New to Running? Answers to Common Questions
Trying any new activity can bring on a certain amount of anxiety, and running is no different. If you’re new to running or even just thinking about beginning, you likely have many questions about how to get started, how quickly to progress, what equipment you need, and more. Here are some answers to common questions and help for your new journey.
What’s the best way to start a running plan?
First things first: determine when you can run. Set aside time in your schedule to devote to running. Aim for at least 20-30 minutes a day three times a week and go from there. Don’t plan to run too far or too fast at first. Pushing yourself too hard is a sure-fire way to become overly sore or fatigued or even injured. Depending on your current fitness level, you may find that you can only run for a minute or two before you need to slow down and walk for a few minutes; that’s fine. Gradually increase the amount of time you can run and set goals, but don’t overdo it.
What equipment should I buy?
The great thing about running is how little gear you’ll need. However, good running shoes are a must. Make sure they are designed for running (not walking, tennis, or cross-training) and make sure they fit properly. A well-fitting, good-quality sports bra is also helpful, as is a digital sports watch (but this is not required). A heart-rate monitor can be nice to have as well, especially as you progress.
How sore will I get?
Expect some soreness in your legs at first, but be aware that if you keep at it, this soreness will subside pretty quickly. Sharp pain anywhere is a sign of injury and an indication that you should stop running for a few days to recover. Know your body and become familiar with the difference between being tired and sore and being injured.
What should I eat?
Running burns a lot of calories, but that doesn’t mean you should increase your food intake, especially if you want to lose weight. Eat plenty of protein and healthy carbs and fats for energy and muscle rebuilding.
Running is an excellent way to get in shape and relieve stress. As long as your doctor says you’re in the clear, don’t be afraid to give it a try. In no time, you’ll be running your first 5K!