Home » How-to, Sports and Health » How to: Become a basic runner
How to: Become a basic runner
by: Vanessa Morton, Contributing Writer
Exercising can be a daunting task. Finding time to go to the gym can be tough, and not everyone can afford a membership. Running in particular can be intimidating if people aren’t physically active.
“A general misconception that might discourage someone from running is you have to be an athlete or go super fast,” said Kristin Ravel, part-time writing professor in the English Department and avid runner. “It’s not necessarily about how fast you run or the time you do it in, but more so getting out there and getting physical activity.”
Finding time to stay active is vital and helps you become more physically and mentally healthy. Ravel said running is the best and least expensive way to stay fit. To keep costs low, invest in a good pair of running shoes and resist the temptation to buy expensive clothing and equipment. She thinks anyone is capable of running if these basic principles are followed.
1. Comfortable pace
Establish a walk/run routine. Start by running as far as you can, walk enough to catch your breath and start running again.This will help you find the level you’re physically at, which allows you to feel the pace that best suits your body. “Speed is up to you,” Ravel said. “But if you normally don’t run, I suggest going slower than you think because you don’t want to be uncomfortable. Make sure you walk straight and avoid leaning forward, or else you can find yourself getting cramps.” After a couple of weeks you should be able to progress.
2. Avoid disruptions
Run outside without a clock. Ravel said to find pleasure in running, beginners should stay away from timing themselves. “Time can discourage runners because they’re tempted to constantly look at their clocks,” she said. “This doesn’t allow you to feel the full benefits [of running], which is being able to escape or get away from looking at the clock all of the time or worrying about everything around you and getting stuff done.” Running inside on a treadmill or a track might make you stop because it’s more likely you’ll get distracted by your cell phone, TV or friends.
3. Stay hydrated
Make sure water is accessible at all times. “If you increase your distance or run more than an hour a day, then you have to stay hydrated,” Ravel said. “If you don’t, you can suffer from feeling dizzy, tired and nauseous.”
4. Dedicate yourself
It’s important to make running a habit. “People quit too soon when they don’t see instant progress, and you aren’t going to see results after one run,” Ravel said. “It has to be part of your daily routine, like brushing your teeth or taking a shower.” After a couple solid weeks of running, you should find yourself becoming comfortable, and once you’re able to run a mile, increase a quarter to half a mile each week.