The buzz of fall is in the air, and for young athletes, so is their impending sports season. Whether you’re in track, volleyball, football, or any other sport, running is an important part of training. The benefits of running are vast – it improves aerobic performance, builds strength, and even has positive effects on mental health too! (Business Insider)
Incorporating running into your training program is an easy way to give yourself a competitive edge throughout the entire season. If you are just beginning a running regimen to get ready for the sports season, having a training plan is essential to avoiding injury and improving strength and performance.
Here are some easy tips to remember when starting a running routine.
Don’t be afraid to walk. According to Olympian Jeff Galloway, taking walk breaks reduces the risk of injury, so it should not be avoided – especially when you are just starting. For beginners, Jeff recommends running 10-30 seconds then walking 1-2 minutes. If you are an intermediate running, try running for 1-5 minutes and walking for 1-2 minutes. Repeat the tempo that works for you for the duration of your run. (New York Times)
Pick a training plan. There are countless online training programs and running apps you can use, but keeping it simple can make sticking to a plan much easier. Here is a simple running plan you could try out:
- Train three days a week
- 2x/week: Run/walk 20 to 30 minutes
- 1x/week: Take a longer Run/walk 40 to 60 minutes
- 2x/week: Cross-train
- 2 days/week: Rest!
- Consider taking regular walk-breaks
Believe in yourself. It doesn’t matter if you have the most expensive running shoes, or the most fashionable running outfits possible – none of this matters when it comes to your actual training. The great thing about running is that anyone can do it, all you need is a pair of shoes. The thing that prevents a lot of people from hitting their milestone distances and speeds is self-doubt. If you have these doubts, identify them and make a conscious effort to overcome them. (Runners World)
Running can be intimidating, and a lot of people shy away from it. Coming up with excuses about why you can’t run is easy – starting a plan and committing to it is hard. The reality is, running is one of the easiest forms of exercise humans can do, and it has a lot of wonderful side effects on health – mental and physical. We promise, once you make a habit of it, you will crave your next run!