Beginning Runners Number One Beginners Running Question

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Beginning runners send me lots of questions, but the most frequent question beginning runners ask me is “how often should I run.”  When beginning, it is best to have a rest day in between your runnning sessions.  This means it is OK to run three to four times a week.

The simplest reason to this this is to give you body a rest.  This is especially important for beginning runners whose bodies’ haven’t adjusted to the rigors of running.

When I first started running I ran every other day.  I usually rested in-between the running days.   The key is to not over do it.  If you run too much you’ll stress your muscles, they will become really sore, and you’ll risk injury.  Running results in constant pounding of your hip, knee, ankle, and foot joints.  Though in the long run, these joints, and your musculoskeletal system are strengthened, in the short term they are weakened.  It is through your workout’s stress and recovery cycles that you increase your fitness.  In fact, resting can be a beginning runners’ best workout!

Training Plans for Beginning Runners

Beginning Runners
To make it easier to track and to ensure you don’t overwork yourself, I highly recommend  using a training plan.  The plan will help you space out your runs as well as their intensity.  Most beginning runners try to either run too much, too fast, or too long.  This leads to excessive muscle soreness and possibly injury.

A training plan helps beginner runners to regulate the amount of running ocurring during each session and week.  A good training plan will gradually increase a workout’s intensity,which for beginning runners, usually means you’ll be walking less and running more!

You see that most training plans specify which days of the week to run on.  You can be somewhat flexible here, but keep in mind, that beginning runners shouldn’t do too many back-to-back running sessions.  Those rest days are really important, trust me!

Once you get established you may even consier running a race.  This race guide for beginning runners is pretty helpful.  In addition, this web site is a great place to find any nearby races.  My suggestion would be to sign up for 5K race which allows both runners and walkers.

Now that I know how often to run, and to use a training plan to organize my activity, when should I run?

When Should Beginning Runners Run?

If at all possible you should run during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning.  Running in the evening is also a good time.  I wouldn’t recommend running when it is 85 or more degrees outside.  You don’t want to take a chance of getting heat stroke.  I recommend that beginning runners run outdoors, but if it is too hot outside, it is OK to use a treadmill.  The reason I recommend running outdoors is that it helps maintain your interest.  I hear from many beginning runners that they quickly get bored when running on a treadmill.  Personally, I go crazy after about an hour on one.

That being said, I do really like my treadmill.  It helps me get through snowy winters and very humid summer days.  I alsmost always prefer to run outdoors, where, what I can see is much more interesting, but when the weather isn’t cooperating the treadmill comes in handy.  Once I got the hang of the treadmill, I rigged up a TV and started watching movies while running.  Many beginning runners have rediscovered great movies while running indoors!  Since I’ve disgressed to treadmills, one last tip for beginning runners is to place a fan directly in front of the tread mill.  This will keep you cooler.

It think the most important consideration beginning runners should make is establishing a consistent training plan.  Even if you don’t want to follow an official training plan, it is important to plan out which days you are going to run.  This will make it easier for you to stick to a routine and to adapt running to your busy schedule.  Personally I generally run during the week in the evening.  If it gets too dark or is too hot I run on the treadmill, on the weekends, I usually get up early and run at dawn.







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