Starting a new fitness routine can be overwhelming at first. Whether your goal is to start running for fun, to enter a race, or even just to start walking on a regular basis – you may have a lot of questions. How long should I run? How fast? How often? What shoes should I wear? Hopefully, the following information will help you take those first steps and get you moving in the right direction.
Everyone starts at the same place
It’s ok if other people can run faster and longer than you can. Getting healthy isn’t a race – it’s a marathon. Never be afraid to embrace your current level of fitness and focus on making incremental progress. Simply moving more than you were before is a huge accomplishment.
Find the right shoes
Make sure that the shoes you wear when walking or running are a good fit for you. The right footwear can help you avoid injuries and unnecessary aches and pains. Getting your feet and gait tested are good options. But if you’d prefer to just hit the pavement, be prepared for some trial and error until you find the shoe that suits you best. Here’s another article that may help you find the right shoe.
Go long or go fast – but don’t do both
A common mistake that new runners make is to try running fast and for long distances at the same time. This can be a recipe for disaster which many people learn the hard way. Make sure you choose a goal and intention for each run or walk. Plan whether you’ll go farther or faster today. Focus on one metric at a time so that you don’t overdo it.
Walk and talk
Going for a walk, or even a jog, can be more fun with company. Maybe you want to move more but are still feeling a bit intimidated or you lack motivation – bring a friend! Talking can make the time go by faster, make it more enjoyable, and it can be great to catch up with a friend.
Get a training plan
Don’t be afraid to seek help from experts. Training plans are designed and scheduled in a way to help you safely start where you are, and get you to where you want to be. Whether you want to be able to run 30 minutes without stopping or conquer your first 5K, there are plenty of good tools to help you find your way to success. Our exercise specialists can get you started on the right foot. Email one of our running experts.
Always take days off
Sometimes you won’t feel like moving – that’s totally normal. As with anything new, there are going to be days when you have more motivation than others. On the days when you’re well and uninjured but just don’t feel like training, lean on your workout buddies, or show up at Run Club for a group run. Your friends will lean on you when their motivation runs low, so they’ll be happy to return the favor when you’re in need. If you’re feeling really run down and exhausted in addition to lacking motivation, take an unplanned rest day. Often, one day off provides the mental break you need to get back into training the next day.
As always, if you’d like to speak with one of our highly-trained physical therapists, you can schedule a free consultation at any of our locations.
Now Offering RunFit 5k Training in Norton Shores We’re excited to welcome RunFit for the first time to the Norton Shores area. The 8 week session begins May 3 and will be taught by Alex Hoffman, our fitness specialist and creator of the program. Click here to register.