Fuss free, effective and accessible, the act of running is simply a classic way to get healthy. Whether your aim is to lose weight or boost fitness, it is sure that a commitment to running will help achieve both.
Many people attempt running, but lacing up the shoes and hitting the road for the first time can feel like a easily lost battle even after a short distance. Painful joints, uncomfortable shortness of breath and sore muscles can be disenchanting for the unfit. When you run, you may exert up to four times your body weight in force on each leg – it’s no wonder they hurt afterward!
But with every run, the breathing gets easier and the pain less. It’s tough to accept, but read on to discover how to power through the hard part and let running become a part of your daily healthy lifestyle.
Start off slowly
Soreness throughout the body is typical for new runners. However, over time, one’s body adapts to new thresholds of pain. Particular struggles will seem barely significant over a few weeks, and although the physical benefits will show, a lot happens internally when you get fitter. Muscles fiber and joints strengthen and your body handles pain much more efficiently.
In essence, stick with it. It won’t hurt forever.
Recovery time is a must for a successful runner. Days off are essential to prevent injury and over exertion, even if you feel start to feel much stronger. Schedule your time so that running is still a regular part of your routine, but make sure you alternate with a form of cross training or even just give your body an entire day to recover.
Newbies should look at approximately three rest days per week and always remember to stretch and massage muscles that need it.
What should you be on the look out for?
If you are worried about a pain, there are certain questions that can help differentiate between ‘normal’ and harmful pain.
If the pain is concentrated to a specific spot as opposed to a general area, its worth paying extra attention to.
Rest, recovery and ice sessions of 10 – 15 minutes are your best best for nagging pain. If no change is noticed, it is best to see a sports doctor, physiotherapist or orthopedist.
It’s all in the head
Realistic running goals will never be easy to meet, but those who love running accept this challenge and use it to better themselves both physically and mentally.
Even professionals have tough days and it is important to realise that sometimes you will love running and sometimes it will be incredibly difficult. The more you practice, however, the more good days ypu will have.
Some ways to keep your mental motivation in check:
Find a training buddy. Having someone to hold you accountable, build you up and suffer with you can make running all the more enjoyable.
Track yourself. Keep a log, on- or offline, of your workouts. Take note of how you feel after each workout and review this information when pain pops up. This has the added benefit of being a visual representation of your progress and accomplishment!