There are numerous health benefits when it comes to running. It’s one of the best ways to burn calories and thus lose fat in addition to the cardiovascular benefits. It’s extremely cheap and easy to start and is therefore the number one reason why it is the most popular sport for people just starting out.
Although it seems easy, beginners can easily become demoralised when they come to terms with the fact that it’s not as easy as it looks. All you need are some shorts, a shirt and some shoes and you can start running but when will running become easier for the beginner just starting out?
The answer to this question depends a lot on the individual, ever runner is different. It depends on your experience level and how fit you were before you started training, your age and your physical condition such as whether or not you are overweight.
If an individual has been active throughout their life, playing sports, or has a physically demanding job then they should be able to adapt quickly to any running they do, perhaps within 2 to 3 weeks.
In this scenario, adapting only means that the runner should see some changes in that running becomes a little easier, they are a little less fatigued, sore and out of breath.
In contrast, if an individual has a sedentary lifestyle or an office job that has them sitting in front of a computer all day or you are a little older, later 30s or onwards the whole process will take much longer. It may take this individual 4 to 6 weeks of consistent training in order to see the same level of results.
5 Tips to Help You Be a Consistent Runner
Most people have been through it, they start a new physical activity only for your enthusiasm to slowly dwindle away into nothing. There are things that a beginner can do help establish a routine and turn running into a habit.
Running is not easy, it’s a relatively high impact sport, and you need to give your body time in order for it to adequately recover to the new stress. As your body adapts and adjusts it will get easier, you just need to give it time.
This same principle can be applied to progression. Everyone adapts at different rates and even if you started training with a friend at the same time doesn’t mean you will both be at the same level a few weeks down the road. Your friend may have progressed faster than you, they key is to not be discouraged and to stick with it and eventually the results will come.
Not only this, but your performance on any one given day can be effected by many external factors. If on a particular day running felt particularly hard it could have been due to a poor night’s sleep, stress from work or even poor nutrition.
Trying To Do Too Much When First Starting Out
Many top level coaches will have their novice and intermediate level runners follow a training plan that will not have them running on consecutive days and instead have them take a day of rest between run days. Cross training is an option in between run days.
Cross training includes forms of cardiovascular training such as pool running, cycling, elliptical machines at the gym i.e. forms of training that don’t have the same impact as running. Resistance training can also be useful at building up work capacity and therefore improve your aerobic fitness. It will also allow your body to adapt by giving it time off from the monotony of running and your joints the constant pounding.
Warming Up Sufficiently
It’s is a fairly common complaint from runners that they don’t start to feel good until they already been running for 30 minutes. This sounds like a problem for a beginner whose entire session may only be 30 minutes.
To avoid this problem you can add a simple warm up such as walking or motion drills. 15 to 20 minutes of warming up may seem like a lot but when done effectively, it can make your training session a lot more comfortable.
Using Cool Down Periods In Order to Recover Properly
Cool down periods are not just intended for intermediate or above athletes, beginner should focus on getting into the habit of performing them as well. Using walking, stretching and foam rolling after each run is a good habit to get into.
When you are a beginner and your body is struggling to adapt to the new stresses you placing on it, a cool down can be extremely important in helping your body recover and adapt that little bit quicker.
Run With People Who Will Encourage You
It’s difficult to start anything when you are doing it entirely by yourself, particularly when it comes to a sport as difficult as running. When you run in a group or with a friend it will give you that extra accountability and motivation to keep on going. The feeling you get when you belong to a team and you don’t want to let somebody down can be enough to make you keep on going.
Try and find a local running group or team, you can even try and recruit friends or family members to run with you. Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals will help motivate you when things get tough and they will also understand the things that can make running difficult.