Running may seem simple and easy, but if you are just starting out, it can be overwhelming. And if you have been in self-isolation or quarantining, you may not have been out walking or running much lately.

This week, I share some running tips and a start-up program to help us all run out of isolation and get back into some ‘normal’ routines.

With any training, it is great to have a plan in place to measure your progress.

Tips to get you off and racing

  • Walk before you run: start off with easy training and refrain from racing off at 100 miles an hour – your body will not be used to the high intensity right away. Stay within a comfortable heart rate limit and don’t overdo it.
  • While you’re starting out, run on grass if possible.
  • Have comfortable clothes to train in. Consider a set of Skins or running leggings to stop any chaffing, and invest in some safe and comfortable running shoes.  
  • Set achievable and realistic goals. Running is a long game, so plan gradual increases to your sessions.  
  • Stick with your program. Even when you’re feeling great and want to push yourself, stick to your plan to avoid injury and fatigue.
  • Make sure you warm up and cool down with stretching before and after every run. Treat yourself to an occasional massage to look after those muscles.
  • As with every form of exercise, it’s important to stay hydrated.
  • A running buddy is always a good idea; it can even be something you and the kids do together!

Program: starting out

  • Warm up: 5 mins walk
  • Stretch: 2 mins stretching hamstrings, calves and quads, each group
  • 2 mins walk
  • 5 x 30 secs walk into 30 secs run  
  • Stretch: 1 min lower back rolls, knees left to right
  • 3 x 1 min walk into 1 min run
  • 3 mins walk  
  • 1 min run
  • Cool down: 5 mins stretching

Try this program for 1-3 weeks before taking it up a level, depending on how you are progressing.

Program: increasing your running

  • Warm up: 2 mins walk
  • Stretch: 2 mins stretching hamstrings, calves and quads, each group
  • 2 mins run  
  • 2 mins rest
  • 1 min walk
  • 1 min run
  • 5 x 30 secs walk into 30 secs run 
  • 2 mins rest
  • 2-3 mins run at steady speed
  • Cool down: 2 mins walk and 5 mins stretching

With Lee Campbell,

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