Running 101: what I would have liked to know before I started to run

Here are 4 lessons I have learned and would have liked to know before getting into running!
Read these simple tips to get started on the right foot, remain motivated and avoid injuries.

Lesson 1: It Has to Be Easy

The first advice to follow when you start running: the first few times must be easy. One should feel only a little or not at all breathless. This means starting at a very low intensity and for short periods of time. Start by alternating between walking sequences and short running sequences. In a very gradual way, lengthen the race intervals. When you return from your first outings, you should say, “I could have run faster and longer!”

Lesson 2: Warm Up Before You Go

As one is comfortable at the beginning of the session, one can tend to speed too quickly: that’s a mistake, because one will tire quickly. Like any physical activity session, it is important to prepare the body and mind for the incoming. Warm up for about 5 to 10 minutes by performing dynamic movements similar to those of the run, but at a lower intensity. For example, one can start by walking and quietly increase the speed. Do not skip this first step, as it’s an integral part of your workout.

Lesson 3: Integrate Strength Training

A general bodybuilding program will help avoiding injuries while causing you to become a stronger, faster and more effective runner. This is an essential complement to running. By working your upper body, core and legs, you can correct some common imbalances and weaknesses associated with our modern life. Ask a kinesiologist for guidance on the type of muscle training to do depending on the frequency and intensity of your training sessions.

Lesson 4: Take Your Time

To become a good runner, you have to get some rest and a good training plan. It is necessary to leave at least one day of rest between your runs. On the other hand, if you train for a race of 10 km, for example, you have to allow a preparation period of 12 to 16 weeks. Again, the help of a professional will promote a smooth process, so that you can achieve your goals optimally and without suffering any injuries.

I wish you a great running season!

Karine Larose, M.Sc.

Kinesiologist and Director of Communications at Nautilus Plus, Karine is a fitness chronicler and specializes in motivation in training. She wrote several books, published with Trécarré under the titles Take Charge of your Health and Fitness with the Transform program, Zero Diet, The Guide to Healthier Living, and 10-4 The Healthy Way to Lose 10 Pounds in 4 Weeks. Karine hosts a series of exercise DVDs entitled 30 minutes par jour pour Vivre Plus. She contributes to various television, radio and magazine and newspaper programs, and is regularly asked by the media to give her perspective on physical activity.

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