How do I start running as an unsportsmanlike beginner?
The headline may sound strange to the majority of runners, but these or similar questions come to me again and again personally and by e-mail. I give suggestions to help you start running – even if you consider yourself totally unsporting. Who or what is unsporting? I think every person has his own definition here. Well trained people feel unsportsmanlike when they haven’t trained for a week. And others see themselves as top athletes when they have walked more than four kilometres. For ambitious runners, the following article will not really deliver anything new. I want to help people who turn their backs on comfort to start running.
First of all it is a praiseworthy way, if the thought comes up at all, to start running. So you are a few steps further than many other people. Now the start of running is different for each person, which is due to the prerequisites everyone brings with them. Age, gender, health, body weight, talent and much more have to be considered. In general, people who are unsportsmanlike and have spent many years turning their back on sports should first consult a doctor to rule out any risks.
Unathletic beginner begins to run
Anyone who strolls through forests and city parks with open eyes will see many runners – popularly known as joggers. A trained eye can quickly distinguish between old runners and beginners. Some of the beginners start a running career fast and finish it just as fast. Others stay and become infected with the positive running virus.
Unfortunately, even if I repeat myself here over and over again, running is too fast and often far too many kilometres. In shortest time the (untrainierten!) body is demanded quite a lot. The good news: a lot is possible. The not so good news: Everything needs its time, endurance and patience. Don’t stress yourself, look for an environment that you like and create a pleasant framework for the beginning.
Making running pleasant for beginners
It is of little use, for example, if you want to start running in an area that you don’t like. For example, where the personal sensation is not right. See if you want to be active in an area with a lot of people or if you want to be lonely. I know that beginners have to fight with different fears right at the beginning. Some are ashamed of their lack of stamina, others feel even fatter in sportswear. And some suffer from the observation syndrome. All nonsense. We shouldn’t care what others think. These can be actually factors, which are obstructive with the run entrance, in order to begin with running. That’s why I consider it important to have a good environment in order to take the first training steps.
Starting to run and looking for variety
Whether someone starts running right now or only with a quick walk is again a decision that is determined by the respective physical condition. It is often smarter to start with a quick walk. This can be the case if you pant at the slightest movement or carry too many kilos of body weight around with you. Here it is important to use your own mind or to get advice from experienced coaches, runners or doctors.
No matter how you start, it is important in the long run to start slowly and deliberately. It is absolutely helpful to regard running as a part of sport and not to focus exclusively on running from the very beginning. Running puts strain on the entire body and puts more or less strain on various muscles, tendons, bones and ligaments. In order to prevent bad posture, physical imbalance and injuries, various strengthening exercises and alternative training are a good way to long-term success. In addition, more variety can be provided, and the fun lasts longer than if you stubbornly try to make miles.
Running is much more than just collecting kilometres.
Furthermore, you should not be blinded by reports of other athletes. Getting motivation is good and dreaming is allowed. Too often people talk about marathons in connection with running. Some people don’t even know what it means to cope with the marathon distance.
Running is more than a marathon
Thus I experience again and again that I am addressed to my running training, be it by passers-by or acquaintances. And the question is always asked whether I am training for a marathon. First of all: Marathon is the distance of 42,195 kilometres, and not every training of 20 km results in a marathon competition. And secondly, you can run for years and never have to run a marathon. I myself know successful runners in my personal environment who have been with me for a long time and have already run during the times of the GDR. They wouldn’t have the idea of running a marathon at all. So really think carefully about what you want and then follow the path. And if you want the marathon, then you have to prepare it for the long term and not within three months, if it is certainly possible for a few people.
Tips for a successful introduction to running training
Some suggestions how it can start for unsporting beginners to stay with the question.
The start with brisk walking (this does not mean walking out of athletics):
Walk 2 – 3 times a week at a slightly faster pace, preferably in hilly terrain. One should not feel broken, and it must always be possible to talk. Sport does not mean to be constantly exhausted and finished.
A day with overall strengthening could look like this: push-ups, knee bends, dips, sit-ups. Maybe in this case the gym is a good option for you. Often even the most unathletic people can remember one or the other strengthening. If you are unsure and don’t know exactly how to do the exercise, then seek professional advice.
Before you increase your walking intensity or start running, slowly increase your girth. If it was 30 to 40 minutes in one week, it can be 35 to 45 minutes in the next week.
Depending on your level of performance, a mixture of running and walking can then be started after 3-4 weeks. More information can be found in my article – 1 minute running, 1 minute walking or general jogging for beginners.
Getting started with slow running:
2 to 3 times a week very slow running or the change from walking and running. 20 to 30 minutes are enough to get you started. A regularity is more important. Get the body accustomed slowly to the new load. It is better to run short 2-3 times a week than to run too long and strained once a week. Do not overdo it! You should feel good during the first running sessions and have the feeling to be able to entertain yourself.
Just like when you start with a brisk walk, it is important to do a regular strength training program from the beginning in order not to train too one-sidedly.
First increase the circumferences slowly and carefully and only later the intensity and running speed.
More about the introduction in the article – Starting to run is worthwhile.
If you absolutely want to reach your goals, then use my individual and nationwide online training support or my personal training support.