It’s the start of the year and many of us are looking to start running as a route to getting fitter. However there are often many perceived or real barriers that can deter us from starting. To help kick start your year here are 4 tips that can help you maintain your motivation and break through barriers as they arise.
Starting a new habit can feel daunting, especially when it’s one you might dread. But here’s the trick: Don’t go all-out, and swear you’ll run six days a week if you’ve barely run before. Create a realistic schedule and stick to it.
Treat your training time like you would an important appointment, and if you’re really struggling to commit, find a workout buddy or a group so you have a solid reason to get out there as often as you need to. Sharing the responsibility for exercising can make all the difference. There are now so many running groups that finding a willing running mate is getting easier all the time. You may have a friend of family member who is also trying to get motivated; using social media as a platform for finding a new running mate can make all the difference.
There are also many apps available to help you set a training timetable with alerts and reminders. You can also find training schedules that can be tailored to your needs and targets. Choose whatever works for you!
it’s crucial to set goals. Giving workouts a purpose—whether it’s to lose weight, finish for first race, or set a personal best time—makes them more valuable than running mindlessly. Goals keep you consistent.
But it can be daunting to plan your own training schedule to reach your goal. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources to help you. Resources for setting training schedules can be found online, within apps such as 10k runner, Run (running to loose weight), Garmin connect and others and in the plethora of running magazines or books available to buy. There are also many online coaches who can guide you to becoming a better, fitter runner. Find what works for you and stick with it.
You really only need shoes to start running.
That’s mostly true, which puts a lot of pressure on finding the perfect pair. The most effective way to do this is to head to your local specialty running shop such as Run4It or Achilles Heal (Both based in Glasgow). They’ll put you on a treadmill and analyze your stride to match the right fit and style with how you naturally run.
You’ll want to add a few other essential pieces of gear to your closet to make the run more comfy such as a friction-free pair of shorts, performance socks, and sweat-wicking tops.
If you feel pain, you’ll want to take a break. Which means the most important factor in becoming a consistent runner is becoming a healthy one. When first starting out, there are a few common injuries that can plague you if you’re not careful. Luckily, you can avoid these issues altogether by taking some precautions.
First, make sure you don’t ramp your weekly runs up too quickly. Even if you are feeling great, going too hard too early can lead to injuries, since your body isn’t used to the effort. Having rest days is just as important as training. You must allow your body to repair after exercise; training too much can quickly lead to a breakdown, so make sure you include rest periods away from running.
Additionally, strength training and stretching are key to strong, pain-free running. Squats, lunges, gluteal bridges, and planks are great for strengthening your legs and core—two muscle groups that help you run faster and longer.
You’ll also need to spend some time in the kitchen. Nutrients such as carbs, protein, fibre, and iron will give you energy, build your muscles, and ensure you don’t “hit the wall” (runner-speak for not fuelling enough to get through a workout).
Finally, acting quickly if an injury does not respond to rest or stretching is important. At the Osteopaths we can assess your injury and gait if necessary to identify where injuries may arise. Using osteopathic techniques, medical acupuncture, cold laser therapy and exercise we will have you back to training as quickly as possible.