” I want to get better at running … so I have to work hard and exercise with intensity , right? “
It is important to note that as a beginner runner, almost everything you do will improve you. Like the fact that a beginner in the gym will improve his squat by running. Does that mean that in order to improve the squat, you should run? Absolutely not. We will differentiate between the possible and optimal concepts. You can see the results by wrong form of exercise, especially when you are in the early stages – but the big disadvantages too: progress will be minimal, chance of injury and motivation will decline. In fact, there are no advantages in the wrong form of training – besides saving efforts at reading how to work out in the right way.
The reasons why beginner runners shouldn’t train hard are numerous:
- A beginner runner that will train in an intense way, will never learn to run relaxed, and certainly not faster with less effort.
- Increased chance of injury
- The chances a beginner runner will persist over time are small – pushing yourself constantly is a recipe for decline and loss of motivation. This is one reason that when people are discharged from the military, they claim they will not run to another one meter in their life – because in the military, all training is done “with full force”. For another example, let’s take a person with excess weight that weighs 320 pounds and wants to lose weight. We can, from this moment, every day, let him be on a negative calorie balance of 1500 calories. It’s possible that he will see the results – but his chances to maintain it are minimal or nonexistent.
You want to build a foundation for current and future progress. Therefore, progress will be based on weekly mileage.
- When running, you should land on the middle of your foot. Do not land on your heels. This may cause injuries.
- do not follow a breathing pattern (like inhale every 2 steps), this is not natural and will hurt your performance.
- Always warm up before a run. Start with 5 minutes of walking, 5 minutes of running at an easy pace and some dynamic stretches (see the warm up section in this book).
- Stretch your legs after every time you run.
- Wait at least 2 hours after a meal before running. For most people, two hours is enough time for food to empty from the stomach, especially if it’s high in carbohydrate. If you don’t wait long enough, food will not be properly digested, raising the risk of abdominal cramps, bloating, and even vomiting.
- If you feel any pain that is not muscle soreness while running, immediately stop the work out and find out what is the problem. If it’s leg pain – check the leg injury section in this book. If needed, consult your physician.
- Don’t eat or drink anything new before or during a test or hard work out.
- Don’t run in air pollution zones.
- To keep safe, run facing traffic.
- Wear running shoes that fit your foot shape. Wearing the right running shoes is the key to comfort and injury prevention. Visit a running specialty store to get fitted for the right running shoes for your foot type and running style. Also, make sure you don’t run in worn-out running shoes – they should be replaced every 300-400 miles.
- Breathe in through your nose and mouth. You want to breathe in through your nose and mouth to make sure you’re getting enough oxygen to your muscles while running. Taking deep belly breaths can help prevent side stitches, which are a common issue for new runners.