Good morning! I'm back. I know, I know...it's been over a week since my last post. I'm just the worst. I've fallen into the hole known as 'work'. Don't worry, I have a special guest post today by reader Caitlin Heikkila on How to Start a Running Program. I've been running for so long now that it is almost second nature to me. I often forget that everyone needs to start somewhere so why now start here!
Running is one of my favorite ways to exercise for many reasons, but my number one reason: it's free. I can run anywhere, and it’s a major calorie torcher. I always recommend adding jogging or running to your routine if you’re trying to lose weight, but it may not be easy to start without a little help. Here are 7 tips to help you rev up your running program and get fit.
1. Get some good running shoes. Choose something comfortable and designed for running. Make sure to try on a few different pairs for the ultimate fit.
2. Make a schedule. Physically write your runs on your calendar like you would a meeting or doctor’s appointment. You’ll be more likely to stick with it.
3. Warm-up. One of my biggest mistakes with running was not getting a proper warm up before training. It can result in injury, which really puts a stop to your fitness plans.
4. Start by walking. If you’re a running novice, start small. When you feel comfortable walking at a brisk pace, start jogging a little. Little by little, you’ll soon be a track star (or at least faster)!
5. Increase the distance and/or speed of your runs by 10 percent each week. You don’t want to do too much too soon, it can end in OUCH.
6. HYDRATE. Drink 8 ounces of water 15 minutes before you run, and bring some water with you if you can. Drink extra if it’s hot outside.
7. Cool down and fuel up. Make sure to stretch post workout too so you don’t get stiff. Try fueling with some protein like eggs, a smoothie, or Greek yogurt and berries.
8. Watch your calories. Just because you are running, doesn’t mean you can completely eat whatever you want. Fuel up but stick within your calorie requirements for the day.
9. Get support. There are plenty of free communities to chat with others who are starting a new workout routine. Check this one out and introduce yourself.
Caitlin Heikkila is the Community Manager at Everyday Health and is currently training for the NYC Marathon in November.