Introduction: How to Prepare for Your First Run

Every Olympic runner had to go out for their first run once. If you've decided you want to start running, that's wonderful! This guide will give you the basics of going out for your first run. 

Step 1: Purchase Running Shoes

Before you start to train, one of the most important things to do is purchase new pair of running sneakers. There are plenty of running stores which have the proper brands to wear.

Warning: Do not purchase cross trainers, cleats, or other types of shoes. Training in shoes that are not made specifically for running can cause injuries.

Step 2: Break Your Shoes In

Next, you need to break in your shoes. Walk around in your new shoes for a few days so your feet can get used to your sneakers.

Step 3: Schedule

Make a running schedule.  You should increase the amount of time you run by 10% each week i.e. if you begin running 5 minutes on your first day, the next week you should run for 5.5 minutes.

Step 4: Stretching

Before you run you need to stretch. Stretch your entire body. Active stretching, exercises such as skipping, grapevines, high-knees, etc., is recommended before you go out on your run. Active stretching warms up your muscles more than static stretching. Static stretching is holding one position for a set amount of time. This does not warm up your muscles.

Warning: Do not hold static stretches for longer than 15 seconds. This can stress your muscles before you run actually making them weaker.

It is important to remember that your muscles are like rubber bands. If you keep a rubber band in the freezer and try to stretch it, it will snap. But if you slowly work the rubber band making it warm, it will be able to stretch much further and easier.

Step 5: Map Your Route

When you finally leave for your run, make sure it is a route close to home or on a treadmill, so you can be close to home in case of an unforeseen problem.

Step 6: Choose Your Pace

Your running pace should be comfortable. You should be able to carry on a casual conversation, but you shouldn’t be able to sing a tune.

Warning: Begin running at a pace that is comfortable for you. Don’t begin too fast, as you can injure yourself or lose motivation.

Step 7: Lower Your Heart Rate

Once you finish your run, the most important thing is to lower your heart rate.

Warning: As tired as you might be, do not sit down when you finish your run. It is important for your heart rate to return to normal otherwise you can harm your cardiovascular system.

Step 8: Post Run Stretching

It is more important to stretch after a run then before you run. If you are only going to stretch once, do so after. Static stretching is best for when you finish your run.

Step 9: Drink Plenty of Water

Make sure you replenish your fluids once you are finished and stretched. Even if it is a cold day out or you didn’t sweat, you still lose water when exercising. Throughout the entire day make sure you drink plenty of water.

Step 10: Most Important

Lastly, make sure you shower before you move on with your day. No matter how physically fit running makes you look, no one will want to come near you unless you are clean and smell nice.

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