Making the decision to start a running habit is something that a lot of people do. Their reasons can be quite varied, be it spending more time outdoors, getting healthier, or just having more energy. Regardless of the motivations, with the approaching New Year’s resolutions and desire to burn off holiday pounds, many folks will make the decision. Unfortunately, most will not follow through or just go out running and then either form bad habits or injure themselves. But before you buy yourself those new running shoes and a good running hydration pack, first take the necessary precautions listed below.
Keep reading to learn 5 steps you need to take BEFORE you start a running habit.
1) Schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. You might be sick of hearing how you should consult a doctor prior to starting any exercise routine, such as starting a running habit. However, just because you are physically capable of standing up and walking does not mean that you can run safely over time without injuring yourself or exacerbating prior conditions. Get the okay before you start, as well as any advice he or she has to make your running habit a success. That one meeting can keep you running once you start.
2) Find the right shoes. Slapping on any old pair of tennis shoes is not going to cut it for serious running. Visit an athletics or sporting goods store you trust to consult with the staff about the appropriate kind of footwear for your body and stride. And don’t forget that hydration pack if you’re going to be a serious runner.
3) Choose a route. It might seem like fun to just freestyle your runs, but if you happen to go down unfamiliar streets or paths, you might get lost. Worse yet, you could run out of energy to get back to your home or car. Planned routes do let you determine in advance how far you want to run.
4) Practice the two-minute rule. You might not feel like running every day. Rather than motivate yourself to go the whole distance, just run for two minutes. If today is not a good running day for whatever reason, you’ll know by then. In most cases, the anxiety and resistance in your mind will dissipate by then and you’ll go on to run more.
5) Run with a friend. Setting a joint goal of a 5k within a set amount of months is a fun thing for two people to do, even if it is a run/walk race.
Have fun with your new running habit!