Start Running!

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We all know that cardio activities, like running, are fantastic for your health. Getting into a running routine will enhance your well-being on numerous levels, both physically and mentally. If you are new to running, or thinking about starting, knowing where and how to begin can be the most challenging aspects of getting up and moving. The best thing to do is to set a target and then collect a running plan.

Even if you don’t now run at all, it can take as little as 6 weeks to train for these races. Most cities have 5K races on a regular basis, and they typically support good causes. Or, simply make it your goal to run 3.1 miles in 6 weeks. So, set your sites on a target, and then follow this easy, 6-week training program.

Week 1

Workout

This first week you simply want to set your sites on getting off the sofa and getting moving. Start simply by choosing four days to run, or walk, 0.5 miles. If you choose to walk, do so at as fast a pace as you’re comfortable with.

Strength-Building

You also need to plan to do two days of light strength-building. Strength-building is very important when training for a race as it builds the muscles required for continual running. You do not need to lift heavy weights and bulk up. The weight of your body or, light, free weights, will be more than enough.

Diet

During this first week it is a good idea to also begin adding healthy foods to your diet, which will give you energy as you run. Avoid heavy and greasy foods that can cause you to feel tired and drain your energy. Foods, such as nuts, fruits, and vegetables are terrific for high nutrition energy.

Workout

Now that you’ve made it through your first week, up your mileage to 1 mile, three or four times weekly. Try to run the whole way if you’re able to, even if it is at a very slow pace. Be certain you stretch before, and after, so you don’t pull any muscles.

Strength-Building

Continue to strength-build double this week. Yoga is a excellent strength building activity because it’s a complete body exercise that many overlook. It’s also a wonderful workout for runners, since it stretches out the muscles that normally get tight, as you build your running distance.

Diet

Continue to incorporate healthy foods to your diet. Definitely eat when you are hungry, but keep in mind that running one mile only burns 100 calories, so snack sensibly.

Workout

You are up to 1.5 miles now!

Strength-Building

Continue to strength-build twice per week. You may choose to add core exercises, like planking, or sit-ups. Make it a goal to plank for 30 seconds.

Diet

Continue to add healthy foods into your diet. Make sure to drink plenty of water before and after you workout.

Week 4

Workout

Just three short weeks ago you could not run at all. You can now boost your mileage to 2 miles, three times per week.

Strength-Building

Continue to strength-build twice per week. Try to plank for 45 seconds.

Diet

Consider producing great tasting post-workout smoothies. All you need is frozen fruit, a liquid, such as fruit juice, or milk, and your good to go. Also consider adding greens into your smoothie, like spinach, or kale – they’re jam-packed with anti-oxidants.

Workout

Almost there! Boost your mileage up to 2.5 miles this week. Now that you’re going longer distances make sure to stretch very well before, and after, each workout.

Strength-Building

Continue to strength-build twice per week. Try to board for 60 seconds. Squats are great for strengthening the running muscles in your legs.

Diet

As you run more, you might start becoming depleted of electrolytes. Try to replace them by drinking all-natural coconut water, which is high in potassium. Potassium is an essential electrolyte for runners.

Workout

Now you are ready for the final leg of your practice. You are around 3 miles this week! Try to run 3 times this week, giving yourself a rest day and 2 strength-building days. The day before you run the 5K, it’s a good idea to take a short run, say 1 mile, just to keep your muscles warmed up.

Strength-Building

You can continue to strength-build this week. Just ensure you don’t over-do it.

Diet

Continue to eat healthful foods. A day, or two, until the race, make certain that you don’t eat anything too heavy, or out-of-the-ordinary. You don’t want to have to manage an upset stomach on race day.

Week 6+

Hopefully, after completing your 6 weeks of training, you feel great, both indoors and out. Running could truly be transformative. Don’t stop at 5K. From here you can continue your running routine by maintaining a 3 mile distance. Or, if you are feeling more ambitious, you may set your goals higher and start to train for a 10K (6.2 miles) and, possibly even a Half Marathon (13.1 miles). Just continue to increase your mileage and pay attention to a runner’s diet and you’ll reach your next goal in no time!


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