Here is what you need to know to start running this spring
Take a Holistic Approach
Canadian long-distance runner, Rae Cliff, recommends taking a holistic approach to running. She advises that "it's about being active, but also being conscious of the load you're putting on your body." This means that running should be part of a broader healthy lifestyle that includes cross-training and proper warm-up and cool-down routines.
Warm Up and Cool Down
A proper warm-up and cool-down are essential for any runner. According to Cliff, "If you're going to lie on the couch for a day working in COVID times or sitting at your desk then jump out the door and go for a run, it's best to do a little warm-up before going. And similarly, when you finish your run, it's important to not just stop and sit down again but to do a bit of a cool-down."
Cross-Train Your Entire Body
Cross-training is an effective way to ensure that your entire body gets the exercise it deserves. Cliff recommends pool running, which she describes as "a nice type of class that keeps you using several muscles for running but without the pounding on the pavement." Hiking and walking are also great complementary activities.
As a beginner, it's crucial to start slow and gradually increase your mileage. According to Cliff, "The rule of thumb you hear is 10% every week, you don't want to go above that." It's important to listen to your body and progress naturally to avoid injury.
Get the Proper Gear
Getting the right equipment is essential for any runner. The most important item is the running shoe. A reputable running shoe store can help you find the right shoe for your running style and gait. When starting, look for an everyday trainer with good cushioning and get it properly fitted.
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You may also want to consider a sports watch like the Polar Pacer to track your mileage and fitness progress.
The Polar Pacer GPS Sports Watch is the ideal companion for runners looking to improve their training. Its minimalist design and ergonomic super-grip buttons make it easy to use while on the move, while its ultra-thin construction ensures maximum comfort and no fuss during your runs. With over 150 sports profiles to choose from, runners can customize their training and get metrics specifically tailored to their running performance.
The Polar Pacer's heart rate tracking technology is world-famous for being the most reliable and accurate in the industry. This allows runners to monitor their heart rate and see how intense their running session is in real-time. The watch also follows every stride and turn made, enabling runners to retrace their steps and track their progress. With the Polar Pacer's MIP reflective color display, runners can easily see their stats clearly in bright conditions and adjust the screen brightness to their surroundings. Plus, with its powerful battery life, the Polar Pacer can go a full week on one full charge, making it the perfect tool for dedicated runners looking to improve their training.
To progress from 1K to 10K and beyond, it's essential to have a plan. Cliff recommends putting together a weekly plan and taking notes on how your body feels. This allows you to adjust your plan and gradually increase your running volume.
Don't Forget About Nutrition
Nutrition is also essential for runners. According to Cliff, a balanced diet with protein, carbs, and vegetables goes a long way. However, she also notes that individual dietary needs may vary.
Starting a running routine can be challenging, but with these expert tips, you can start safely and effectively. Remember to take a holistic approach, warm up and cool down, cross-train your entire body, start slow, get the proper gear, make a plan, and don't forget about nutrition. Happy running!