1. Running and Weight Loss: Start Slow
Would you hit the weight room at the gym and bench press 70 kilos? Would you try it on your first attempt?
No. Probably not. Even if you could bench 70 kilos, you'd start lighter and work your way up to that weight.
You should look at running the same way.
It is tempting to think that banging out a 5k run will be easy. But, your body needs to work up to that kind of distance. Because, as you're probably aware, running isn't like walking.
You're moving quicker. And because of that your feet are hitting the ground with more force and more often. That force has to be dissipated through your body.
Your muscles, tendons and ligaments will need time to adjust. They need time to get stronger in that movement. They need to learn to become more efficient at their jobs.
So give them a chance and build up slowly.
Start out with short runs followed by a walk. And build up your running time gradually.
I started with the Couch to 5k app and for the first week I didn't run more than a minute at a time.
Now I'm up to 15 minutes running ... non-stop.
2. Running and Weight Loss: Get Some Good Trainers.
Ok yes, this means sending some money. But honestly, it will be worth it.
Getting your choice of trainers right could be the difference between being able to clock up the miles quickly, and, being out with an injury.
Well, the force I was talking about in point 1, it can be greatly reduced with a good pair of trainers. And that will lessen the impact to your body.
So don't skimp.
The best place to go for advice would be a specialist shop. They will assess your gait, and even let you have a run around to check comfort.
Because that's what it's all about at the end of the day. If they're not comfortable, you'll probably never put them on.
3. Running and Weight Loss: Where Are You Going to Run?
This one may seem obvious. But it wasn't until I went out for my first run that I realised I had no idea where to go. I spent most of my time stopping and trying to decide where to go next.
If you don't want that to happen to you, decide where to go first.
I'd advise somewhere reasonably flat. Especially if you're just starting out. But other than that, just make sure you're comfortable in the area.
Personally I didn't like the idea of running through the streets, so I found somewhere off track.
If you want convenience, check out your local area. Parks, countryside, a beach. If you can walk there, you can use that as your warm up time.
Efficient as well as good for the environment. Bonus.
4. Running and Weight Loss: Staying Interested
Ok, so now you're gotten started, how do you carry on?
How do you keep going when you've had a terrible day, the weather's atrocious and all you really want to do is pour yourself a glass of wine and collapse on the couch?
I've been in that very position. This month.
And I hate running. Like, really hate running. But I still strapped on my trainers and I headed out. Why?
I've challenged myself to complete a 5k.
Yes, I've enjoyed feeling the benefits of adding running into my weekly routine. But most of all I've enjoyed challenging myself. Seeing how far I've run each day. Seeing the improvements I'm making. It's really driving me to keep going.
So if you're looking for motivation to keep going, set yourself a challenge.
Start small, and get bigger gradually.
It's taken me a while to get anywhere near 5k but I'm sticking to it. Taking one day at a time.
And once I've reached 5k? I'll set myself another challenge. Maybe 10k. Maybe to run 5k quicker.
But one challenge at a time.
Running and Weight Loss: Do You Fancy It?
So I've done it. Are you going to?
Do you fancy a bit of running?
What challenge are you going to set yourself?
Let me know by commenting below.