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Top 10 Tips for New Runners

By: Angela  Ciroalo

Learn to fall in love with running this autumn with these 10 easy-to-follow tips for runners just starting out.

  1. Learn to walk before you can run

There is no reason to begin your running journey by sprinting.

Running is all about pacing yourself. Learn this early on.

Begin your first run by walking with short bursts of jogging.

If you feel comfortable with this, jog at a very low speed.

As you begin to feel more comfortable running, begin to increase your speed or distance, depending on your goals.

Ease into your new routine. Allow your body to acclimate to this new activity.

Enjoy the sights and sounds around you while running. Try not to focus on the distance or time remaining. Take notice of all that you are able to see and experience along the way.

Run Walk
 Photo taken from Active.com 

  1. Warm up and cool down

Warming your body up before a run will improve performance and prevent injury.

Start your workouts with a simple warm up such as jumping jacks, a light jog, marching in place; whatever you feel most comfortable doing for five to ten minutes before a run.

Once you have finished your workout, take five to ten minutes to cool down at a slow pace.

A cool down will allow the body to readjust after your activity. All cool downs should also be followed by ten minutes of stretching. If you want to prevent injuries, stretch.

Your muscles will thank you.

Warm Up

Photo taken from newmarketsoccerclub.com.au

Runner stretches
Photo taken from pixgood.com

  1. Set a Goal

Whether your goal is weight loss, better overall health, finishing a race in a certain amount of time, or running a specific distance – it is important to select a goal.

When times are tough and you feel like giving up, your goal will remind you why you started.

It will also give you’re the extra push you need to try harder when you feel as though you have given your all.

  1. Perfect your Form

The form of a runner is critical in preventing injuries and improving performance.

Form is your body placement during a run.

New runners should get in the habit of running with optimal form early on.

To improve your form, take notice of your posture, head placement, torso movements, arm swings, foot strike and stride length during a run.

Is your back straight? Are your arms pumping to fast? Are you over striding your steps? Are you looking down instead of up?

runner form

  1. Create Accountability

Once your goal is set, share it with friends, family and social media.

The more people you tell about your goal, the more people that will hold you accountable for achieving it.

It feels great to share your progress along the way and feel the support of those around you.

Another great form of accountability is to recruit a running partner. Someone who will train with you and support you along the way.

Training partners are invaluable when just starting out.

  1. Rest and recover

The muscles need time to recover, especially when beginning a new routine.

Days off from exercise are very important in preventing an overuse injury.

If taking a full day off is very difficult for you, try cross training or yoga.

This way you are able to rest the muscles used during a run while still working out your body.

toga

  1. Strengthen your whole body

Running should not be your only activity.

Exercise should be balanced throughout the body.

If you plan on running three days out of the week, take one to two days to strength train.

Balance lower body workouts with upper body.

Cross training is another great way to create strength throughout the body, rather than just in your legs.

Try implementing Pilates, biking and/or swimming to recruit strength from the whole body.

lift

  1. Improve eating habits

Many new runners get confused about how much to eat, when to eat, and how often.

The amount you eat should depend on the way you feel.

Listen to your body. If you feel hungry, eat. If you feel full, don’t.

The real focus should be on implementing natural, whole food.

Begin including whole grains, vegetables, fruits and healthy fats into your diet, rather than just eating larger portions.

My Plate

Composition of various exotic fruits isolated on white background

  1. Choose a training plan

Once you have chosen your goal, select a realistic training plan that you allow you to achieve it without getting side tracked.

Select the date or month that you would like your goal achieved by.

Mark down the amount of weeks you have to get there.

And choose the distances and speeds that you will complete each week until then.

Make sure your training plan is realistic and accommodating to your fitness level and available training time.

5k plan
Photo taken from www.makingthymeforhealth.com

  1. Get the appropriate gear

Many people will lace up their old sneakers and throw on an old t-shirt for their first run.

While this is great when just getting started, if you plan to continue running it is best to pick up a supportive pair of running shoes and some comfortable running gear.

Comfortable shirts and shorts that do not stick to your body or cause chafing make all the difference. They also improve confidence.

When picking up a dri-fit running shirt, be sure to stop in the shoe section.

According to the September 2015 issue of Runners’ World magazine our feet absorb two to four times our body weight with each step we take.

The more supportive your shoes are, the more impact your shoes absorb, rather than your ankles, knees and hips.

Stop by a local running store and have your shoes fitted.

Author Sarah Condor once said, “Remember, the feeling you get from a good run is far better than the feeling you get from sitting around wishing you were running.”

So stop thinking about running, get out there and start doing it.

Start with a jog around your block, a jog to the park, or even a walk down the street.

Your first step is the most important.

PierHouse 5k Race Pier House 5k

(Above, myself with friends during a recent 5k race.)
I had a wonderful time!
Running alongside other people was really encouraging. I ran much faster than I expected. I was hoping to finish in 25 minutes, running eight minute miles. Surprisingly, I was able to finish in 22:31, running an average of 7:15 minute miles.

If you are interested in running, I strongly urge you to participate in a 5k race.
Races are A LOT of fun. They leave you with such a running high that you cannot wait to get out there and run some more.

If there is any topic that you feel was not covered in the, “Top 10 Tips for New Runners” article, please notify me and I would be happy to include the information.

Wishing you love, joy and blessings!
Get outside and RUN today. 

Best,

Angela Joy

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Training Workouts to Increase Speed and Endurance

By: Angela Joy

As a runner, it is only natural to come to a point where you want to see improvement.

Some runners seek to run further distances while other runners seek to run at faster speeds.

Regardless of your goal, I have listed below several types of workouts to incorporate into your training routine to improve your overall speed and endurance.

Running

Image taken from talkfeed.co

TRAINING TIPS
One of the best ways to increase your speed and endurance is to create a change in your current exercise routine.

Several well-known workouts that improve speed include the fartlek run, the tempo run and interval training. Workouts that will improve endurance include long distance and hill workouts.

Each workout has its own challenges that will build strength, ultimately improving running ability.

Speed

Image taken from: realbuzz.com

SPEED WORKOUTS
The fartlek, tempo and interval workouts are each different forms of speed runs.

Personal trainer and running coach Jenny Hadfield, better known RunnersWorld.com’s Coach Jenny, explains the differences between the three.

The fartlek run is defined by its Swedish meaning, speed play.

Ms. Hadfield explains a fartlek run as an unstructured workout that varies between moderate to difficult running paces, for different amounts of time.

While completing a fartlek workout, the runner can alternate between faster and slower speeds for short periods of time – such as to that tree or to that sign – followed by slower recovery pace.

“The goal is to keep it free-flowing so you’re untethered to the watch or a plan, and to run at harder efforts but not a specific pace,” Ms. Hadfield stated in a RunnersWorld.com article.

The fartlek run is a stress-free enjoyable run that will improve speed, stamina and mental strength, Ms. Hadfield explains.

The length and speed of the workout and should depend on personal running ability and goals.

An interval workout is quite similar to a fartlek run, however it does include structure.

During an interval workout the athlete will transition between intervals of fast and moderate running for set amounts of time, Ms. Hadfield stated.

An example of interval running is to run for five minutes as a moderate pace, followed by an increase in speed for 30 seconds, consecutively for 20 to 30 minutes.

Interval training transitions between low and high intensity. The result of this form of exercise is increased endurance and strength, creating increased speed and running ability.

Interval training is also known for its ability to aid in weight loss due to the increase and decrease in intensity.

The third form of speed training is the tempo workout.

The tempo workout consists of a warm up, followed by a high intensity speed run without rest, and completed with a cool down.

Ms. Hadfield compares the workout to an Oreo cookie. The warm up and the cool down are the cookie, the increase in speed is the cream in the middle, she explained.

A tempo run is often completed by an athlete either once or twice a week, due to its difficulty level.

The average duration of a tempo run is to maintain a high intensity pace for 20 minutes. The length of time the athlete will run should be determined by on athletic ability.

In my training experience I have found that incorporating a tempo run every week, or every other week, makes a large impact on running speed and endurance ability.

If you are new to running, it is best to begin with fartlek runs followed by slowly easing into interval runs and once you are fully prepared, beginning to incorporate a tempo workouts.

Through each form of training, the athlete will see improved speed mental strength, endurance and improved performance.  

Long Distance

Image taken from: popsugar.com

ENDURANCE WORKOUTS
Aside from speed workouts, runners can also the incorporate long distance and hill workouts.

These runs are challenging which often causes most people to shy away.

One of the most common reasons runners will shy away is due to lack of confidence and fear.

If you are a short distance speed athlete a long distance run by seem ridiculous.

However, increasing distance will increase endurance, creating the ability to withstand a faster pace for a longer period of time.

A long distance run does not have to be 10 or 20 miles.

Long distance can mean a variety of distances to different people.

Beginners may see three miles as long distance, while an experienced runner may see 26 miles as a long run.

The key here is to increase distance to your current workout – wherever that may be.

The long distance run can be done at a slow or moderate speed – depending on athletic ability.

A hill workout is one that is common among more serious, dedicated runners.

Running up a hill allows the body to utilize different muscles than when running on a flat distance.

This effort can be much more difficult for runners, which is what builds strength and endurance.

One form of hill training is known as the Jack and Jill run. The run consists of going up a hill at a fast pace and coming down the hill at a slow, recovery pace.

Incorporating hill runs into your training routine will create confidence as a runner. It is will also build new leg muscle, ultimately improving running ability.

Both of these workouts are great to incorporate in an exercise routine. They break up the monotony and can be both rewarding and enjoyable.

WHERE TO BEGIN
A new workout, such as the ones explained in this article, should be incorporated into a training routine once or twice a week. Anything more may cause injury.

Choosing the type of run that you would like to incorporate into your running routine will depend on the type of workouts that you enjoy, your fitness level, and your fitness goal.

Be sure that when incorporating a new form of running you stretch properly and give your body adequate rest.

Important: To avoid injury, remember that any new exercise will create new stress on the body which must be fully recovered from with rest, proper nutrition, and stretching.

Tofu and kale

Stretch

Image taken from: espn.go.com

MOTIVATION
To motivate you to push harder and run faster during your next workout, refer to one of Oprah Winfrey’s greatest quotes: “Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it.”

Your outcome will be determined by your efforts. The more you try, the better you will become – each step at a time.

Motivation

You can do this!! 

Run motivation

I thought this was cute 😉

Angela Joy: If you give these workouts a try, let me know how it works out! I am doing a tempo run today for 30 minutes — I am ready 🙂 

-Angela Joy

Originally published in Night & Day Magazine

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