Running - you either love it or hate it. Hats off to those people who can run marathons or even jog 5km without stopping to walk. If you are one of the people who loathe hitting the pavement, it may be because you haven’t found your running style, you’re lacking motivation, or you don’t know where to start. If you’re keen to find a place for running in your regular routine, keep reading.
Some people run to improve their aerobic fitness and build endurance, while others run to catch the tram, keep up with their kids, or when there’s free cake in the office kitchen. Whatever your reason for picking up the pace, here are our tips to get you on track.
Focus on your breathing
Running out of breath can happen easily if you haven’t built up your aerobic fitness. There’s nothing worse than pulling on your sneakers and hitting the pavement, only to lose steam in the first 500m. Perfecting your breathing is a very important step in running. It’s best to find one that works for you and fits your technique.
If you don’t know where to start, try this: inhale for three steps, exhale for two, inhale for three steps, exhale for two. Once you start running, you will be able to feel if this technique works for you. If you are struggling, change it up; minus or add steps to find your ideal rhythm. Keeping your breathing pattern odd/even will have you landing on alternating feet to ensure the impact of the exhale isn’t affecting one side of your body over the other. Even when you aren’t running, you can practice deep breathing to get your lungs and body used to this technique.
Start with short distances
To keep yourself on track, be realistic with your goals. Start small and work your way up to a goal distance. Focus on smashing a 1km run before pushing yourself for 5km. You don’t want to burn yourself out on your first few attempts. Just remember, all pro-runners started where you are. Tip: add an extra 100m-200m to each run to slowly increase your distance; this will allow your body time to adjust to running, especially if you are new to it. We also suggest sticking to a running routine. Aim to train three days a week to get yourself into a rhythm and build it up from there.
Get a running buddy
Having someone to run alongside you can push you that bit harder to keep going. It’s easier to stop when it’s just you, so having a friend tag along is one way to keep you motivated and moving. Having someone to train with can also make your run more enjoyable; you’ll be more likely to stay on track and smash it together. It’s an added bonus to be able to reach the finish line with a friend who has been training just as hard as you. Plus, a little healthy competition never hurt, right? Make running dates or meeting points to ensure you are both committed to your running goals.
A warm down is crucial after any workout. Check out these five things to do post-workout.