Let’s be completely honest here, taking up running is not an easy challenge. It takes time to progress and therefore, you need to be committed to the cause of running. Then one day, you will go for a run and those legs will no longer feel so tired. Your breathing will settle much more quickly and you will realise, that you are actually a runner.
I can promise you that if you commit, you will achieve the status of runner – just be prepared to put in the hard work! Like many challenges, you must put the work in to receive the results. However, one of the biggest mistakes a new or returning runner will make is to do too much too soon and this puts you at risk of injury. This is particularly relevant for older runners. Our recovery is slower, we are less pliable and so more likely to tear our muscle fibres. Be savvy with your training, ensure you have rest days to enable recovery and most importantly – enjoy what you do!
The first step:
Pick some comfortable clothing, put on your trainers and just do it! This is the hardest step – actually making a start. It is very easy to find reasons not to go out but the sooner you get out, the sooner you will be back.
Plan the route you would like to take beforehand, there are Apps that you can download to enable you to map your route if you like numbers. Warm up gradually – do not head out the front door and break into a jog, your heart rate will accelerate too quickly and you will feel out of breath. Walk and then gradually increase your pace to a brisk walk until you are suitably warm and ready to jog.
To walk/run20 mins, three times in the first few weeks and increase this to 30 min, three times a week. There are various pieces of advice on how long to walk and how long to run during each activity – my advice is to do what feel rights for you. You may feel you can run for 2 minutes and then walk for 3 mins for example.
Do not put too much pressure on yourself and do not run too fast – if you are not sure check that you can string a short sentence together. It will take some time but you will find your natural running rhythm. Remember your body is performing a new activity, it will take some time to get used to it and adapt.
Make sure you cool down – end the run with a walk and then stretch out your muscles. There are plenty of examples of stretches to do online – at the very least stretch your calves, quadriceps and hamstrings.
Good luck and make sure you congratulate yourself on your achievements.