Some people think because they may know how to run, walk and even crawl, that they would naturally be able to run a race or jog.
They couldn’t be more wrong! Running up the road a few times a week does not mean you have enough understanding to be able to design a program to get you to a stage where you can run 5k in just a couple of months.
“If you are going to take up jogging or running seriously, you will need to treat it as a brand new sport and assume you are a beginner.”
If you picked up a basketball and shot a few hoops, you wouldn’t assume you could play like Michael Jordan! It all takes time.
Your body needs to adjust to the changes that will take place, therefore take the time to learn the basics, understand the implementation that’s needed and you and your body will find yourselves much happier.
Although it may not seem it at the time, jogging and running takes its toll on your body.
This will only negatively affect your body if you push yourself beyond your limits and abuse your body.
To reduce the risk of osteoporosis when you get older, you need to thicken your bones.
The more you work at a sport that needs weight bearing through the legs and spine, the more you will find that your bones will thicken from the stress.
You will notice a number of positive effects on your body such as your ligaments and tendons strengthening and your cardiovascular capability will increase, thus decreasing your chances of a heart attack, stroke, diabetes and more.
Take a look at these jogging tips. These will help decrease your risk of injury and keep you in good shape.
Tip #1: Make a plan of action. When starting out at a new sport it is important to have a written plan as well as the one in your head. All great runners and joggers make a plan of action to improve at their sport.
Tip #2: Some days you will feel capable of pushing yourself beyond your plan. This is not a good idea. Always stick to your plan as going beyond this will only make your body weaker and you will probably injure yourself and give up straight away!
Tip #3: Always remember that the main goal of all of this is fitness. After every workout that you do, you should feel great and energized. The only exception to this is for endurance and performance athletes that may end up tired twice a week max but they are aware that after that the body will need time to mend before working out again.
Tip #4: Warm up! There is a reason people are advised to warm up before any exercise, the main one being you will increase your risk of injury if you don’t. If you jog or run on cold muscles this will decrease your performance, enthusiasm and make you feel lethargic.
Tip #5: Dress depending on the weather! If it is cold outside, wrap up! A top tip is to wear just enough so that when you step outside you will feel a slight chill, that way when you start running and warming up your body wont overheat. Stand out in the snow by wearing bright colours and always carry a mobile phone in case of emergencies.
Tip #6: If you’re running or jogging in the summer wear light coloured clothing! In general, if the temperature outside is more than 90 degrees and you are going to be jogging/running for more than 20 minutes make sure you take some water with you
Tip #7: Running shoes are so important so make sure you invest in a pair. Even if you class yourself as ‘just a jogger’ running shoes are a must. If you do not have the appropriate footwear your risk of injury increases massively. The cartilage in your knees will endure a lot of pounding and your legs, ankles and hips are also at risk.
Tip #8: Where possible, try and run mostly outdoors. A treadmill, although they are handy now and again, decreases you energy disbursement. You will feel like you have run a lot further than you actually have and nothing beats the feeling of running on a track or road.
Tip #9: At the end of your run, always stretch and take time to cool down. Although you really won’t feel like it after a long run, it will do you the world of good. When you have finished your run, slow down and complete a 5 minute walk. This will cool you down dramatically.
Spend around 10 minutes stretching your muscles; these include shoulders, glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps and biceps. The benefit of doing this is to prevent damage to your muscles and increase the elasticity of them. It will also reduce the amount of lactic acid that has built up in your muscles and making you feel less sore the next day!
Dave Manuel: Beginners Guide to Jogging
NHS: Running Tips for Beginners
Miami University: Jogging the Course
Runners World: Running Tips
Cool Running: The Couch to 5K Running Plan