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5 things you should know before start running

Running is the easiest and cheapest alternative for anyone who wants to start exercising.

As we know how to walk, it seems logical that we also know how to run, after all it is almost like walking, but faster.

However, this is not like that.

Before you start running, you should understand a little more about this topic and keep in mind some things that I will show you in this article, namely what you should know before you start running.

Main advantages of running:

running

In addition to be a cheap option for those who want to start exercising, running has many other advantages, both physical and mental, such as:

  • Improvement of aerobic capacity

Running, when performed at medium-low intensity, fits the type of aerobic exercise. 

Do you know what  aerobic exercise is?

“Aerobic literally means “with oxygen”,and refers to the use of oxygen in muscles’ energy-generating process.

In general, aerobic exercise is one performed at a moderately high level of intensity over a long period of time.”

  • Reducing stress levels
  • Improvements in self-image and self-confidence

Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood (…), and improve self-esteem.”

  • Increased use of calories
  • Improvement of body composition

“(…) endurance performance leads to a decrease in body mass, mainly body fat.”

As you can see, there are several benefits in practicing physical exercise.

But before you can start to benefit of these advantages, it’s important that you keep a few things in mind.

What you should know before you start running:

It is important that you pay attention to your running technique, because thousands of incorrect ground impacts can lead to injuries in the future.

However, there are other more basic things that you need to consider before you even begin to worry about your technique.

Equipment

running shoes

Please pay attention to the choice of equipment you will use in your running session.

Take time to find the type of footwear that best suits your needs. Before you find the ideal footwear you have to:

  • Know where you will run, whether on the road, or most directly in touch with nature
  • How many kilometers you will run on average every week
  • How do you walk
  • If the footwear brings you stability and comfort

The function of footwear is:

  • Protect
  • Support
  • ‘Cushion’ the impact on the soil
  • Give comfort
  • Improve performance
  • Promote balance

Also choose light clothing so that they do not interfere during training and do not affect your technique.

A tool to your races that can help you a lot is a smartwatch, because it will allow you to know your heart rate during training, the amount of energy spent (= calories burned) in the training and even the distance and at what speed you ran.

Set a goal

Set a goal

Before you begin, you should define your goal.

Set long-term and short-term goals to be easier to stay focused.

Then start slowly.

It is very common that in the beginning you want to do many miles, however, this is not the best strategy.

It is better to begin gradually and progressively so that it is easier to evolve.

You can start by running twice a week if you are sedentary, and then increase the number of days.

Or start by running 15-20 minutes and gradually increase the time you are running.

In this way, you will stimulate gradually your body and protect it.

Before you make great distances, you must prepare your body at all levels.

Beginning in a progressive way, you will “accustom” your joints to the kind of impact.

It is important to note that extra weight training will always be welcome if the goal is to run for a long time.

Weight training will necessarily influence your muscle mass,  an increase that will be essential for running.

“Data supports a benefit from increasing muscle mass, specifically in the lower body, due to the ability to absorb forces transmitted to bone during running.”

Follow a training plan

Following a training plan will also serve to evaluate your progress, as well as help you keep motivated.

Ask a sports professional to help you define the best plan according to your goals!

Keep your expectations under control

You should realize that we are all different.

Some people can reach goals easily and others will take more time.

The important thing is that you realize that it is a process and that the more consistent you are, the better the results will be.

Try to see it as a way of life so you will not be frustrated if the results do not appear quickly.

Pay attention to what you eat

food

As I have already explained, if you approach this new phase as a way of life, everything will become easier. And this new lifestyle is something that has to be repeated all time, with special attention to what you eat.

Food is not just to satisfy you, it is the fuel for your body.

Always keep in mind to nourish your body in the best way before training and remember that your pre-workout for the next race is already the first meal after the workout.

Before you train and depending on the intensity and duration of your running, you should eat carbohydrates and healthy fats, because this are the two sources that will give you energy to train.

Attention! Try not to include foods with a lot of fiber, so you do not have problems with digestion or gastrointestinal discomfort.

In the post-workout you should ingest a source of protein, which will be primarily responsible for building and recovering your muscles, carbohydrates and some fat if you so desire, so that you replenish the energy you spent during the training

The meal should always be organized according to the requirements of your day. Planning is the key so that nothing fails.

Attention! It is very important that you know that running has a great impact on your body, especially to your joints and your resistance, so it is fundamental that you make an appointment with a professional before you start running.

As you can see there are some tips that can help you to start running and also to keep you motivated to train, however, the most important part of the process depends on you.

No matter how good the tips are, they’ll be useless if you are not interested.

Motivate yourself to start and enjoy the “trip”.

Comments

The information included in this article concerns the authors opinion only.

About Tiago Sousa

Tiago Sousa
Tiago Sousa has a degree in Sports & Physical Education, he is a Personal Trainer and also a Crossfit L1 Trainer. He is a former competition swimmer with his own outdoor training business. He aims to bring more science to his area, helping people to achieve their goals in a safe way.

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