Yes, it does hurt ( sometimes ), but it shouldn’t hurt so much that you never want to do it again!
I’ve been running regularly for nearly 20 years now. I’m not super fast by any means. I just plod along at my own pace and after having 2 children I have had to start back running from scratch twice. I’ve also had to come back after time off from injury and illness.
Many of my clients have asked how they should start running, both for fitness and weight loss. I’m all for anyone starting to run, but only if they really want to, if they have no injuries and have been cleared by their medical professional. Don’t think that you HAVE to run just because your neighbour does it or someone tells you it’s what you should do to be fit or lose weight.
Bear in mind that running is a high impact, high intensity activity that can cause injuries if you do much too soon .. This would be the first and biggest mistake that those new to running make. It’s the main reason that most people give up before they have really experienced the benefits of running.
What I’m detailing below is my version of what to do to start running. It is what I do when I start back after any time off or even if I’m not quite feeling the love.
If you aren’t doing any exercising or even walking much, then I recommend starting out walking and being able to walk at a brisk pace for at least 30 minutes before you start running. Your body needs to be used to moving with regular impact on your feet, ankles, hips and spine.
If you are currently walking or even running just a little bit here’s how you can increase to running. I’m a simple girl and I Iike things a bit structured so whenever I advise my clients I suggest working in 5 minute blocks.
Start out with a walking warm up for 5 minutes .. No dawdling pick up the pace!
Now set out on a slow jog for 30 seconds to 1 minute depending on how much you have done in the past. Back to walking until you reach 5 minutes .. so 4:00 minutes to 4:30 minutes walking.
Repeat this at least 4 times until you reach 30 minutes and finish off with a warm down walk for 3 to 5 minutes.
Set out on this run / walk at least 3 times a week. Try not to head out on consecutive days as you want a little recovery time between each run.
If you are feeling good with not too much tiredness, soreness or stiffness next week it’s time to increase your run time. Each week endeavour to increase your run time by 30 seconds and decrease your walk break by 30 seconds. I always stay working in 5 minute intervals .. I said I was a simple girl!
Always start your workout with a walking warm up of between 3 and 5 minutes and finish your run with a walking warm down for a few minutes and then give your muscles some love by stretching them out.
By building up gradually you will be more likely to enjoy your runs and avoid many of the starting out niggles that can sometimes plague beginner runners.
Once you have built up to running / jogging for 5 minutes, add a 1 minute walk break and each week add an extra 5 minutes until you have reached your time goal.
You may note that I have not mentioned anything about distances … They don’t really matter so much to begin with, what you need to focus on when you start out is consistency and time on your feet.
Once you have worked your way up to 40 – 45 minutes then you can look to adding distance. But if you can run / walk for this period of time you will most definitely be able to run 5km .. And head out for your first 5km fun run!
A couple of things to note .. you will get hot and sweaty. This is OK. You will get pretty huffy puffy. This is also OK, and quite frankly if you’re not getting a little puffed then you ain’t working hard enough! Hook up some tunes if you don’t like to listen to the sound of your feet / breathing / the birds. Take a friend .. canine or otherwise, it really does help!
You may also get to see some pretty nice scenery on the way! This is what makes it worthwhile.
My final piece of advice .. Venture out and you can do anything that you set your mind to .. Be consistent and committed and you will achieve your goal.
See you really can do it!
Let me know if you have any questions and enjoy!