Beginner’s Guide to Walking/Running 01/04/12
Beginner’s Guide to Walking/Running
Guest post by Christine from the blog RandomHangers.com, where she writes about things to do, places to eat and stuff to contemplate in Orlando. She runs 15 miles a week but by no means considers herself a fitness expert. Follow her tweets at @randomhangers
With the new year comes new resolutions, many of which may include exercise. If you’re a newbie looking to pick up walking/running, read on.
Shoes: If you are truly a beginner and just want to test the exercise waters, you can probably just throw on a decent pair of sneakers, at least for the first few weeks. Once you start logging some serious mileage, though, you’ll want to find a good local running store (I’d recommend Track Shack or Fleet Feet) to match you with a good running shoe. Yes, it will likely be more expensive than going to a regular shoe store, but it’s worth it to pay for the expertise: you’ll reduce the risk of injury to your feet, ankles, or knees.
Distance: Your goal at first will likely be to increase your the amount of time or the distance of your run, not necessarily your pace. For that, I’d recommend mapping a course near you at Map Pedometer or Google Map Pedometer. Eventually you may want to invest in a GPS-enable sports watch, but they’re expensive, so I’d hold off.
Clothing: When first starting out, you’ll probably be fine in any of your current comfy clothes. When you’re ready, there are all manners of moisture-wicking this and heat ventilation that. Bottom line, find what works for you.
Carry your phone with you. In case of emergency (whether involving you or someone else), a phone is worth its weight in gold. Yes, it can be awkward to carry at first, but you can always find an armband or fitness belt to slip it into.
Wear a Road ID. There are several different kinds, but they’re all for easy identification. If something were to happen to you and you couldn’t respond when asked your name/phone number/emergency contact, this bracelet would have the answers. Don’t think it could happen to you? Guess again.
For night runs, make sure you can be seen. You can pick up reflective vests or flashing lights pretty much anywhere these days, including Wal-Mart.And make sure you can see. Either find a well-lit area or buy a headlamp. They’re not sexy, but neither are crutches.
Carry pepper spray or mace. If confronted by a threatening person, theoretically you could call for help, since you’re carrying your phone, right? But unfortunately, you don’t know how long it would take someone to come to your aid. And let’s face it, it’s really hard (and not recommended) to outrun an aggressive dog.
Please note that these are the ideal ways to stay safe. Heck, I don’t even follow all of them. But I know I should, and I’m definitely working on it.
Before you start any workout routine, it’s always best to check with your doctor.
Remember to stay hydrated and don’t overdo it. “No pain, no gain” may have worked for someone once upon a time, but for most folks, chronic issues are no laughing matter.
Got the racing bug but no sure where to begin? Many people have had success with the Couch to 5k program.It can have you running 3 miles over the course of just 2 months.
Enjoy your (hopefully) newfound love of exercise! Christine
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