All that good karma might not get you to the finish line! New to running? Start with Chapter 1 of the Hitchhikers guide to hitting the ground, brought to you by Runners for Life.
New to running?
Every runner who started running was at the exact same spot where you are right now!
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Now that you are all set to take that leap from being a non-runner to a runner, we advise you to patiently read the primer we have prepared for you. Lo and behold, we present the “hitchhikers guide to the art of placing one foot in front of the other in rapid repeated motion a.k.a hitchhikers guide to running “
Hithchikers Guide To Running
Good pair of running shoes is worth its weight in gold. You must be careful in choosing the shoe which suits your foot type. To know your foot type & to understand in detail what Pronation is all about, click here. Once you know foot type, you can use the various shoe selectors available online to zero in on your perfect pair.
RFL recommended shoe selector
Runner’s World Shoe Selector
Roadrunner Sport Shoe Dog
Repeat after us, east or west, dri-fit fabric is the best. Why? Because a dri fit running t-shirt/shorts will wick away your sweat thereby giving you the most comfortable running experience. Though on the expensive side, they feature in every runner’s wardrobe. Trust us, you don’t want to hit mile 3 in a cotton tee soaked with sweat, clinging to your skin. To help you decide, our running experts have reviewed a majority of the apparels available in the market. Click here to read the verdict.
Chapter 3: On your mark, get set, RUN!
This is when you run! But before you do that, here are few tips for a trouble free running experience.
No pain no gain – When you start running after many years or if you haven’t run before, expect a certain degree of discomfort and do not let it knock you off course. No progress without discomfort (in all walks of life).
Baby Steps – Start with a slow shuffle – reminiscent of the South African dancers who stand in one place and look like they are jogging. Run as slow as you can, and then slow down some more. People will stare. Expect it. You will get used to it in about a week, and they will get used to you.
Run Walk works! – Start by doing a walk/run – 1 minute of running, 4 mins of walking. Do this for about 2 weeks (minimum of three times a week and 20 minutes each). Alter this ratio to become 4 mins of running and 1 minute of walking (again 2 weeks, 3 times a week/ 20 minutes).
Breathe easy – Some of you will find that you can run quite easily and quite fast when you begin. But the key to long distance running is breathing and heart rate. Run so that you can talk and not sing. Any faster and you will find it tough to sustain over longer distances (like 5/10k). Also, if it is weight loss that you seek, you should run such that your heart rate is between 65 – 80% of peak heart rate (which can be approximated by “220 – age” for most of us). Any faster and the body burns your lean muscle rather than your fat reserves, so you will lose weight, but will start looking unhealthy.
Track your runs: It’s always a pleasure to look back on the miles you have clocked. Create an account with Dailymile and track all your workouts. While you at it, motivate others and get motivated.
Hurray! You are a runner!
Now that I am a runner, what do I do next?
The best way to keep you motivated and running is to join an active runningcommunity. An active running community will help in your training and is also place where you get answers/suggestions for any query on running/training. Be it planning a run, training together or travelling as a bunch for an event, there is no better place than a running group. If you are interested in joining one but are clueless as to what to do, fear not, cause we have over 100 registered groups on RFL. Click here to browse through the different groups and join the one which suits you best.
Register for an event.
Once your training becomes regular, the next logical step would be to register for an event. If you have started running recently, your first event should ideally be a 10k. A 10k will also give you a preview of what you would experience in an event when you upgrade to a half marathon /marathon. The events season in India starts in June with the Bangalore World 10k and runs all the way till February where it culminates at the Auroville marathon. In between, you can run & cycle at the Bangalore Duathlon, team up with your corporate buddies at the Urban Stampede, run along the Kaveri River at the Kaveri Trail Marathon & test your trained legs at the Bangalore Ultra. To keep yourself abreast with what’s happening in the event space, click here.
A training plan is valuable – be it getting started, preparing for an event or keeping track of a weight loss program. There are many training plans available on the web which you can alter to your convenience. Here is a list of plans which we recommend.
Apart from the ones mentioned above various site like Runner’s World & Active.com offer plethora of information on training, nutrition, injury & other running related topics. Do browse through and get enlightened.
Phew! That’s enough and more information for a beginner runner. We hope this was as informative to you as it was for us when we started running. And yes, we are sure that you will be hooked to the sport by the time you hit the 1K mark. Happy running!
Pictures courtesy: Runners For Life
On Two Feet is a special The Alternative series on Community Sport, Philanthropy and Sustainability in the lead up to the TCS World 10k. This running blog is in collaboration with Runners For Life (RFL)