As I said last Thursday, running and walking are not for everyone, but if you have decided you want to give it a shot there is one rule you must adhere to: Take it slow! Running should be fun, not agony. Like anything else, if you bite off more than you can chew in the beginning, you run the risk of failure. And in running that translates into a quick turnoff or more importantly injury. With that in mind the next step is to make a daily commitment. Running isn’t something you do two or three times per week. Whatever you gain, you will lose through inactivity. To be successful, you must commit yourself to one hour a day in the beginning. That breaks down to 30 minutes of walking, jogging and running. You pick your own pace and commit 15 minutes before and after for warm up and warm down. The warm up coo down periods involve stretching exercises which I will talk about in a future blog. Running shortens the muscles in the back of the legs and lower back. That is why stretching is important. If you don’t stretch your muscles you invite injury.
The next step is to determine your rate of pace. A good way to do this is by using the “talk test.” If you find you’re breathing to hard and cannot talk while walking, jogging, or running, your pace is too fast. If you’re breathing comfortably and can talk naturally, your pace is right. Wearing the proper footwear is also an important first step when you are beginning. Always remember, running shoes are designed for directional movement, versus basketball shoes and footwear used in an active room setting. It is a bad idea to buy cheap, and always seek the help of a shoe-fitting expert, so you can avoid the common shoe related injuries that can plague you when run or walk.
The next thing is to decide whether you wish to run or walk alone or with company. Everyone is different and there is a good case for both. Companionship in the beginning can be comforting and reinforcing. Others seek to disassociate themselves and go it alone. Some even find running and walking a great stress reliever. The choice is yours alone. Once you get into the swing of the daily program, you’ll probably notice some weight loss and that you have slowed down on how much you eat. Many before you have used running and walking to lose weight. It is not only good for weight loss it’s good for your body.
You should also maintain a daily log so you can track your progress. Jot down things like, the distance you covered, your feelings, your thoughts as you run, names of people you ran with, weather conditions, your heart rate, as you proceed through your daily routine. Also, talk with other runners and walkers. Join a running or walking club, like the Orange Runners or the Sullivan Striders. If you are over 25 years of age, have a physician administer a stress test to detect any sign of heart disease. Preventative medicine should be the rule in this sport. The general advice I’ve given here is just the beginning. If you wish to talk in more detail or have a workout program, stop by and see me at my store, Frank’s Custom Shoe-Fitting, 741 Route 211 East, Middletown, NY or just give a call 845-551-8270 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org