Gradually Adding Distance: 10 Tips for Runners
1. Start out slow. Don’t feel like the first time out to run you have to run like you did as a kid, as fast as possible. Remember, you are running for an extended amount of time, not just running to the kitchen!
2. Find a pace that is comfortable to maintain and you can still breath! If necessary, slow it down. You should be able to maintain a conversation while running at an easy pace. If you can’t, then you need to slow down.
3. Get outside. Many only run on the treadmill and that is great, but if the weather and running conditions allow, try to take it outside. You get a better workout and you challenge your core muscles more by going through different terrain.
4. Start out easy, 15 to 20 minutes tops! Don’t worry about how many miles you have traveled, just get your time in. Once you can run for an hour, then calculate the distance.
5. Gradually add 5 minutes to your “long run” day each week. Usually you run 3-4 days a week with a rest day or cross training day in between. You never want to increase by more than 10% in distance each week.
6. Work on speed. If you are feeling great, and can easily run for an hour or 5-6 miles then you can start adding in speed drills. Try speeding up for a short burst of speed, then slowing down again. Repeat this 3-5 times.
7. Fix your stride. Try to land on your mid foot, not your toes and not your heels. When you look down at your feet, they should be facing forward and not turned out. This will help on knee pain. Also make sure your upper body is completely over your foot and you aren’t landing with your foot out in front of your body.
8. Do some homework. Get the book “Chi Running” if you really want to work on your form!
9. Set goals. Find a 5K or 10K that you can start to train for. This will keep you motivated and excited about running.
10. Enjoy the run. Don’t over train and take all the enjoyment out of it. Remember why you got started, enjoy the euphoria feeling and the rush of endorphins and your alone time! Time to think, time to pray, time to work things out in your mind and time to train your body!