Runner’s to the starting line

Caitlin Husted, Senior Editor

With most people deciding to workout indoors during the colder months, it’s important to take some precautions before you brush the dust off the running shoes and take off in the nice spring weather.

Most importantly, if you are going to begin running, make sure that you are realistic with your goals. Running is hard. Period. It’s taxing on the body and the mind. Remember that everyone has to start as a beginner. On your first day, you don’t have to go out and run five miles. Heck, you don’t even have to go out and run five minutes. Begin by running for a couple of minutes followed by a couple minutes of walking. Continue with this plan and just increase the time you run and reduce the time you walk. Before you know it, you won’t have to walk at all.

If you have no idea what plan to start with, go online and find one that you think fits you best. You can find a six week, 12 week or 24 week plan to reach your running goals. By following these, you will be able to know what your body is capable of handling.

Also, make sure to fuel your body correctly. If you aren’t giving your body the nutrients you need, running is going to be a real struggle. Make sure to eat around 200 to 400 calories of mostly complex carbs and a little protein and hour and half before you leave for a run. This will fuel your body and help you finish your run. After a run, try to eat a four to one ratio of carbs and protein 30 to 45 minutes after you stop your workout. By fueling your body, you will start to see the changes from running much quicker.

It’s also important to find a support system. Try to find another runner that will commit to joining you on your runs. You are more likely to go run if someone else is going with you. Having someone there is a great way to push yourself faster, and it helps to have another person there to motivate you when the run gets hard. As you begin running longer distances, it helps to have someone else there to make sure you run the full five miles and don’t quit after three.

Although running shoes are sold at many stores, take the time and the money to get yourself a pair that fits you and is of good quality. If you are serious about running, a good pair of shoes is the best investment you can make. It may be daunting, but don’t be scared to spend $80 to $100 on a pair of running shoes. These shoes will prevent injury and make running a little easier.

Know that your body is going to be tired and hurt. At first, running will completely wipe you out. You may feel weak and tired most of the time, but, don’t give up. Once you get your body used to expelling that kind of energy, you will begin to feel more energized than ever before. Not only that, but you will notice that everyday tasks, such as climbing the stairs, will be no longer make you huff and puff. And that, is a pretty great feeling.