Thursday, July 3, 2014

For The Newbie Runner: Part 1

So, you are a new to the road. Or, perhaps, you're back from a lengthy hiatus like, oh, let's say since the last big running revolution several decades ago. 

No matter. You've made a great decision! Whether you want to up your fitness game from nil or increase the intensity from another activity, running is an excellent choice! Considering myself still a newbie runner, I am constantly learning from all types of running enthusiasts be they casual or elite. Runners are awesome at helping fellow athletes. The following are the first three quick tips for you to consider.

1. Shoes: All feet are not created equal.

With this topic being too diverse for me to tackle. we will just stick with a quick note. Your feet are carrying your body farther and faster than, quite possibly, they have been doing. It only makes sense to consider how they are outfitted. Just because a shoe is a "running" shoe does not mean its your running shoe. A brand that is comfortable to you may cause my feet to fatigue quickly. A brand that "hugs" my arches, may confine your movement. By the way, the shoes I use for a group fitness class wear differently due to the lateral movement than my runners.

Tips before you purchase a shoe in your local sports store:

*Don't be in a rush. Take your time to bounce around the store with different shoes. Even different models under the same brand can ride differently.
*Expensive does not mean it will be a perfect fit.
*Ask about the store's return policy. If after a couple of weeks, you have decided the new shoes are not going to work, will you be able to return them to try another pair?
*Feet swell. Don't let pride hinder you from sizing up. Toes need room to do their thing in the toe box!

My Current Personal Fave Runners: Brooks Glycerine.

2. Intervals: A mile is a mile.

Don't be shamed into thinking because you cannot run 3 miles without walking makes you any less a runner. One mile walking is the same distance as one mile running. How you get there is up to you! Interval training works like this; run at a fast pace for a specific amount of time and, then, walk or slowly jog for your resting interval. Doing intervals is very common in training and in racing for building muscle endurance with less potential for injury. Legs stay fresh allowing you to go longer distances.

Sometimes, I use 2:1 intervals. Two minutes running with one minute walking to achieve the desired distance. In training for a race, I may employ a 5:1.

3. Running Groups: Never say never.

Thinking all running groups are full of elite runners who have no time nor patience for the beginner runner is more common than not. This thinking is why most newbie runners choose to go it alone. One is lonely number.

Why consider running groups?

*There is camaraderie for mutual support with running groups. The seasoned runner is willing to assist the newcomer simply for the love of the sport. They do not want to see you quit. 
*Not all running groups actually meet to run together. Encouraging you to enjoy the ride while getting better at it are the focus. Many are online groups promoting virtual runs and races, again, simply for the love of the sport. 

My first running group was with a Facebook group of runners of all strengths wanting to stay active during the over-indulgence of the holidays. It was amazing! I wanted to run more and post that I met or exceeded my weekly goal. Now, I have numerous online running buddies who inspire one another, daily.

Ok, Newbie! There are your first three tips with more to come! 

No comments:

Post a Comment