5 Tips to Start Running and Stay Motivated
The winter is almost over and that means those of you who completely stopped running over these few months are looking to start back up. Due to this hibernation, many of you are completely out of shape and need help getting your speed and endurance back. Your body is going to be extremely pissed after your first run, but don't worry it's just a phase! Here's how to get your body back into action.
If you did not work a single muscle over the winter you will need to start stretching out your muscles because they will be very tight. This will also help to prevent injuries, as I can comment on from my experience of being an outdoor track runner. Be sure to stretch all of the muscles in your hips and legs and put a great emphasis on your calves and ankles. This should take about 10 minutes initially and as you get back into your habit it shouldn't take this much time. After you finish stretching, I recommend you do a few warm-up drills such as jogging in place, jumping jacks, and butt-kicks.
Be sure to fuel your body about 90 minutes before you go running. Try eating a meal containing mostly carbohydrates such as oatmeal, fruit, or pasta. This will help to energize you through your workout and also be sure to drink plenty of water to stay fully hydrated. Besides just pre-workout nutrition try and stick to a full meal plan for the entire day that coincides with your activity level and your fitness goals. Be sure to include a lot of protein, carbs, and healthy fats.
Start by jogging lightly for 5 minutes and then as your body gets ready slowly switch into your different workouts. Pick a location that has a flat, even surface so you won't put too much strain on your back. Set a short distance goal and as you complete it increase your distance. This is an easy way to get your endurance back up.
Now that you started to get back into shape, try going to the gym a few days a week and adding some resistance and weight exercises to your regimen. Besides adding variety to your workouts, this will also help strengthen your muscles and sculpt your body. If you need help putting together a simple workout read this article on my full body circuit. Running mixed with weight training will put you in the best shape of your life!
If you are not motivated enough, chances are you will not continue to run. Try making running a fun hobby rather than a chore. Yes, this will be hard for the first couple of sessions but do not let it discourage you. Another way to motivate yourself is to try running with a friend. This way you will both be giving each other support. There are many, many ways to get motivated you can also check out the motivation section on this website to watch many videos that will get you out an about.
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