Running Tips for Beginners
Running is your best ally in fighting those extra pounds and getting rid of them for good. Not only that, it can also boost your fitness level, reduce stress levels and the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Nevertheless, running has a bad wrap in the fitness circles. That’s understandable as the high impact nature of this activity can lead to a myriad of injuries and heath problems. However, following the right training strategies can help you get the most out of your training program without running the risk of injury or burnout. Therefore, here are 3 tips for the injury-free overweight runner.
Beginner Running Tip 1: Build Gradually
The most common mistake made by beginner runners, overweight or not, is running too much too soon while ignoring the body’s own signs of pain and overload. This is the root-cause of most running injuries. In fact, it’s the reason why most beginners drop out only after the second week of training. You don’t have to make this mistake.
Therefore, the way to go is to start slowly and build the intensity up gradually. For instance, if you’re a new comer to the sport of running, go for 4 or 5 long walks around the neighborhood and test your fitness level. As the training progresses forward, add 30-45 running intervals into your walking by opting for a walk-run-walk pattern. You run shortly to build stamina and endurance (you burn calories as well!), and you walk for recovery and rest. And as you get fitter, lengthen the running and walk for less, until you’re able to run straight for 30 minutes with ease.
Beginner Running Tip 2: Listen to your body
Your body is your best coach. It can tell when you need to keep going and when to stop—this is only possible if you’re willing to assess its feedback and adjust accordingly. Ignoring your body’s signals of discomfort and pain will only leave you injured and discouraged. The “no pain, no gain” attitude is a recipe to disaster.
Therefore, for instance, if you’re feeling intense pain in the chest or legs, whether during or after the training session, make sure to address this problem properly. You may need to slow down a bit and take the day off.
Beginner Running Tip 3: Take recovery
Recovery and running performance go hand in hand. In fact, recovery is as important as the training itself. See, your body needs to go through an adaptation process so it can get stronger and be better at handling the training load. This process can only take place when your body is provided with enough recovery. Otherwise, skipping on recovery can lead to premature fatigue, loss of appetite and enthusiasm for the training, injury and eventually a painful burnout.
Therefore, make sure to space out your training days with a recovery day. Take more than one day if you still feel fatigued or suspect an injury. Don’t feel like a failure if you’ve missed a couple of training days, it will only do you good. Nonetheless, take ample recovery in time of sincere need; don’t use it as an excuse to sit lazily on the couch.
These training strategies can make out of you an injury-free runner in no-time. Nevertheless, change takes place when you start taking action. So put into practice what you’ve just learned and keep in mind to always stay within your fitness level.
About the author: David Dack is a runner and an established author on motivation and fitness.