Whether it involves gradually increasing the number of miles or taking care not to ignore the warning signs given by your body, the most important thing is to enjoy yourself. In order to improve more quickly !
Although you're probably not planning to run a marathon in your first year, it is still preferable to consult your GP before beginning your training cycle. A check-up generally only takes a few minutes. For people over the age of 40, it may be useful to undergo an electrocardiogram – or even a stress test.
Advice: Go for a medical check-up beforehand in order to get a medical certificate confirming your fitness for competitive running. This document is required for entering a race (we will come back to this later).
2. Get The Right Kit
There is no point in spending a lot of money on accessories. However, take care to get the right equipment. Starting with your feet! You need to train with a pair of shoes that are specifically designed for running. And treat yourself to clothing articles that will make running in cold weather or extreme heat more comfortable.
Advice: Ask the members of the team at your local Decathlon store to help you choose a pair of shoes that corresponds to your type of training.
3. Try And Be As Organised As You Can Be
You will quickly come to realise: that in order to improve and develop the pleasure of running day after day, you need to run regularly! Not necessarily every day. But regularly. Once a week is good. Twice is better. Three times is perfect. While remaining flexible, work out the time slots that naturally fit into your schedule and add them to your electronic calendar.
Advice: Train on paths where there isn't too much traffic and that are well-lit (when running at night) and not too far from your home or place of work.
4. Be Patient
Running regularly involves getting the body used to shocks. Every time you go out for a run, stress is put on your muscles and tendons and it is important not to cut any corners. Be mindful of the consequences of pushing yourself too hard. Go step by step and gradually increase your mileage (no more than a 15% increase from one week to the next). The same naturally applies to the number of runs you do weekly
Advice: Write down the main features of your training in a logbook (a Word file will do the job!). In this way, keep a record of the number of miles run, the average speed (if you have a GPS watch) as well as a description of how you feel as you exercise. Go over your records each week to analyse your level of fatigue, listlessness or even any repeated mention of a pain that may provide you with a warning sign of an injury.
5. Learn To Vary Your Training
It is natural and necessary that you want to start by improving your endurance and your ability to run increasingly long distances. Feel free to alternate between walking and jogging sequences during the first few weeks. The important point is to keep going and, once again, learn to enjoy running! As soon as you feel able, add some accelerations to some of your sessions. An alternating 30/30 plan (30 seconds fast, 30 seconds slow) is a good way of introducing yourself to the world of interval training.
Advice: A variety of training also involves integrating other endurance disciplines. Particularly swimming and cycling. In addition, set yourself some GPP (general physical preparation) exercises. These generally involve strengthening your abdominal muscles and developing core strength.
Set yourself the objective of starting a timed race this year (this is where your medical certificate will come in useful!). A 10 km race at the end of the first half of the year is worth considering as long as you are able to run for at least one hour at endurance pace. Those of you who are more reticent can delay the date of their first race to the autumn. However, whatever the situation, keep an optimistic attitude: the day of your first official race will come sooner than you think!