A lot of us will aspire at one point or another to institute a jogging regimen to help ourselves keep fit and burn calories. It’s a laudable goal, but often we can find ourselves plateauing early on or letting a jogging schedule fall by the wayside as we allow life to get in the way. However, by applying some structure to our fitness ambitions and taking advantage of some practical tips and tricks, it’s possible to come up with a sustainable running plan that’ll help us to gain long-term fitness.
You’ll often see a lot of joggers going about their running with high visibility lycra running wear and fancy sportswear. The truth is that most of this isn’t really necessary and can create a false sense of accomplishment, where spending on running gear fatuously equates to putting in effort going on actual runs. What we would recommend you put some time and money into is getting a good pair of running shoes. This can make running more comfortable and reduce joint ache and sore muscles. Most reputable dedicated running shoe shops should have staff that can help you find the right shoes for the kind of running you’ll be doing, whether it’ll be cross-country, long distance or urban sprinting.
If you want to run, make sure you won’t be scheduling it too close to meal times. Being full can lead to lethargy and stitches. Make sure you’re running at least two hours after eating, or more, depending on the size of the meal. If you’re worried about running out of energy, have a banana an hour before running: bananas have a high glycemic index, meaning your body converts them into energy quickly. A tablespoon of glucose powder, taken fifteen minutes before a jog, can give you a boost as well.
Agreeing to go for a jog with someone else on a regular basis can reap dividends for your running progress. You’ll be less likely to slack off, and running with someone else can help you to keep a quicker pace than you would with no one monitoring your progress. It can also make running more pleasant, as it takes on the aspect of a social occasion rather than just a solo slog.
It’s the maxim you’ll hear with most exercise plans, not just running, but it holds true. Many people start a fitness regimen with an initial burst of zeal and enthusiasm, only for things to quickly plateau and eventually peter out. It’s better to start slow with shorter runs few times a week and build yourself up to a more substantial regimen, especially, if you’re coming off the sofa for the first time in a while. It’s not a race, but the old adage of slow and steady winning still applies here.
This might sound counterintuitive at first, but it can be a great mantra for people who often find it hard to face going for a run on a regular basis. If you build up a lot of dread for running in your head, you’re making it harder to allow yourself to simply leave the house and get some exercise. If you’re getting tired out on a run, feel free to take a break or to walk slowly. Any goals regarding time or distance you set for yourself, should be looked at as something to strive for, but, if you don’t hit them, it’s not a failure on your part. By making sure that you’re running on your own terms, in such a way that you are always comfortable, you are building up more positive associations in your head, you can start looking at running as something to enjoy.
While we’re being averse to recommend you a lot of fancy technology, but some gadgets can be of real benefit to your running regimen. A smartphone, an iPod or similar mp3 player can be used to either motivate you or take the mind of your exertions with music and podcasts, while you’re running. Similarly, a pedometer and a calorie calculator can make the gains you get from running seem more concrete, and maximizing your progress can even become addictive after a while.
This can be a good way of keeping your progress on track and giving you a goal to aim for, no matter what level of runner you are. A full marathon is a serious ordeal that, usually, takes at least three months to prepare for, but there are 5km, 10km and half-marathon races you can sign up for as well. Lots of these are for charity, so knowing that you have donations from friends and family riding on your participation, can help focus you on achieving conditioning and instituting a long-term running regime.
If you miss a day, slack on time or distance run, or can’t find time on a given day to go running, don’t beat yourself up about it too much. You should be entering into a fitness lifestyle for the long-term so, allowing yourself to be overly demoralized by the occasional bump in the road, is not realistic and not necessary. Learn from your mistakes and try to concentrate on getting the next run in as soon as possible, rather than lamenting past lapses in discipline.