So you want to know how to start running? It’s often that said that if you want to lose weight exercise but if you want to change your life start running. I couldn’t agree more!
First and foremost, don’t plan to go too far or too fast right away — if you take this approach right out of the gate you could easily get injured. Case in point….
I started running 3 years ago after my ex-wife and I separated. Isn’t it funny how most of us only take massive action in life when it can’t get any worse? LOL. I’ll leave that lesson for another day 🙂
Running was a great release for me and it really helped me through that tough time in my life. After only a couple weeks I found myself running more often than not on a daily basis. I started out by running hills, doing short 1 mile runs and as I got stronger I started to increase the distance. Needless to say I felt great! It was very empowering and I actually started to see results in my body in just a short period of time.
Then one day I mistakenly pushed myself to hard….
I really love running trails! To me there is nothing like the felling of running on a trail that meanders through the woods or forest. For me, it doesn’t get any better than that. One day I just went way too hard and too soon. I ended up running 7 miles through woods and when I got home my knee was extremely sore and it started to give out over the next few days and it got much worse over the next couple months.
Don’t ask me why I run…ask yourself why you don’t
I didn’t run much after that, my knee would randomly give out from time to time and I convinced myself it was just a pulled muscle or something. But who was I kidding? I knew it was more than that. After a 3-4 months I made the decision to get it checked it out. One trip the doctors and one bad prognosis, I tore my meniscus. I was so upset! I found something truly special, something I absolutely loved, something that kept me focused, motivated, and calm. I know what you’re saying…”I should of had it checked out sooner”. You are right and if I did I would of been running again in no time. Long story short, I didn’t have the surgery for another month or so and between that and the cautiously conservative recovering time it ended up being almost 18 months before I got started running again.
This is exactly how I got started running again and how you should start too.
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When you’re just getting back into running after a long time off or if you’re a beginner, it’s not necessary to worry about how many miles you are doing. Instead make how often you run and how the number of minutes the priority instead. Once you get into a routine you’ll start to get stronger both mentally and physically. It won’t be that long before you realize that you can go much further in the same amount of time than before. It’s at this point that you increase your workout time and or start transitioning to doing 2-3 miles a day. Perhaps you can start putting some running drills into your workout as well to increase your strength and endurance.
Start for 20 minutes at a time, three times per week. Gradually increase the amount of time you’re running and the number of days you run, but do not increase either until you feel comfortable completing your current level of training. If 20 minutes is too much, don’t be afraid to take walking breaks.
I’m also a big proponent of interval training. Interval training is training or running in a way that involves a series of low- to high-intensity exercise workouts interspersed with rest or relief. You can easily apply this to running by doing a combination of walk, jog, run. If you’re a beginner and you find you can’t run continuously for a even a short distance walking is fine, but then get up to a jog, then sprint as long as you can and repeat the process.
Interval training is a great way to train and get your strength up quickly. In just a couple weeks you’ll be much stronger and be running much longer. Self Discipline is the key, be consistent and persistent in your approach.
Once you get hooked (and you will) make it a point to run 10-15 miles a week or 2-3 miles a day with the ultimate goal being to get to 15 miles a week consistently. Got get it!