Helpful Tips Every New Runner Needs
If you have just started running, congratulations! You are making the right decision to stay fit and healthy and, with proper training, you may even achieve a professional level. There are some hurdles to overcome, one of them being the first occurrences of muscle fever, but with diligence you will certainly succeed in reaching your running goals.
In today’s article we will try to dispel a few myths by offering you helpful and valid tips which will help you stay focused, and make the right choices in your training and running style.
These tips were compiled by various trainers and coaches who observed their students along the years and noted the common mistakes they were all making.
By following the advice we offer here, you will be able to develop a correct running gait, effective warm-up and cool down techniques, and will certainly not fall victim to ineffective, or even dangerous, “tips and tricks” shared on the internet.
Here we go:
- Breathe Naturally
You do not have to develop any specific breathing technique to gain more endurance on the running track. Running is natural to the human body, so breathing during running should also be natural. Of course, as you continue running, your body will need more oxygen, so your breathing will become heavier. This is perfectly normal. Instead of worrying about how you breathe, keep your eye on the track and free your mind from worrisome thoughts.
- Walking in the Middle of a Run Is Not Cheating
As a beginner, your body is not fully trained to withstand a long run without taking some breaks. Slowing down your running to a brisk walk is not cheating on your training. You simply need to allow your muscles to get used to the new kind of effort they are subject to. As you gain more endurance, you will be able to run a longer distance, without taking walking breaks.
- Drinking Water Does Not Cause Side Stitch
Side stitch is a sudden pang of pain which runners feel in their side, under the ribs. For a long time there has been a myth running around (pun intended) that drinking while running causes the side stitch. This is absolutely not true. On the contrary, you are encouraged to stay hydrated, especially during the hot season or during long distance runs. The side stitch is most likely caused by not breathing correctly (see item 1 in this article).
- Do Not Just Sit Down during a Resting Day
Training schedules have a few resting days during the week. You may be tempted to take the “resting” literally, and sit on the sofa watching TV. It is a resting day, right? Not exactly. If you are not running, you should be doing other forms of cross-training to improve your muscle flexibility and endurance. Stretching exercises, swimming, or cardio exercises are a perfect way of keeping your body focused during the resting day. If in doubt, always consult with your coach and discover the ideal training schedule for you.
- Injuries Do Happen
No matter how careful you are, you will get a running injury at a certain point. You may suffer a sprain, or the runner’s knee, or a hamstring strain. This does not mean that you should stop running or refrain from becoming a better runner out of fear of injury. Instead, learn what you have to do after you suffer an injury and how to minimise your recovery time.
As a parting thought, remember that running is your choice and the only person you are in a competition with is yourself. Take your time to build a training system which works for you and helps you reach your fullest potential.