It’s springtime, which means you'll quickly start seeing runners everywhere in the city, especially in Central Park and the West Side Highway. A lot of advanced runners come to train with us at boot camp to achieve faster marathon or triathlon times, but there also many beginner runners who come to build up their running base. Running is an integral part of our boot camp program and is a great way to lose weight and stay in shape.
If you are a beginner runner, here are some tips:
Don’t forget to stretch in order to prevent injuries.
Start walking for 30 minutes for at least a few months before you transition to running.
Start running slowly after you build a good base for walking. Do not increase your mileage more than 10 percent per week. You may burn out, or even worse, injure yourself.
Invest in good running shoes and buy a half- or one full size larger than what you normally wear (feet swell up while running). After 500 miles, replace your shoes.
Make sure you do not bounce or overstride, and don't let your foot get ahead of your knee.
Make sure you have good form by standing up straight.
Breathing is important! Always remember to breathe by breathing in through your nose and out through your lips. You save more energy this way.
If you are a more advanced runner, here are some tips:
When running long distances, use Vaseline or BodyGlide wherever body parts rub (thighs, upper arms, toes). They will help prevent blisters and chafing.
Eat and drink wisely for your runs. Pasta, potatoes, bread, fruit, sports drinks and LOTS of water. This will fuel you and make you run better.
Want to run faster? Practice sprinting. Always start off with a stretch for about two to five minutes. Slowly jog for one minute. Follow the stretch and slow jog by sprinting for two minutes. Rest for two to five minutes. Repeat sprinting and resting several times. Cool down by jogging at a slow pace and do a full body stretch at the end. Remember to stay focused, relax your body, maintain good form and keep your momentum forward.
Hill training is great for advanced runners. Run as hard as you can to the top of the hill and then do a slow jog on the way down. Do this three to four times and work up to seven to 10 times. This will help you build strength and become much faster.
Expect bad running days during training. Everyone has them -- they pass quickly and the next workout is often better than the previous one. Stick with the program, and don't give up!
Enjoy the many benefits of running which include weight loss, a better heart, more coordination, and stress relief. Running is probably the most simple and versatile exercise out there -- you only need the basics (proper running shoes and comfortable running clothes) and you can run indoors on a treadmill or outdoors in a park or mountain or neighborhood. So get out there and RUN!