For many of you reading this, running is already an important part of your life. You spend your mornings fitting in a few miles before and your weekends out accumulating miles on the trail. For some of you, however your interest in this site has been purely aspirational. This post is for you.
Running is an excellent, inexpensive, and completely individual way to get in shape, pick up a hobby, and learn about Utah’s geography. While the sport might seem inaccessible, gaining mileage simply takes time and patience. The first run is always the hardest. Once you get past your first few miles, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a runner. In the meantime, here are few tips to help you get started.
Set a goal. Whether you want to run a mile or a marathon, set your goal early in your running regime. Then, make a plan to get to that goal. Rather than promising to run a certain number of times or miles each week, set monthly goals to ease yourself into the sport. This will allow for increased flexibility, and you won’t feel pressured to go out when you don’t want to.
Start with long walks. Before you start running, get your body moving and your heart rate up by taking several long, fast-paced runs. This will help to improve cardiovascular health prior to running. Then, introduce small bursts of running on your walks; try walking for a mile, then running for a half mile, then walking for a mile. Gradually tilt your walk/run ratio in favor of running. Before you know it, you’ll be running the entire distance.
Get the appropriate gear. You need to be safe and comfortable in order to fully enjoy running. Find a pair of running shoes that works for your lifestyle and goal. If you’re not sure where to start, visit your local running store and ask a sales associate to help you out.
Eat, drink, and sleep right. Keep yourself hydrated and energized by eating whole foods and drinking plenty of water, especially during the evenings before longer runs. Don’t be afraid to indulge in some high-calorie meals—you’re likely to run longer and faster with more energy to use. Additionally, try to get a full eight hours of sleep every night—running on just a few hours of sleep is both difficult and uncomfortable.