Most people who take up running do so to get fit, lose some weight, improve their cardiovascular health, tone their muscles, and hopefully lose some of that belly and thigh fat. What many of them don’t consider is the fact that there might be some rules they need to follow to get the best results from their running exercises.
Therefore, it is not often surprising to see a new runner run for 30 minutes and then drink a bottle of soda to quench their thirst or run and suffer serious injuries because they pushed themselves too hard too fast. If you’re a new runner, you might want to read the following rules to get even more benefits from your exercises.
Start Slowly and Work Up to Your Goal
Most runners have specific goals. For some, it’s to become slim, for others it’s to take part in the next 5-K or 10-K marathon race. Whatever your goals are, you need to start slowly. Pushing yourself too hard at the onset will not only lead to slower recovery, it will demoralize you and make you feel like you’re not achieving anything. If the purpose of your running is to lose some weight, start with 10-15 minutes slow jogs. Then, gradually increase the duration and the pace.
Train With the Event in Mind
If your goal is to run the 10-K, find out what the average time is per mile and then adjust your training sessions accordingly. If for instance, you want to run the 10-K at the 8 minute per mile pace, you’ll need to gradually work towards it and increase your pace until you get there.
Sustaining that pace at first will be very difficult. What you should do is include interval training. That’s running at different speeds. Run at the event pace for about 10-15 minutes – or as long as you can endure – and then slow down the pace until you have recovered enough to continue at the pace again.
Add More Miles Every Week
Often referred to as the 10% rule, the idea is to add 10% more mileage every week until the runner reaches his mileage goal. So, let’s say you ran 10 miles the first week. The second week, you’ll need to run 11 miles and so on. New runners who typically increase their running mileage too quickly often end up sustaining injuries. Using this approach helps you gradually build your stamina, improve your endurance, and most importantly, minimize injuries.
You Should be Able to Carry on a Conversation
To make sure that you’re not pushing yourself too hard, try talking while you’re running. Your breathing should be in in sync with your pace. If you find that you’re panting and can’t carry on a conversation during a normal run, you may want to slow down. This doesn’t apply to hard runs, racing or speed walking though.
Try Running 20 Miles Before a Marathon
If you’re preparing for a marathon, you should try doing a 20 mile race at least once before the event. Since the marathon event is about 26.2 miles, doing this will help you prepare even better for the race. Whatever the case, consult with your trainer and see what he/she thinks about doing a 20-mile. Some will suggest a lower mileage, others will suggest more. It all depends on their person inclinations.
Follow these rules and you’ll further improve your chances of achieving your running goals and getting your desired results. Good luck on your runs.
Oscar King works as a personal trainer in the Orlando area, helping people get the most benefits out of exercise, including better stamina and more energy. He also recognizes the important role that certain hormones play in keeping one healthy and motivated, and recommends for those suffering from low testosterone to pay a visit to Rejuve Health Clinics. You can find more examples of Oscar’s writing on Google+.