Many beginning joggers have questions when getting started, and can sometimes feel intimidated by the idea of taking that first step out the door. There are several things you can do to help you feel prepared and comfortable, and ready to jog like the pros.
The right shoes are crucial. Find a specialty running store in your area and let the sales staff help you. They can analyze your gait and help you pick out the right pair of shoes for you. Well-fitting, stable running shoes will not only protect your feet, but they will protect your knees and hips as well.
You will learn the right amount of hydration for your body, and how much to drink (or not drink) before heading out the door. Many joggers like to carry a bottle of water or sports drink with them to replenish as they go. Drink too much beforehand and you could cramp up, or worse, get caught in need of a restroom in the middle of your route.
Stretch without risking injury
It’s good to stretch before and after a workout. It’s important to stretch properly though, so you don’t hurt yourself. Never stretch cold muscles. Before a jog, engage in dynamic stretching instead of static stretching.
Track the details
There are many apps available that can track not only your distance jogged, but your pace per mile, approximate calories burned, elevation climbed, and even your equipment. Tracking mileage helps you to know when it’s time to replace your shoes.
Pump yourself up
Often, the hardest step is the first one out the door. You won’t feel motivated every single time, but give yourself five minutes and you will notice your feelings change. It takes just a few minutes of getting the body moving and the blood pumping for the endorphins to also kick in and improve your mood. A playlist can help, too. Listen to music while you’re lacing up that excites you, or bring it along on the run. Be safe if you’re listening to music with ear buds while on your route – – keep the volume low or wear just one ear bud so you can be aware of your surroundings and hear approaching vehicles or other joggers or cyclists.
Find your perfect technique
We are all different, and there is not one perfect running technique. There are things you can do to improve your technique. A running coach explains more:
If you will be jogging in dusk or dark conditions, be visible. Reflective pieces are best. You are no match for a vehicle whose driver cannot see you or spots you at the last second. There is some essential gear for your low-light jog.
The most important piece of advice is to just get out there and move. Be healthy, be proud, and have some fun.