7 Tips For Newbie Runner
My wife has also started running. That’s the breaking news of the week. A woman whom I tried to motivate, push, insult and what not to run with me, never ran but because of some crazy bet with her friend she has started running. But she is running now, that’s important.
She was a school time sprinter and that too a good one. She is still light weighted and strong but last couple of days she started complaining of achy knees and swollen Achilles. Well, it happens to newbies or to people exercising after a gap of time. Her problem got me started to think of the tips for new runners. So here is it.
Shoes are one of the most important component to injury free running. Maximum investment in terms of money should be in the shoes. But don’t get carried away by all the latest gimmicks. Buy shoes with soles which are not too soft or hard, they should be flexible enough to allow natural flexing of the foot. Above all they should be very comfortable.
My wife used to run barefoot in her school days. She thought she can do it now also after such a long gap. I advised her against wearing zero drop shoes and here she is now, nursing her Achilles. Now I guess she will have to buy some good comfortable running shoes. If she wants, later she can switch to the minimalist ones after getting some lower leg strength.
2. Warm up
I wrote a article on warm up earlier and was trying to show off by saying read this article, it may help you. She looked at me and just shrugged off saying I am working in the house whole day, so I don’t need a warm up. Warm up is required by those who sit on their backside whole day. I moved away without saying anything.
Warm up and that too dynamic warm up prepares the heart and muscle for the impending workout. Warm up prevents injuries, that’s the bottom line.
3. Cool down
Again cool down is a important issue for a runner. I asked her to do some stretches with me after the run, but she said they are so boring. Instead watering the plants is a better cool down exercise for her. What can I say? Read this article on stretching after run.
She has so many clothes but on the first day of run, she complains with her puppy eyes that she doesn’t have any clothes to run in. Girls you know!
Buy some cool running clothes which are comfortable and sweat absorbing. If you are running at the time when sun is there, then get a light weight running goggles. Buy colorful t-shirts and shorts so that in case you are running on the road, you are easily visible. But don’t invest so much on clothes, instead use that extra money on buying good shoes.
5. Run/walk program
Run/ walk program introduces your body gradually to the stresses of running. Walk for 5 minutes, then run for a minute. Do this for next 30 minutes or lesser, according to your capability. Gradually increase the time of run and reduce the time of walk till you can run comfortably for 30 minutes at a stretch. Don’t rush the process. Increase as slowly as possible, taking all precautions to prevent injury.
6. Running form
If you don’t run in a good form, you will get injured for sure. See the elites and analyze how they run. Their running style has got such a aesthetic appeal. You too can run like them over a period of time with practice. Read this article I wrote on improving your running form and preventing injury.
7. Supplementary exercise
Cross training or supplementary exercises other than running has numerous physical and mental benefits. Supplementary exercises for lower body, upper body and core region will help you in becoming a well balanced runner and also prevent injuries.
Cross training activities like cycling, swimming, trekking, skiing etc are excellent ways to keep up your running mojo and provide some relief to your running muscles and develop other muscles to support them.
The above 7 tips for a newbie runner are the most basic points to keep in mind to start successfully running without encountering injury.
Additionally read up on running issues and nutrition to become a better informed athlete. See movies on running and join running clubs to completely immerse yourself in the fabulous sport of keeping one foot in front of other.
Enough of being a teacher. I nearly slept off while writing this article. So, here’s a photograph of self and wife on one of our evening runs.
Till then stay fit and keep running.
Do you and your spouse share the love of running and how often do you run together?
Share any additional tips I may have forgot for newbies in the comment section.