Training yourself to run is more than a good project, it’s very rewarding! I started training myself to run about two years ago, and I haven’t looked back since. Next year will be my first attempt at a full-blown marathon! If you want to give the sport a try, you don’t need to pay a personal trainer. You can train yourself to run if you really want to! It takes a lot of hard work and dedication, but the end result is more than worth it. Here’s how to train yourself to be a runner!
1. Just do It
When training yourself to run, you can’t make excuses. The first step is to just get out the door. No matter how tired or sore you are (and you will be sore the first week!), you have to get on the track and get to moving. Try to run at least a little each day until your strength builds up.
2. Build Slow Progress
When you first start out training yourself to run, you can’t expect immediate progress. You have to be patient to see results! Start out your first week with a realistic goal. A half-mile or a mile is good. Run at least 5 days that week and try to complete your goal. The next week, add a little more distance to your run. Keep doing this until you’ve built up to your goal or until you’ve come a long way in running.
3. Stay Hydrated
This is probably the absolute most important tip I can give you for training yourself to run. If you’re dehydrated, you won’t make it far on the track, and you can end up very sick or in the hospital at worst. Be sure to start drinking 3 or 4 eight ounce glasses of water each day, and always take a water bottle with you on your run. Stay healthy and hydrated!
4. Eat Good Energy Sources
Running burns an extreme amount of calories. In order to stay healthy and strong, and have a good performance on your run, you need to eati good energy sources. Since you burn about 100 calories per mile that you run, try to consume twice that amount after a run. And make sure you incorporate plenty of protein and calcium into your diet. Protein promotes energy, while calcium helps ease muscle pain.
5. Don’t over-do It
Many first time runners think they have to prove to themselves and the world that they can press on no matter what. This is a good attitude and spirit to have; however, you have to build up tolerance and muscle strength to be able to safely push your limits. You can’t start out running on sheer willpower alone! Take a few days each week to rest and recover. Your muscles will perform much better if you do. Train yourself to run by listening to your body’s needs and heeding them.
6. Cut Yourself Some Slack
All runners, even the best of the best, will have some days where they just don’t have any desire to run. This is your body telling you to back off. You are doing great with your training, so now you need to reward yourself! Don’t withhold sweets from yourself, or feel bad because you had to stop running sooner than you wanted. Give yourself some slack and have an ice cream. You deserve it! Just don’t make it a daily habit.
A good practice to put into habit while you train yourself to run is cross training! On the days that you choose not to run, or at least once a week, you should do some other type of exercise. Running is repetitive; you use the same muscles in the same form over and over again. Time to use those other muscles! You’ll be surprised at how much cross training will improve your run. Some good examples of cross training are using an elliptical, taking a spin class, swimming, doing yoga, or trying a cardio abs session.
8. Take Care of Your Body
Want to know how to train yourself to run? Take care of your body. It’s the only one you’ve got, and you don’t get a replacement. Don’t beat yourself so mercilessly that you end up permanently hurt or in the hospital. Drink enough water, eat a good balanced diet, and always stretch your muscles before and after a workout. Above all else, accept yourself, and be proud of your progress!
Training yourself to run is attainable, but not without a little support from yourself, family, and friends. Don’t be too hard on yourself; remember that you will only perform as well as you think you can. Encourage yourself to be better, but know that you are doing great right now. Feel proud that you have accomplished this much and have started to train yourself to run! Do you know how to train yourself to run? Please comment below with your tips!
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