“Where do I even start? I'm not a runner.” If you can run, you are a runner.
Oftentimes, the hardest part is just getting started. Some people feel clueless when it comes to getting started and if I had one piece of advice, it would be to start slow. It feels much better to build up than to start out too long or too fast and feel defeated.
I always recommend starting with an “on and off jog.” The idea is to alternate between jogging and walking and eventually shortening the walk time and increasing the jog time. Start very easy. Jog for 1 minute and walk for 2 minutes. Keep repeating for as long as you want. Then the next time you go out, bump it up to jog for 2 minutes and walk for 3 minutes. As many times as you want. Then try jog for 2 minutes and walk for 2 minutes. Eventually working up to jog for 4 minutes and walk for 1 minute. Before you know it, you will run 1 full mile without walking and continue building up from there!
Running uses many different muscles in your body. The main muscles running uses are quads, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors and calf muscles but there are so many other secondary muscles working in addition to those. Since there are so many muscles working at once it is very important to incorporate stretching, strength training and rest days!
Stretching is so important. Stretching helps with flexibility and helps maintain your range of motion. Without stretching, your muscles can shorten and become too tight which then can cause injuries, joint pain, strains and muscle damage.
Strength training can help prevent injuries. As a runner, it doesn’t have to be anything really heavy but try to focus more on low weight high rep stuff. It helps keep those muscles strong and activated to help progress your running.
Your muscles actually build on rest days. I always recommend at the very least one rest day per week. Your body replenishes its glycogen stores more easily on rest days. This helps your muscles build and helps prepare your body for your next workout or run.
The best part of running is that you can do it anywhere and don’t need any equipment other than a pair of shoes! So, get out there and just start somewhere. Always keep in mind, something is always better than nothing.
Written By 6AM Writer & Sponsored Runner: Annie Noffsinger of Anniekayfitness.com Instagram- @anniekayfitness
Photo by: Andrew Wheating