I was inspired to write today's post by several personal friends that decided this week to "take the plunge", as it were, and take up running. One friend in particular has been coming to me a lot for advice on how to get started, and I thought it might be beneficial to all you, my readers, for me to share all my (not so) vast knowledge!
So, first off, when should you start running?
Right now! If you have been thinking of taking up running as a way to get(or stay) fit, then there's no time like the present. The longer you put it off, the farther away the results that running offers. I must say, though, that all the runners I know(including myself) were in some kind of shape, and at relatively decent weights when we started. If you're more than 50 lbs overweight, I'd talk to a doctor or an actual fitness expert before starting, because running is hard. No sugar coating it here, people. It's hard on your body, and if your body can't handle it, then you shouldn't be doing it!
So often people shy away from going for that first run because they think they don't have the time! Now, I'm a college student with a job....I know busy. And I know that there are going to be those days where you just don't have the time to squeeze in an hour workout. I get it. But let me suggest an app to all you nerds with a smart phone. It's called C25KFree, and it's a running app for beginners. It starts you out from the couch, having you walk for two minutes, run for one minute, then walk again for two, and so on, building you up week by week until you can run a 5k. The best part is, it's only 30 minutes!!! You may not be able to work out for an hour, but 30 minutes? That's nothing!
I also recommend this app because it eases your body into the activity of running. The very first time I went running ever was with my neighbor, who thought a "beginner workout" was four miles. LOL no. Once I was finished weeping, I quickly went on my phone's app store and looked for something that gave it to me in little chunks, and the C25KFree app is what I found. I've been using it ever since!
Something I told my friend just today was this. And it's very important, so pay attention. Just because the app (or your running buddy) move on to harder runs, maybe going from running two minute intervals to five minutes intervals, for example, it DOES NOT mean that you have to do the same. Running, like most things, is very personal. If you're running your two minute intervals thinking "This is hard. There is NOOOO way I can run more than this!" Then don't. You'll know when you're ready to progress, and until then, do what you can. Exercising is meant to make you better, not injure you!
And speaking of injuries(you like my segway?) let's not get them, ok? The best way to prevent injury when running is to warm up beforehand, and to STRETCH AFTER. I cannot stress this enough. So often people will forgo stretching after a workout, because they don't want to take the time, or they want to bulk up their muscles, but guys. Stretch. It relaxes the muscles after a workout and prevents cramping and other bad things. If bulking up is what you're looking for, that's great. Look for it in the workout....then stretch. Pinterest is a fantastic recourse for both warm up and cool down/stretching routines, but I'll include a few on this post for those that don't have access to pinterest. If you want any more details, or any other resources, please leave a comment below and I'll send you stuff!
Finally, it's important to have the right music. You may laugh now, but try getting a good run in while listening to a funeral durge.....IDK do people actually listen to those?! Anywho, check out my last post for suggestions for good running songs. With the right beat, you can get really in the zone with your run, and push yourself more than you thought you could, and a good jam just makes the time go by so much faster!