Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tips for New Runners

One tip I've been passing out like water and bananas at a race is this:

Don't go out "too fast" on runs.

Here's the thing, when you're just starting out, you really don't know what your pace is.  You don't have a clue what people are talking about when they say to "slow your pace".  It's something you have to learn about yourself.  Play around with it, but start out SLOW and build up, not the other way around.

This is something I just didn't get until I got hurt....and what (probably) caused me to get hurt was going out too fast in the beginning.  I didn't want to walk.  I didn't want to slow down.  I convinced myself that slowing down hurt but going faster felt better.  (That was just a lie my body told me to get me tired quicker so I'd quit sooner!)

When you are just starting out, decide what it is you are working toward.  Are you going to run a mile?  Are you going to run for 30 minutes?  Are you trying to lose weight or work toward a healthy heart?  (Not that those two are mutually exclusive, but running is NOT--I repeat, NOT--the best way to lose weight.  Obviously the goal can, and most likely will, change, but it's much harder to "hit a moving target" so it's best to know what it is that you want to accomplish.

If your "A" goal is to run distance, then endurance is key.  You need to train your body to stay on its feet and train your muscles to keep working for longer and longer periods of time.  If your goal is to run a 5K faster and faster...then you will (eventually) incorporate speed drills into your routine.

But, no matter what the goal is...one of the biggest mistakes is to go out too fast.  No matter where you're at in your training, you "never" want to start a run at a dead on sprint.  First of all, your muscles won't be warmed up.  But, beyond that you won't be able to sustain that pace and it will be harder to come back to even after a recovery jog (or walk).

It takes discipline to slow yourself down in the beginning, but there is a pay off for your work.  Your body begins to learn how to manage its resources (namely: oxygen and fuel) to sustain greater and greater demands.

Let me know if you have specific questions about training.  I'd love to help sort things out with you.  I'm still new, but I'm reading more and more every day and feel like I'm starting to get enough information to at least give out my opinion on things.  **NOTE:  I am not a doctor, nor am I a trainer--my opinion is just that-an opinion.  Please consult a health care professional before beginning any exercise plan. 

--Opinions are like brains, everybody's got one, but some are more useful than others!

Thanks for stopping in, come again soon!

1 comment:

  1. Nice tips! I completely agree that you need to have realistic targets to work towards when you are starting out running (and when you are an experienced runner as well for that matter) as you need something to strive towards and that keeps you focused!


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