Running can be a fun, powerful way to strengthen your heart and body overall. To new runners, however, running can seem tiresome and daunting. Here are a few tips for those who are just starting to explore running:
Music or No Music?
- There’s a split between runners who listen to music and runners who believe running with music is a distraction. Without music you can better regulate your breathing and pace, but music has its benefits too! The right track can motivate you further at a low point in your run, or just make it more interesting.
- The verdict: Do what works for you! I suggest trying both before knocking one, but when you have a preference, stick with it.
Outside or Treadmill?
- Running outside has a level of resistance that is harder to replicate on a treadmill. Adversely, the treadmill has machine-regulated pace and resistance, so you are in complete control with the push of a button, and don’t have to worry about keeping your pace. While outside scenery is dynamic, running on a treadmill can get really boring, really fast.
- Running on a treadmill can be done at any point during the day and during any type of weather, while running outside is dependent on certain conditions.
The verdict: Do what is accesible to you! If you don’t have a gym membership but can run around your neighborhood or school track, then get running! If you have access to a treadmill but have allergies or live in a cold city, then use the treadmill. Use both! It doesn’t have to be either/or.
- The key to good running technique is posture. You want to have your back straight and shoulders back (if you’re a singer/instrument player you are no stranger to this position) to allow for maximum lung capacity.
- Your arms should not cross your body, but should move back and forth (not across), and shouldn’t reach higher than your chest.
- Hands shouldn’t be clenched in fists, but rather held as if holding a piece of paper between your thumb and index finger in a loose fist, or as if you’re cupping an egg you don’t want to break.
- I believe that breath-control is the most important factor to control while running. If you’re gasping for breath you’re not going to get far; you have to be sure to take controlled breaths where the inhale is slightly shorter than the exhale.
- Breathing in through the nose/out through the mouth works for me, but you can do in/out through just the nose or mouth depending on how it feels for you.
- Trying a new breathing technique might feel a little weird in the beginning moments, so give your body time to adjust before you stop running or give up and continue gasping.
These aren’t medically backed/research tips; just things I’ve learned while getting into running; leave me a message if you think I’ve missed anything!
But the most important tip of all: JUST DO IT!
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