Running: Getting Started: Beginner’s Guide -II

This is in continuation of the 1st article and I seriously recommend you to read Running: Getting started before you further read this article. In the whole journey of running, everyone goes through learning steps which might be little different as per one’s age, height, weight and circumstances as well. So it’s important to develop the skill to learn the dots and connect the dots as you progress.

Although this article is for beginners but is equally relevant for intermediate runners as well

I came across many people who want to run or want to restart after few years gap but lack motivation. After multiple discussion with coaches, mentors and people involved in running and analyzing the outcomes, one of the definite conclusion is What beginners are really lacking is a GOAL. Once you have a goal to achieve, you will also get a motivation to achieve it.

I would definitely recommend a simplest and bit of challenging goal for beginners and that is to

Sign up for a friendly 5K race

Fun runs associated with a particular day like women’s day run or runs associated with some health awareness issues like diabetes, blind people, Cancer awareness runs or a famous city run like TCS Majja run are perfect ways to get excited about running. And if these runs are organised by your office, society or friends then you will be having a good time while you’re at it. And you will get company as well for training.

We mentioned preparing for a running plan to meet certain objectives in the last article and we will see how we can make one for ourselves.

Remember the unforgettable simple objectives we discussed
1. We will train for injury free running.
2. We will follow discipline in running

Section : Injury free Running

Lets understand the things which we need to keep in mind to have a injury free running

  1. Properly warm up with a 5 min jog or walk and do dynamic stretching before actual run to remain injury free. Avoid static stretching.
  2. Proper cool down for 5 mins in order to help with muscle soreness and to loosen tight areas
  3. Have rest days in a week to allow your body to heal minor issues and keep your legs fresh.
  4. Know your limits. Doing too much, too soon or too fast has to be avoided whether you are a beginner, professional runner or coming back to running after a long time.
  5. Consciously try to run with a proper form (see image). Poor form can lead to undue pain and injury, leading to shin splints etc. and limited performance
  6. Run on proper surfaces. Avoid hard or uneven surfaces like concrete roads or too much trail in beginning of your running weeks
  7. Listen to your body and learn to differentiate between pain and discomfort
  8. Avoid coming back to running too soon after injury or flu. Understand that losing a day or two is much better than losing a month or so.
Correct running form
Correct Running form

Section : Disciplined Running

Lets understand the things which will help us in conquering initial Running roadblocks

  1. Make a schedule and stick to it. Running will be much easier if you are consistent. Make sure to run/walk at least three to five times a week. Make a schedule based on your existing lifestyle. In case of really tight schedule on a particular day, still make it a point to go for a 15 min run/walk before running into your tight schedule.
  2. Find a running partner or a running group or running club. This is one of the best ways to get you into running on days when you are least inclined to.
  3. Focus on time spent and not on pace or distance covered. In case you thought of running 40 min. on a particular day and start feeling not to run more after 15 min. and get back home , try to make it a point to finish the time of 40 min. by walking if not running. Believe me, most of the times you will running back after 5 min. of walking in such cases.
  4. Get involved into some strength training for 2 days a week. Bicycle crunches, Planks, Push-ups, V-hold, Flutter kicks may be few exercises which should be taken on alternate days to running. Not only your body core will be strengthened but also help you make faster runner.
  5. Don’t cry over spilt milk. What it means is get over the guiltiness of missing a running day in the week. You can not change that but you can start from where you left. Don’t allow a missed day to set you back by a week.
  6. Employ a walk/run method initially and then switch to run/ walk method before finally moving to run/run method

I have put up a practical sample plan for a 5k run goal below ( in a two months time). It is freely downloadable and can be customized at your end. Feel free to customize rest days, run days as per to fit your lifestyle.

5K run sample plan with walk run method to run walk method
5K run sample plan with walk run method to run walk method

You can always contact me through Contact form to help you with a customized plan for 5k or 10k run

Also Read : How to achieve seemingly impossible fitness goals

In case you have any questions/ queries, please feel free to reach me through Contact Form

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Enjoy the day and your life. Don’t forget, we are alone in this grand universe and may not get a chance to live again.

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