Running for beginners.

Running for beginners will help you to start running. Running is a great way to get in shape. By activating your biggest muscles, you increase the muscle oxygen demand. Which stimulates your heart to work harder, and your lounges to pull in more air. Here are some essential steps to take:​

Running for beginners step 1. Goalsetting.

Specific

Make a specific decision about what you are trying to achieve. Vague goals are easily forgotten. For example, you wish to become a better runner. But you have not defined what that means. A more specific goal might be that you should want to finish 3 km within 15 min. With a goal like that, it is easy to evaluate when you have reached your goal.

• Measurable.

Make a simple test routine so that you can measure improvements. It is more motivating when you can register progress. Also, it gives you useful information about how you are adapting to the workout.

• Achievable.

Goals should be challenging, but achievable. For example, you want to become the best horse rider in the world. But you don´t have a horse. How achievable do you think that goal is? Make sure to prepare the conditions for your success. Like the free time in your work schedule for your workout. Or proper shoes for running.

* Relevant.

Your goal needs to be relevant to your life situation. Or you will lose focus quickly enough. For example, you want to learn to juggle 5 balls. However, this is a skill that never will be useful for you. How long will it take before you give up? The situation will be different if you are working as a clown at birthday parties. Do you think that you might pursue this goal with a bit more persistence?

• Time-bound.

Have you noticed how much harder you work when you have a deadline? It gives you a sense of urgency. And it pushes you to work.

Running for beginners step 2. Commit.

Real-life is not like the movies where you go from deciding to exercise. Then jumps to a movie collage of extreme workout that gives immediate results. The reality is that good results take time and commitment. Your workout also needs a grade of continuity. “Whenever the athlete stops training, a detraining process sets in, inducing a relatively rapid loss of the acquired adaption. For example, half the increase in mitochondria from 5 weeks of training may be lost in 1 week of detraining” [1, p 8]. Mitochondria`s function is to transform one energy form to another. They are essential for the muscle’s cells oxidative capacity [2]. But do not despair if you deviate from your workout schedule. It happens. The best way to assure continuity in your workout is to choose an activity you enjoy. If this is running, then that is great. If not, then find something else.

Running for beginners step 3. Technique.

Investigate the efficient running technique. Good endurance consists of two parts. Your physical shape and work economics. Which the technique is the biggest contributor. The work economy allows you to use less energy per step. Leaving more energy for speed. A proper technique also prevents unnecessary stress on joints and ligaments.

Running for beginners step 4. Do it one step at a time.

Gradual progression is the key. Your connective tendons adapt slowly to a new workout load. “However, if the training load exceeds the tissue's ability to adapt, the damage will occur. The risk of strain injuries increases - whether it is an increase in the duration of the individual training session, an increase in the training intensity, or the training frequency. It is not uncommon for the duration, intensity, and frequency to increase at the same time” [3, p 9]. Training too hard too early is a sure way to injure yourself. Your body needs time to adapt to the workout. You need to be patient and increase your workload slowly. On the bright side. Improvement comes more rapidly for beginners than experienced athletes. You are likely to feel improvement after just a couple of weeks. J. Olbrecht describes the necessity for gradual progression like this: “Increasing the training load of young, talented swimmers radically and extremely will result in successes in the short run, but stagnation will soon set in” [1, p 11]. So, be patient enough to take it slow now. And will pay off in the long run.

This is how to start running when you are out of shape. Follow these steps and you will soon be ready to run fast and long. To help you, I have made a running workout for beginners. It will be available in the webshop for free. Because everybody deserves a chance to start their workout properly. You can find more information about workouts. Look at my other posts.

Sources:

[1] Olbrecht. J, (2007) “The science of winning” F&G partners.
[2] Dahl. H. A, (2005) «Grunnbok I aktivitetsfysiologi» Cappelen Akademiske Forlag
[3] Bahs. R, Mæhlum. S, Bolic. T, (2010) “Idrettsskader” Fagbokforlaget

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