The cold and snow is starting to break and spring is on its way. There is no better time than now to set up a plan to begin running and getting your heart back in shape. To do this you must set some goals and start slow. I’ve come up with a simple three step strategy to help you on your way.
1. Start Slow
Depending on where you are at in your fitness you’re going to want to start slow. If you’re new to running or exercising, you can start with just walking for a certain amount of time. Within that walk you can begin to incorporate a few minutes of light jogging. It doesn’t have to be a 3 minutes straight. Just do as much as you can for as long as you can. Eventually lead your way up to a constant run…remember you don’t have to start off with a lot of mile or time, just begin with what you’re comfortable with. The goal here is to get your body adjusted to the stress you’re going to create. I know at first it might be uncomfortable but know eventually your body will eventually catch up.
2. Choose the Right Shoe
Forget form and structure for right now. You first goal should be to find the right shoe. If you’re on a budget you can get away with using something you have on hand, but once you start a regular routine you’re going to want to add a trainer that is designed for running. Finding the right shoe basically comes down to figuring out what foot type you are. There are three common foot style; flat feet, neutral, and high arched. If you have a local running store go there and they can help decipher which shoe is right for you. If not, you can take an at home test called a “wet test” to help figure out what you are. Here’s a good shoe review source to figure out what shoe is right for you and if you have flat feet find a shoe that will help you run with comfort.
3. Commit, but be flexible
It’s important that you set goals and commit to your goals. If you run in the morning set your clothes out the night before, if you’re doing it at lunch, pack your gym bang and get your mp3 player out and ready; if night time running is your thing than keep your bag in the car or home and put a reminder in your calendar that this time is blocked out for exercise. If you miss a day, don’t beat yourself up. Just refocus for the next day or your next session. Be flexible because like anything in life you’re going to have highs and lows but if you have an ultimate goal you will eventually get there!
Remember, this is supposed to be enjoyable. If you’re in pain then take some time off or ease up. Just don’t quit because everyone has to start somewhere. Your somewhere it NOW!