If you are looking for a holistic fitness regimen then the first step is to maintain a regular running routine. Here’s all you need to know about beginning your running routine:
1 Baby steps:
If you are new to running, start with short, slow multiple walks during one session. Over time build it up to a brisk walk and then brisk walk.
2 Time on feet:
Focus only on time spent walking or running and not on speed or distance. Never increase your cumulative weekly mileage or longest weekly run by more than 10%. Use rule of 10% to increase your mileage, eg. mileage of this week in 100 km, only try increase maximum by 10% for the following week. 70-80% injuries in running happen because of over-training.
Irrespective of speed, take controlled long breaths. During easy pace sessions, you should be able to talk in full sentences. During your quicker runs, you should be able to talk in 3-4 word sentences.
4 Relaxed running:
Imagine holding a papad between your thumb and index finger of both hands while you walk-run. It’ll help you relax and have more easy strides. This will release the tension that you used to have around your shoulders and upper back.
5 Stretching and warm up:
Stretching is very important before a run. Please be careful not to over stretch, Stretch only those parts that are stiff for you. Stretching can be a treatment of certain injuries, and is sometimes beneficial after sports to combat soreness.
6 Listen to your body:
Don’t attempt to run through pain. It can become a major injury that’ll take long to recover. Also, while running, listen to your footsteps. If they are too loud, it means you are landing too heavily on your feet, which can cause stress to your knees, hips and back.
7 Proper shoes and training kit:
Running shoes must be half a size or one size bigger. Wearing old worn out shoes can cause injury. Bare feet or minimalist running is not for everyone. If you are keen on it, initially use it only as cross-training session, which works your other body parts more. Also wear appropriate training kit and keep it clean.
Diet: Keep a record of your training and diet:
Never run straight after a meal. Proper sports nutrition is often the most neglected part of a runners training. A healthy diet is high in carbohydrates, low in fat, and sufficient in protein. When your diet is right, you run well.
9 Hydration: Drink according to thirst:
Over-hydration is more dangerous than dehydration. It’s always better to have electrolytes mixed in your water rather than having plain water. Do not gulp large volumes of fluids before, during or after a race. Avoid caffeine, carbonated drinks and alcohol that encourage loss of fluids.
10 Professional advice:
If you experience chest pain, dizziness or light-headedness while exercising, stop immediately. Consult your physician.