A lot of times I was walking on the street and I saw a lot of people running. Headphones in their ears, short pants, some kind of special t-shirt and running shoes. The intention of this article is to show how to get into running and how I did it.
First of all, you should ask yourself what you want to accomplish through running. Why do you want to start running? Health or six packs? It is important to find a good purpose because a bad one or an unrealistic purpose can shut down your dreams about running.
As an example, I started to run because I find relaxation in running. Yes, running is relaxing for me. To run all by yourself and to be able to detach yourself of all the daily problems is extraordinary. In short, running represents my way of escaping from this world.
You need to find what makes you want to run because, as in other thing or domain in this world, if you don’t have a purpose which makes you run towards it, you will fail terribly. So, if you wanna start running, think about the “why” first and after that “how to get into running”.
Any goal is fine as long as it keeps you running. Although, choose something realistic. If I was mentioning about six packs, I can tell from my experience that running is just a small part of what it takes to have a six-pack.
As we shall see among many articles on this website, besides running, a nice body needs proper nutrition, a good training plan, weights, etc – in one word, a real science.
I didn’t want to get a six pack or to lose weight through running! My purpose was to relax, and because this goal was accomplished after each session of running, then I never stopped, because failure was never happening. Instead, if you choose running to burn fat and get a six pack, you will be very disappointed when you will see after 2 – 3 months of running that the six-pack is not appearing.
So, I propose you to choose the same goal as me. Ask your running friends if you have and if you don’t keep in mind that you will make a lot of friends because you will start seeing the same faces – and many will tell you that this is relaxing for them and they enjoy very much.
Start with meters, not kilometers.
When I started running for my first time, like 10 years ago, I remember that I went out from the house with my initial thought to run 5km. I said to myself that I am young, I do not smoke and this should be somewhat easy.
After 500 meters, I was breathing heavily and my brain was saying to me “ABORT, ABORT, ABORT!” And I did it. I was disappointed and I was walking back home.
My parents were laughing and they were ironically were asking me how I did 5k so fast. This can be a little bit demoralizing and stop you from running. Even more, it can make you believe that running is not for you and those who run have something special. I can assure you that everyone can start running and you do not need any special qualities.
It is important to start moving your legs and start running. In the beginning, it is recommended to run a few hundred meters and then walk. Repeat this cycle until your lungs and your legs start feeling comfortable on bigger distances. 5km in your first day might be a hell goal so shrink down your goals at the beginning of your running journey.
Do a good warm-up before running
Myself and after that a lot of my friends, we were neglecting the warm-up. The warm-up is very important because it prepares your body for movement and how to get into the running process. Not only your legs will get warm-up but also your brain will get into the running mode. It is about the context!
To understand how important it is the warm-up I propose you a test. Make 50m sprint without being warmed up and check your time. Repeat the test after a good session of running. You will see that even if you are tired when you will sprint while being warmed up you will be so much faster because your body is warmed up and it is prepared for running.
Besides that, the warm-up can help you to prevent injuries.
Injuries in running are really nasty and really painful. The injuries are another factor that can make you quit running. There are a lot of injuries which you can get. For example, you can get a runner’s knee which is not appearing as a lack of warming up but when you run on hills and the knee is suffering because you are not running on flat surfaces.
Maybe you saw some runners that are going on a stadium and star running on stairs. It is recommended to avoid starting to run on those types of surfaces in the beginning.
Also, Achilles tendinitis is another injury which means an inflammation of your tendon when there is a lot of pressure on it. This happens when you put a lot of pressure on tendon and calves. But there will be special articles about running injuries, how they appear, how to prevent and also how to treat.
You must understand that there are a lot of types of injuries that you can get even without a warm-up. They can appear…anyway. But this should not scare you, anyone can get an injury at some point. We will write more articles about this and how important are running shoes because of that soft base.
For a good warm-up, I recommend you 10 minutes of stretching moves before start running. Stretch your entire body but mostly take care of your legs and ankles.
Do I need special equipment?
Equipment – yes, special – not. People are putting so much importance on special products for running. What you need in the beginning is a pair of shoes, a pair of socks, short pants and a t-shirt. I assure you that in this how to get into running article you will find out that all you need is willing to get out and run.
Obviously, for every item I said, there is a special one for running. As an example, there are technical t-shirts which are made from a special material and sweat problems will disappear. You may find out later that sweat makes your regular t-shirt heavier and can be quite annoying.
Also, there are running shoes. The technology developed a lot and those types of shoes are really useful. The main reason is that it makes your running session easier and more pleasant. You will see that there is a big difference between regular shoes and running shoes.
It is very important to feel good when you are running. Do not forget about the first bullet point of this article, if your goal is to relax when you are running, if after your every running session your soles are hurting so much then you did not achieve your goal.
Running shoes can also be entry level, you do not have to buy the most expensive ones. Almost any running shoe can be useful and if you are just starting out and do not want to invest a lot of money into something you may not like, look for the entry level and spare just a few dollars.
Anything else you do not need. Just start running. Do not get into really complicated equipment like smartwatches that measure your burning calories and what distance you ran and so on. Usually, those type of people will quit faster than the casual runners.
My advice would be to measure only your time and the distance should not be kept in mind in the beginning. It is an advice so you can keep a good mental state and not quitting because you wanted to go for 5k and ran only 1k. Better choose 20-25 minutes of running and everything it is fine.
Let’s start running
We can read a lot about running and I can write a lot. But, the best thing you could do is to stop reading and go make a short running session.
OK, now that you are back from running, I want to point out to you that you should read about running in a casual way. Today an article, tomorrow another on and so on. From my experience, I can tell you that, in every domain, I started something new, in the beginning, I read a lot and I was very enthusiastic.
Almost in any domain in which I had a high enthusiasm, usually went wrong. I have found that when I am a little bit milder if I can say so, the things got a specific flow and would persist in time.
In my opinion, you should start reading about running so you can have some general knowledge and then find answers to your specific problems like how to run faster or how to improve my stamina when running.
That is why I believe that the most important thing your begging of running journey is to run and find out everything by yourself.
You will see that after your first sessions of running you will feel some kind of soreness in your legs which will persist for a few hours. You should read about sore legs after you experiment this and after that to read about it to understand what it is, why is appearing and how to treat it.
But how I run for the first time?
After you did warm-up you just start moving your legs naturally but at a higher pace. Even if you have a bad posture, for your first sessions it is fine because you need your body to get this habit.
Speed should be low and do not forget what I wrote about high enthusiasm when you start new activities. A lot of times I saw people on the stadium, on the track, which would bypass me with an incredible speed.
I know for sure that they cannot keep that pace and guess what, 300m further they are outside the track with heavy breathing.
Running can have many types but the most known are marathon style or jogging and sprints. Marathon style or jogging means that you focus on stamina and bigger distance and less on speed, while sprints mean you focus on speed rather than stamina or distance (you probably already heard about Usain Bolt).
So, try to keep a low speed, like really slow. It should be just a little bit faster than your walking speed. This way you will challenge your stamina and in time it will start progressing.
If you cannot keep the rhythm and you feel you cannot breathe anymore, stop from running but keep walking. The first symptom you will feel is that you are suffocating, you do not have oxygen and you will feel a lot of pain below your ribs in the left or right side. The legs are stronger than you may think and usually, they are breaking down last.
Keep walking and try running a little bit more, even if it just a little bit. I am telling you now that in this journey of running your mind will be your biggest enemy. You will hear a lot of times “I need to stop” “why I am doing this?” when you feel you cannot run anymore. You will find out that this enemy appears only when you feel you cannot keep going.
It is important to win against your mind every time. You will win if it tells you to stop but you do not listen right away and you stop after a few hundred meters or even kilometers. This is a really amazing feeling when you set a goal and you achieve it. That is a real win and its called evolution.
Every time you win the duel with yourself, you evolve. Among runners, there is a certain “wall” that you need to experience and you need to pass over, after this point you will see that you will start running like you are on batteries.
Let me give you an example, I was running at the stadium on track and I set a goal of 25 laps. After the 11th lap and until lap 19 I had intense pain in right side under my ribs, but I did not give up (this was the wall) and after lap 19 the pain disappeared.
I ran after this with no problem, you might not understand now but you will see that after this point you can run for a very long period of time before the next pain comes. This represented an evolution.
We will discuss in more detail in other articles, about the chest and abdominal pain or leg pain. I just want to assure you that those are normal at any point.
You made your running session or your relaxation session, you name it, all you need now is to rest.
I talk again about the high enthusiasm in the beginning and you might wanna run again tomorrow. I advise to not and wait a few days until your next run session.
You will experience some pain in the legs which will last for a few good hours and your body needs rest after this running session.
If you run every day in the beginning, because of your high enthusiasm, you running journey might go away faster than you think. Rest, eat, drink and sleep.
Sleeping after a running session is extraordinary and I recommend running for those who have sleeping problems. You will see that after you run, you take a shower and get into bed, you will fall asleep very fast and your sleep will be better.
For now, this is all you need to know about how to get into running but subscribe to get more articles about running in general and you will get to know things that will improve your running ability.