Running for beginners: How to run properly?

Side view of smiling sporty Caucasian woman dressed in sportswear and with ponytail doing lunges in the gym. In background wall.

With the arrival of good weather, many of us are spending more and more time outdoors. If you're thinking about getting into running, and you don't know where to start, you're in the right place.

Everyone who is engaged in some form of recreational or competitive running started this activity for some, important reason for them: in some it was weight loss, others wanted to train outdoors in nature, the third is running the outlet after a stressful day at work.

There are many reasons, and we will not deal with them, what is important is that they led you to the decision to start running.

Running has many benefits for our health, and is always a good option for training, regardless of whether you are a beginner or a longtime athlete:

improves the work of the heart and cardiovascular system
increases lung capacity
improves mental health
reduces the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes

Proper running technique
During the run, maintain an upright position of the body, the gaze directed forward and not down. Try to keep your shoulders as relaxed as possible, it often happens that we run with tense shoulders leading to faster fatigue.

The hands are bent in elbows under 90°, are located at waist height and casually follow the rhythm of the run: the opposite hand leg. Try to keep your fists relaxed, clenching your fist unconsciously leads to a formation of tension in the hands, shoulders and back.

The foot can make contact with the base over the heel, middle of the foot or fingers, it all depends on your natural walking pattern. Most trainers in running schools will tell you that it is best when the first contact is made in the middle of the foot after which the weight shifts to the front and fingers.

If the first contact is made over the heel, this is most often a sign that you have too long a step, and if the first contact is over your fingers, your leaves will quickly tire and cause pain in your lower leg.

Before each run, it is necessary to do a warm-up that, as a rule, consists of dynamic stretching and exercises of the “school” of running such as low and high skip, step forward, jumps in movement and the like. Warming up will prepare muscles and tendons for running and help prevent injuries.

After running, it is essential to immediately begin the recovery process, and we will do this by stretching the muscles of the lower extremities, buttocks and back that were actively working during the run. Stretching also has a preventive function, namely if we skip it over time there will be muscle fatigue that will grow into a state of overtraining and lead to injuries to overuse, that is, chronic inflammatory processes.

Below we will give some tips for beginners in order to enjoy as much as possible the activity they have chosen and therefore ensure that they will not give up on it after the beginner's torment that each new beginning brings.
Small steps to great results
A lot of novice runners quite possibly ran for the last time in physical and health classes in high school, so they don't have a realistic picture of their current capabilities.

Over time, it will come up to 5, and then 10 km, you just need to be persistent and not rush long distances at first. This way of thinking can lead to overtraining or injury. Do not bother with the number of kilometers you have traveled during training, much more important is the time spent in training.

The pace of running is one of the running items in which beginners often make mistakes, most often because they have not yet learned to listen to their body. Most of them run at a pace beyond their capabilities, which contributes to a faster onset of fatigue and the need to stop activity.

The easiest method to determine a good running pace is if you can breathe normally when running, or if you can have a conversation with the person you are running with in pairs. The rhythm of breathing is controlled and you do not need to breathe at a certain rhythm. If you notice that the natural rhythm of breathing has been lost, you are very likely running too fast, so slow down the pace a little.

Another sign that you are running at a pace that suits you is the transition of breathing from nose to mouth. This running pace is appropriate for your ability level and there is no need for higher speed. After a while, you will be able to run at a faster pace, but you can always use the rhythm of breathing as a kind of pace regulator.

You can also make a few short accelerations while running to work on improving your running technique.

Running shoes
Running shoes are the next item that is important to mention. If you ask an experienced runner what to invest in when you start running, they will surely tell you that these are sneakers, and that sneakers are the only thing about running that you should not skimp on. Quality sneakers will provide better support and stability to your feet and prevent inflammation and injuries that occur in runners.

The initial elan is certainly a positive thing when we start any activity, but it should be moderate and not overdo it right from the beginning. Given that running is an activity to which our body is not accustomed, it will need enough rest to recover. For this reason, do not run too often, 3 times a week is quite enough to give the body enough time to recover between runs and reduce the chance of injury.

The flip side of the initial enthusiasm is that it can disappear very quickly, the first stronger training or muscle inflammation is enough to distract most beginners from running. The task is to stay motivated. Once it becomes a habit, running is much easier and even when we don't feel like it, we'll still do the training. Until we get to that stage, motivation is something that will encourage us to get out of the apartment or house and go for a run.

The key is to find out what motivates you and stick to it. Some of you will be most helpful if you have a routine that suits you (same time, place, people) while running. Others will motivate the goal they have set for themselves and do not give up until they achieve this goal, followed often by a new goal (set yourself smaller, easily achievable goals to gradually progress towards a greater goal).

Given that running is an increasingly popular activity that both young and old are engaged in, you are likely to meet a large number of runners wherever you go to run. Beginners often make a mistake because they are compared with others, which can have a demotivating effect if someone is faster than them.

As in all activities, it takes time to make progress, and for this reason it should not be triggered by the results that people running around you have. There will always be those who will be faster or slower than you, and it does not hurt to mention that there are also a large number of people who do not run at all.

It is important to set yourself goals that are in accordance with our capabilities and remember: run only for yourself and therefore do not worry about others.

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