Advice for Beginning Runners

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stretching-after-runIf you are thinking about starting a running routine, great! Come join us! But, before you bound out the door on your first 3 mile run consider starting off slow and taking your time to properly build up your strength and endurance.

Our expert contributors have provided us with these helpful tips to follow when we begin a running routine. Read them over, then set your first running goal!

Strength Training

Beginners! Please, please commit to some strength training before you start a running program! We are born runners, but unless we are in decent physical condition and have been working on building our total(overall) body strength we stand a greater chance for injury. I say total body strength for the reason that everything is connected-with over 600 muscles and 206 bones, it is essential to our well being that we condition ourselves before we endure through the rigor and repetitive motion of running.

The common running injuries are to the ankle, knee and hip and are usually inflammation to the joint, or worse-torn cartilage, a strained ligament or tendon. Strength training builds stronger and thicker ligaments and tendons as well as stronger muscles. All this strength provides more stable joints and less chance of injury while running. Cardio Saves Lives-Strength Training Makes it Worth Living!

Daniel FitzSimons, BodyFitz, http://www.bodyfitz.com

If you are new to running or returning after a layoff, there are a few things to consider before you lace up your shoes for a run. Getting Started:

Be Safe

If you are new to exercise, remember to start slow and stay within your personal limitations. It is also prudent to consult your doctor and receive medical clearance before beginning a new exercise routine. To prevent fatigue, consider eating a small snack before workouts and remember to hydrate before, during, and after exercise.

Be Prepared

Start by selecting which type of exercise you will be using for your cardiovascular training. Consider what type of clothing and equipment you might need. If you are taking up walking or running, it is a good idea to visit a local running store to get properly fitted for shoes.

Devise a Plan

Set goals for your workouts and overall health. Prioritize your schedule to be sure you are making time for your workouts. Identify days and times when you will be able to make it to the gym or head out for a run. Always start slow and build up gradually.

Listen to your Body

If you are feeling fatigued, have low energy, experience shortness of breath, dizziness or nausea, stop exercising and take a break immediately. You may be overexerting yourself or pushing too hard too soon. If you’re not feeling well, give yourself time off to recover.

Track your Progress

Consider keeping an exercise journal to record your workouts. Tracking your progress will help you monitor your goals, which allows you to see when you are making improvements or if you need to increase your exercise duration, frequency, or intensity to continue improving.

Be Flexible

If you become uninterested in your workouts or lose motivation, reassess your goals or try a new activity. Consider joining a running club or a master track and field team. Try working out with friends or entering a local events or leagues to help increase motivation.

Have Fun

Remember, all this exercise is making you a healthier more energized individual. Your efforts are helping to reduce your stress levels, risk of chronic disease, and improve immune function.

Joe Vennare, The Hybrid Athlete, http://www.thehybridathlete.com

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