9 tips to start running safely

Have you just started in the world of running? Therefore, it is very important that you follow certain tips to start running , which will help you reduce the risk of injury and achieve your goals progressively. 

Take into account the 9 recommendations that we offer you below and safely enjoy all the advantages that this sport has!

Benefits of starting to run 

Have you made the decision to start running ? !! Congratulations!! This sport can have numerous benefits for your health, and a study published by Brigham Young University even shows the benefit of running at least 5 days a week for 30-40 minutes on longevity at the cellular level. We list the most important benefits that are collected in different studies: 

  • Reduces blood cholesterol: running increases the levels of good cholesterol (HDL) and reduces the bad cholesterol (LDL). To get this benefit, you would have to run about 5 kilometers a week.
  • Strengthens the knees: Contrary to what many people think, running prevents pain in the knee joints and bones, as long as there is no previous injury, and the runner’s body weight and the frequency with which they are taken into account. the exercise is performed.
  • Prevents arthritis: long -distance runners have higher bone density and by running regularly from a young age, diseases such as arthritis and osteoporosis can be prevented.
  • Helps to lose weight: obesity and being overweight affect many people today. Running regularly, along with a balanced diet, is an effective method of losing weight in a healthy way.
  • Improves cardiovascular health: running helps the heart pump blood with less effort and can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 45%.
  • Reduces stress: running favors the release of endorphins. These are known as “the neurotransmitters of happiness”, because they generate well-being in the body and help combat stress, so present in today’s society.
  • It improves the symptoms of depression running several days a week is as effective as taking antidepressants. This is also due to the increase in endorphins, which act as painkillers in the body.
  • Increases personal motivation : In addition to endorphins, running also generates dopamine, a neurotransmitter that provides feelings of pleasure and reinforces people’s motivation to carry out the activity that generates it, in this case, keep running.
  • It helps to sleep better and to have a higher level of alertness during the day: this would require at least 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise.  
  • It can extend life expectancy up to 3 years, and reduce the risk of premature death by up to 45%.

9 tips to start running without getting frustrated

As you have seen, the benefits of running are many and very important. So it is worth encouraging yourself to do this sport. Of course, to do it safely, avoiding injuries and achieving the best results with this sport, it is important that you take into account the following 9 tips to start running

1. Bet on the CACO method: walk and run alternately

Do not intend to run for 30 minutes straight from the first day, especially if you are not used to doing any sport. It is recommended that you use the CACO method, that is, that you alternate running intervals with walking intervals.

Start by interspersing 2 minutes of walking with 2 minutes of running and, little by little, gradually increase the duration of the latter for another minute until you are able to run 30 minutes in a row. According to many experts, this can be accomplished in approximately 8 weeks.

2. Run at a pace that allows you to talk

Don’t make the mistake of pushing your race pace too hard. How can you know without a heart rate monitor if you maintain an adequate speed? The key is being able to hold a conversation with another runner . If you find it too difficult, slow down until you can do it.

3. Choose your shoes well 

Shoes are the fundamental piece of equipment for a runner, and no wonder, because your performance will largely depend on them when performing this exercise. When you go shopping, keep these tips in mind when choosing your running shoes: 

  • Cushioning: good cushioning is important to prevent injuries since, when starting to run, it is common to acquire some vices that can be harmful.
  • Flexibility: if you don’t play sports regularly, we recommend that you opt for flexible and cushioned shoes. 
  • Type of tread: according to the type of tread when running, a runner can be pronator, neutral or supinator. For this reason, you should choose shoes adapted to your footprint. Pronator: when making the footprint, the ankle tends to turn towards the inside of the foot.
  • Neutral : in this type of tread, pronation is almost non-existent, that is, the position of the ankle is very close to verticality when treading.
  • Supinator : when making the footstep, the rotation of the ankle goes towards the outside of the foot.
  • Training surface: choose shoes adapted to the terrain on which you are going to run, since running on grass is not the same as on asphalt or dirt. 
  • Usual weather: if the ground is normally wet, select shoes prepared for it, since they will provide you with grip that will prevent you from slipping and falling.  

Finally, we recommend that you go to buy your sneakers at a specialized center where they can advise you on the model that best suits you. In addition, it is convenient that you try them on with the socks that you will use for your sports practice and thus check if they are comfortable, almost as much as if you were not wearing them. Use them for several days before you start running, this will help you avoid the formation of blisters. Keep in mind that during the race the foot tends to dilate slightly, so you should not buy very tight shoes. 

4. Let your body recover after exercise 

Start with moderate running and schedule rest days between workouts. Only then can you avoid exposing the body to overexertion and give it time to recover and gradually adapt to this exercise. This is essential to prevent injuries that, if they appear, in addition to harming you physically, can end up frustrating you and causing you to give up.

5. Listen to your body 

It is normal for you to experience some physical discomfort when running, especially at first, but you should never experience pain. If this happens, your body is sending you the signal that there is a problem, because if you notice pain in any part of your body and you continue running, you will most likely end up with an injury.

6. Alternate the surfaces 

The surfaces you run on can have very different characteristics: they can be completely smooth, like asphalt, or stony and uneven, like rural or mountain roads .

This will determine the way you run and the type of pressure that is exerted on the ankle. Therefore, it is recommended that you alternate types of surfaces, in order to break the pattern of repetitive movements, reducing the impact on the joints and optimizing your performance.

Some of the different types of surfaces you can run on are: asphalt, grass, beach sand, or trial tracks. 

7. Implement these habits in your running technique

To avoid injuries and progress properly in running, try to implement this running technique:

  • Try to avoid that your heel is the first part of the foot that contacts the ground. 
  • Do not take sudden strides when running : the ideal is that your footsteps do not make noise.
  • Keep your shoulders relaxed and avoid letting your hands go past them. 
  • Relax your hands : do not clench your fists. 
  • Use the force of gravity as an ally to generate forward momentum. 
  • Try to make your strides land below the hip line

8. Watch your diet

Eating correctly is essential to be able to perform in any sport, as we explain in the article Keys to a diet for athletes.

It is important that you provide your body with all the nutrients it demands: vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins and fats , and that you do so in an appropriate proportion to the intensity of the sport you practice, your physical condition and your state of health.

Keep in mind that around sports nutrition there are many myths, for example, the need to consume carbohydrates before training. This statement only holds true if you’re running for more than 90 minutes , which is considered long for a beginning runner. When starting to run it is recommended that your runs do not exceed 30/35 minutes. 

9. Avoid injuries

All the tips to start running that we have just seen help to avoid injuries , but you can still do more to try to prevent them from appearing:

  • Warm up before you start running and stretch when you finish.
  • Hydrate well.
  • If you have any previous joint injury, consult a specialist before starting to run. 

What do you think of these tips to start running ? As you have seen, they are not difficult to apply and can help you to avoid injuries and achieve the results you want effectively. Running is an optimal way to take care of your health, since the benefits on it are numerous. 

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