Written by Sarah McKee, H3 program Intern
After watching a local 5K race over the 4th of July, you have been inspired to pick up the art of running. The only problem is you don’t know how to begin. There are many approaches to running but I like to focus on 5 main principles:
1.) Start out slow and short. It is important that you don’t burn yourself out physically or mentally. By starting with a short distance you can gradually build up the length and speed of your runs.
2.) Try the Galloway Method. Jeff Galloway, an Olympic runner, has opened up the possibility that anyone can become a runner. The Galloway Method focuses on a RUN-WALK-RUN routine. You run for two minutes, and then walk for two minutes, etc. This will allow you time to catch your breath with the aim to ultimately decrease the time spent walking.
3.) Stay Hydrated! It is important to continually drink water throughout the day and it is recommended to drink around 16 oz of water one hour before a run. During a run drink 4-6 oz of water for every 20 minutes and for longer runs over 90 minutes you may want to include a sport drink to help restore sodium levels. This will help prevent fatigue, muscle cramps and heat related illnesses such as heat stroke. After a run you should consume 20- 24 oz of water for every pound of weight loss.
4.) Invest in appropriate run apparel. Replace running shoes every 6-8 months to prevent injuries as shoes lose shock absorption, cushioning and stability over time. In the summer, make sure to wear loose fitting clothing that is sweat resistant. Nylon or quick dry materials are always good options for the heat. In the winter, dressing in layers is the best way to keep warm. A thermal hat should be worn, as 10% of heat is loss through the head. Mittens and tall socks will also be beneficial to protect the extremities.
5.) Find a buddy. It is best if you can find someone that is slightly a better runner then you but is willing to walk when you need to. A running partner holds you accountable, pushes you to improve and gives you someone to chat with while exercising.
Now that you have reviewed the basic principles of running there is nothing left to say other then…READY, SET, GO!