On Monday I posted Becoming a Runner: Where Should You Start? I wrote about the reasons you might consider taking up running, buying (but not buying too quickly) the appropriate gear, and devising a plan to get you back on the running trails if something happened to cause you to get side-tracked from running.
Today let’s talk about just what you should do once you walk out the door for that very first run. You might think, “Well that’s simple, I’ll run.” But first you have to decide how long, how far, and where you’ll run?
Unless you’re twelve years old and your body won’t even notice such a sudden change in your exercise behavior, you might want to break your body into this new running thing slowly. I tell my clients that we are going to trick their bodies into adapting to their new exercise routine since they don’t hire me to work them so hard that they can’t walk the next day. I add a little more duration, intensity, and speed to their workouts gradually to give them time to adapt to their new workouts. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t baby them; but I don’t go all Jillian on them either.
Tips for how to plan for your first few weeks out running:
- Honestly asses your fitness level (it’s okay to call yourself a beginner)
- Find a running plan online, get an app, or use mine from below
- Determine if your shoes are well fitted and suitable for your first few runs
- Decide where you will log your runs (either online, on an app, or on paper)
- Find a safe trail, gym, or quiet neighborhood for your runs
- Tell your friends so they can encourage you
What to do on that very first run:
- Dress appropriately for the current weather conditions
- Warm up properly
- Run/walk according to your running plan/schedule
- Cool down until your breathing starts to return to normal
- Stretch while you’re still warm (roll out any trigger points if you have a foam roller)
- Ice any painful areas
- Log your run
Deb’s “Trick Your Body Into Becoming A Runner” plan:
- Warm up with a ten-minute walk
- Run/walk for 10 to 30 minutes – Run, taking walk breaks as necessary. As you get stronger, increase your running time while decreasing your walking break time. Work your way up to 30 minutes of continuous running.
- Cool down with a five-minute walk
Once your body adapts to the full thirty minutes of running, it’s time to decide what type of runner you want to be. If you want to run for fitness, you can continue to gradually add time to your runs until you are running about 45 minutes each time out. If the running bug has bitten you and you want to start entering some races, go for it! With a steady 30 minutes of running under your belt already, you should have no problem being able to finish a 5K.
I’ll talk about increasing speed and distance in a future post. In the meantime, happy running!
- If you’re a runner, when did you start running?
- What was the very first road race you ran in?
- What’s the weather like where you live today? ~ It’s gorgeous here today!