowly
If you are a beginner, it’s best to start with a walk/run program. You should time your walk/run ratio depending on your current fitness level. If you are a beginner and starting a running program for the first time, start with brisk walking 3-4 minutes and then jog 1 minute. Do this program for a few weeks. Once it becomes comfortable you can change the ratio. Make sure you don’t run too many days in a row and slowly increase the amount of time for each run. As a rule of thumb, avoid increasing your volume by more than 10% each week. In addition to working into the program slowly, you may want to set a goal and find a 5K in your area to sign up for. This will keep you motivated and moving towards a goal.
2. Choose the Right Equipment
This is essential for success! The right running shoes and socks are basics and without these in place you are setting yourself up for injuries. Most people don’t even think about what kind of socks they should wear when running, but the wrong socks can cause chaffing and blisters and the wrong shoes can lead to multiple injuries. There are several great local running stores in Las Vegas that will evaluate you and suggest the right shoe for you.
3. Variety is the Spice of Life!
It’s important to have variety in your exercise program. Strength training is very important and you can find strength training programs online that are specifically designed for runners. Consider hiring a personal trainer that has experience coaching runners. Other activities such as cycling, swimming and yoga are great to do on your nonrunning days. Trail running is another way to add variety and make it fun. There are some wonderful trails in Las Vegas with some amazing views.
4. Complete a Proper Warm-Up and Cool-Down
Make sure you have time for a 5-10 minute warm up and cool down. Do active or dynamic (moving) stretches before your run and static (non-moving) stretches after your run. Using the foam roller several times a week will help reduce your risk for injury.
5. Have a Partner in Crime
Find a running group that meets weekly. A group makes running fun and it’s exciting to meet new people who have similar goals. Most running groups have people with varying levels of running experience. This is great because you will find people who share your level of fitness. You can also get valuable advice from the more advanced runners. Some running groups even have a running coach that will lead the group and evaluate your running form. Many of these organized groups are free while some charge a small fee.
Be smart and most importantly, have fun on your fitness journey.
Cyndee Platko is an ISSA Certified personal trainer and endurance trainer. She is also a licensed massage therapist, a triathlon coach and a swim coach. Cyndee has completed 12 Ironman Triathlons, 2 ultramarathons, an 8K swim and has qualified and competed in the 70.3 World Championships on two occasions. You can reach Cyndee at firstname.lastname@example.org or on her website, www.coachcyndee.com.