Running: One Step at a Time!

It’s always hard to motivate yourself when it comes to running, especially in this weather when all you want to do is curl up in bed for that extra hour in the morning.
Once you get going, it gets a lot easier. So here are some tips to get you started!

Relax
Don’t spend time and energy worrying about how good you’ll be at running. There’s no pressure to become an accomplished runner overnight. Presumably, you want to start because you think you will enjoy it, so remember you have plenty of time to settle into a training routine.

Create structure
Don’t be too harsh in the beginning about maintaining a rigid training schedule, as it is always better to train a bit less and enjoy it, rather than squeezing a lot of running into your week and resenting some of your training time.
Nevertheless, it’s important that you feel like you are making progress -so push yourself maybe two or three times a week. The other days a light jog will suffice. Be flexible and take it slow.

No distance is too short
Even if you start out with 10 or 20 steps at a time interspersed with a sequence of walk breaks, if you’ve pulled your trainers on you are now officially a runner!

Cross training
As well as running, make sure you include some regular gym work, classes, swimming or cycling. Anything that works your body in a different way will help you build fitness and keep you physically balanced!

Here are a few exercises that are great to develop strength, stability and balance and that you can include in your training programme:

Walking lunges
Begin standing with your feet shoulder width apart and your hands on your hips. Step forward with one leg, flexing the knees to drop your hips. Descend until your rear knee nearly touches the ground. Your posture should remain upright, and your front knee should stay above the front foot. (20 reps each side)

Side hops
Find (or imagine) a vertical line on the floor to one side. Hop over the line with both feet, then hop back to start position as quickly as possible. Repeat! Make sure to keep your feet hopping in unison. (20 reps each leg).

Squats with calf raises
Stand with your feet about three to four feet apart with your toes turned out.
Raise your left heel off the floor, and begin to pulse the hips up and down, isolating the left calf.
Continue pulsing for 30 seconds, and then switch sides to complete this exercise.

Dynamic lunges
Stand with your arms at your sides, feet hip-width apart, chest lifted. Step forward with your right leg and bend both knees to lower yourself as far as you can. Push off your right foot and return to start. Repeat, stepping forward with your left leg.

I wish you the best of luck and well… break a leg. (You know what I mean!)

By Aimone

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