Making Running a Daily Habit

by Jackie on September 19, 2014

Are you ready to include running in your exercise routine? Or training for your first 5K? Whatever your motivation, running is an excellent way to get in shape and improve overall health. It’s also a convenient way to get moving and boost your cardio training.

Remember to warm up!

Before setting out at top speed, it’s important to take the time to stretch and warm-up. This brief warm-up period should be dynamic, which means that instead of standing still and trying to touch your toes, you should be actively stretch through continuous movements.

Begin by jogging, performing jumping jacks, or jumping rope. Next, complete a few sets of body weight exercises like squats, push-ups, or lunges. Your warm-up period should last at least 8-10 minutes and get you to at least break a sweat.

After warming up, get your heart rate and breathing rate return to normal by starting a walk. Next, you can start doing static stretches to target major muscle groups like the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and lower back. Hold each stretch for two seconds, relax and repeat 10 times.

 

Just beginning? Keep it easy to start.

If you are new to running or are getting back into any kind of cardio training, do not try to do too much too soon. Start by walking if desired. Then, when walking becomes easy, alternate between intervals of walking and jogging. Over the course of 20 minutes, you can try alternating between jogging for two minutes, followed by one minute of walking. Work up to 30 minutes of continuous effort, alternating between segments of running and walking.

 

Stepping up your cardio training

Regular walking and jogging workouts will prepare your body for more challenging running workouts. When you find that you no longer need to stop and walk during your cardio training, it is then time to increase the duration of your runs. At this point, speed should not be the main focus, but rather endurance. Try running longer while maintaining a consistent and steady pace. In time, if you do not experience fatigue or injury, you can increase your weekly mileage by a little each week as you feel comfortable.

 

Run for it!

After building a solid base of cardiovascular fitness, it is now time to plan to bring your fitness level to increasingly improved heights. Continue to challenge the distance you can cover while also increasing your speed.

Extending and increasing your ability to run:

  1. Interval training: includes switching between jogging and sprinting. Run as fast as possible for up to one minute, followed by walking or jogging until you’re able to recover.
  2. Tempo run: usually three to five miles at a fast pace. It should be uncomfortable, and you will be breathing heavy.
  3. Long distance runs: should be over five miles at an easy, consistent pace.
  4. Hill sprints: build strong legs and lung capacity by running up hill for 30-60 seconds, before walking to the bottom of the hill to repeat the sprint.
Jackie

Jackie

Health Contributor at Creative Bioscience
I'm a fitness nut. I know what you're thinking, one of these people who has never been fat a day in her life, and can eat whatever she wants. The truth is I struggled with my weight growing up and lived in a household where everything seemed to be fried. Once I got away from home I realized I had the choice to eat and exercise how I wanted. I've gained a lot of insight into working as a personal trainer, and feel I can relate to others that were in my situation. I think if I can do it then you can to, and if you want to start kicking butt then hop on board and lets get started.
Jackie

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