Getting Back Into Running
As the New Year starts, everyone makes resolutions that they intend to keep for the rest of the year. Maybe it was a resolution that you failed to keep this year, or maybe it’s a resolution that you’ve always wanted to make a goal but didn’t have the time, effort, money, or other motivation necessary.
For many people, that New Year resolution is how to start running, and with spring right around the corner now is a great time to start preparing to run outside as the weather starts to warm up. Running can be a lot easier said than done, so here are some tips to help you with your running.
Why Starting to Run Again is Hard
The cold winter is a period of time that drains us all, leading us to not be as diligent with fitness as we ought to be. The short days and cold weather and constant periods of being indoors all combine to make it so that we generally don’t exercise as much during the winter.
It is important for everyone to realize that there is a period of atrophy that generally occurs during the winter. Since most people are not as physically active during the cold months, their physical abilities decline a little bit. As such, both new and returning runners need to realize that their abilities may not be as defined as they would like during the first couple of runs.
How to Avoid Muscle Atrophy in the Winter
It is important to try and avoid muscle atrophy by doing exercise over the holidays, even if it’s indoor. Buy yourself a treadmill or a gym membership for Christmas and you can start building up your endurance.
Once spring comes around, you will have built up enough of a foundation how to start running longer distances outside. The weather will also be a lot warmer, which gives you the chance to get back into better shape and start working on positive habits outside.
Running Outside vs. Inside
During the first couple of runs, you should focus on simply getting out and getting exercise, so that your body can transition to the pace you are going through. Your body will need to adjust a little bit as the muscles get back to their previous shape and state. When it all comes down to it, running is a process that will build on itself.
As the seasons change, you will constantly have to adjust to the weather. Depending on where you live, the conditions where you run will be different. If you’re running in a very dry place, you’ll want to carry a water bottle with you to prevent yourself from getting dehydrated. If you live somewhere warm and humid, you’ll want to wear clothes that are as light as possible to keep yourself from overheating.
More Motivation to Run
As the year goes on, it sometimes becomes harder for people to keep their initial New Year’s resolutions. Even if you have built up endurance, running is not always easily fit into your schedule. Others’ resolutions involve just losing weight, and therefore when they reach their goal weight, they stop running as diligently. However, if you want to maintain that weight, you have to keep running.
One way to motivate yourself to run every day is to run with someone that has a common goal as you. You will be able to motivate each other and egg the other on as they start to get tired. If you don’t have any friends with similar goals or schedules, you can start using music and other technology to motivate you.
Using Technology as you Run
Make a playlist with music that gets your heart rate up and makes you want to stay active. There are also several apps you can download that measure how many steps you’ve taken and how many calories you’ve burned. Once you start measuring your progress, you’re suddenly much more motivated to keep working hard.
As long as you can be diligent about getting out on a regular basis, the initial discomfort you have when getting back to running should quickly fade as your body adjusts and improves. The cardiovascular fitness should then begin to take affect, giving you the endurance and strength you need to get into the shape you want to be in!