Saturday, May 10, 2014

Running for starters

Running has become a major sport in the past years. I remember that when I participated in a race for the very first time, there was room for everyone and even for group pictures. By the second time I attended to it though, the place was packed and it only gets more crowded each year.

The great about running is that you can do it anywhere. You do not need much equipment and how fast or long you run is entirely up to you. You can run in groups or on your own at any time of the day, any day of the week.

Everything is simple and there are excellent plans out there for those who want to get started or improve. However, there are those small details that are hard to figure out on your own and less mentioned by experienced runners. I have learned some tips and tricks throughout the years that I want to share with you.


When running outside, one has to be extra careful when moving among vehicles and passers-by. If you are using on the road, make sure you run against traffic. Personally, I prefer to wear a fluorescent vest. It makes easier for drivers to see me in any weather condition.

When on sidewalks or trails, stay on the right, including when sharing the path with bikers and skaters. This can be a tricky one if others are not aware of it, which happens a lot to me. In this case, timely move to the other side after checking oncoming traffic. Sometimes, you will be able to force your way, but watch out for kids, elderly people, large groups and animals.


Mainly when you are working on improving your performance, be careful not to be sloppy with your posture. The same way as we tend to sit badly in our chairs at the office after many hours, we also get loose when tired during a workout.

In short, keep your head high, shoulders relaxed, hips facing forward, torso slightly lean forward and land using the area between your heel and midfoot. Your arms should remain on the side of your body swinging in rhythm with your stride.

Four simple steps to good form


Whatever sport or physical activity you incorporate in your routine, it will require more energy from your body than you used before in your sedentary days. Therefore, you will need to have in mind that your eating habits have to changed a little bit.

Running (or jogging) is an aerobic exercise. Many use it as support for weight loss because it allows burnning more calories during practice. Reaching deficit is the ultimate goal of those who want to lose some extra pounds. However, you still need energy to train and perform your daily activities. 

The solution in this case is to use and abuse of slow carbs such as vegetables, legumes, whole grains and nuts. They will support your training as well as stimulate your weight loss. 

Proteins are a must. Meat in general, (low-fat) yogurt and fish are great sources of protein and accessible to various doctrines. I also incorporate protein shakes to my diet because of their fast absorption and I do not get sick during training as I would after a full pre-workout meal. 

Tilapia Burgers


Water has to become your best friend, if not already. There is an endless list of great beverages that promise (and some deliver) fast hydration, performance improvement and whatsoever. Still, nothing beats a minimum of 2 liter water for me. On the days that I need some extra minerals, I add some Celtic salt to the mix. Note that my longest race was a 10km. If you are going anything above that, other rules apply to speed up recovery and avoid health issues.

Note that I do make use of BCAAs during my training with weights, but when I run, I try to stay away from sugar. I have seen some alternatives out there recently, but I have not tried them yet. Time your water intake so that you have enough reserves during a race and hydrate again as soon as you are done.

These are very basic tips. I hope they can help you quick start, but be aware that the more you progress, the deeper you may need to go for efficiency. If there is anything else I can help you with, please let me know it.


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1 comment:

Eats and Exercise by Amber said...

I was never a runner, even when I played lacrosse, I hated running. Then one day I signed up for a 5k in college, and I started to like running, but I didn't LEARN about running. Fast forward a few years later, and I'm STILL learning, and blog posts like yours help break it down a lot easier for me, especially cadence/form. This is something I'm working on! Heel to toe is bad, and I JUST learned this! PS. Those burgers look tasty, save me one :)