Thanks for hanging in there with me while I was mostly absent last week – as I’m sure you all can relate, I have been feeling a little burnt out and needed a few days to recharge. The much-needed break definitely did the trick, and I’m feeling better and more inspired than ever!
Alright, enough of that. Today, we are talking fitness. Throughout the past month, I’ve transitioned over to doing cardio on the treadmill and not just walking, running! This has been a huge accomplishment for me since I never have been a fan of running – or, working out in general if we’re getting candid. However, I have discovered that running is not only a fantastic physical workout, it also gives me 30 minutes to unplug mentally, which always is therapeutic and relaxing during the workweek.
I still wouldn’t consider myself an advanced runner, and the transformation to this new type of fitness for me is ongoing. If you’re also a novice runner or are looking to switch things up at the gym, consider these five tips that have helped me to get you started!
Set goals. Whether they are general weekly goals just to get
yourself to the gym a specific number of times or more targeted daily
workout goals, goals are essential to any successful workout regime. For
example, I write down my gym days in my planner so I’m less likely to
stray from my goal of going four days a week (typically, Monday through
Thursday). For daily goals, I may decide that I want to run for 15
minutes straight at 5.5 mph and a 2.5 incline – you get the point.
Stretch, stretch and stretch some more. I cannot convey how important it is to spend at least five minutes stretching – yes, even before your warmup – before beginning your run. The treadmill can be pretty hard on your legs, particularly your calves if you’re like me, so loose, well-stretched muscles are essential to keep up a consistent pace throughout your workout and to avoid cramping.
Start slow. The first time that you go to run on the treadmill, don’t expect to be able to run for a half hour straight with no stopping. It’s just not realistic! Consider power walking for the first five to 10 minutes of your workout, and then gradually increase your speed until you are jogging at a comfortable pace. Don’t be afraid to slow it back down to a power walk at any point in your workout to hydrate or if you’re feeling tired.
Interval training. Walking and running intervals aren’t only a better, more effective workout, but they will help you to build your running stamina. When I first started, I was only running for three minutes and walking for five – now, I’m running for nearly 25 minutes straight with a five-minute warmup and cool-down.
Wear the emergency stop clip. I have to mention this safety precaution because it’s ridiculously important, especially for novice runners. Sure, you may feel silly clipping that cord onto your shirt that you only thought was for older people, but you’ll thank me later when you feel your legs giving out or your sweat towel falls onto the track. That cord is there to protect you. Use it.
Ready yet to get running? Share your best running and workout tips with me in the comments!