Looking to Start Running ? Here Are Some Great Tips!
Running is a very simple activity that almost anyone can do. For those of us who train in a mixed martial art, boxing, or Muay Thai it is key to our training process. In Thailand, every nak muay is required to run miles before and sometimes after their padwork/sparring sessions. This is because running builds up stamina and endurance, two things that are important in a fight. With summer around the corner (and Antoinette’s killer outdoor Saturday class), we’ve put together some tips and tricks to help you get outside and start running!
Get a plan
Having a plan is important for your run (especially for beginners). Having a goal in mind for the workout will help give you the motivation to get to the end of the run! There are many plans online you can find to suit your needs. One that we like to introduce to beginners is interval running. You can start with a 2-minute run and 4-minute walk, and repeat 5 times for a great 30 minute run! As you get comfortable with this you can increase each running interval by 1-minute and decrease the amount of time you walk. For those who are intermediate runners, set goals by distance and time. For example, running a 5k under 25 minutes. The same would apply for running longer distances as well! Goal-setting is extremely important no matter what stage you’re at.
Get warmed up and cool down
It’s important to warm yourself up before you start going for that run. An easy way to do this is a light jog, a dynamic stretch or a brisk walk. Warming yourself up is so important in preventing injuries you might sustain later, so don’t skip out on this part! In addition to a warm up, don’t forget a nice little cool down of speed walking / light jogging and stretching after your run, rather than just stopping.
Just like in MMA, Muay Thai and Boxing, controlled breathing is so important! Beginners will often forget to breathe and sometimes even hold their breath. Breathing will help maintain your stamina which will allow you to keep going for longer. The best way to breathe for distance running is employing a type of rhythmic breathing. A popular method is to inhale for three steps, and exhale for two steps. This may seem very methodical and tedious at first, but you will get used to it!
Footing & Stride while running
For long distance running, a long stride or higher knee isn’t necessary and it will just result in a quicker burnout. Rather, focus on making smaller strides with a quick turnover to the next stride. Make sure your knees stay “soft” on impact, which means a slight flex in the knees. All of these considerations will result in a pace that you can maintain as well as less impact on the knees.
Thinking about anything other than running!
For those of you who don’t particularly enjoy running, but want to use it as part of your training program – distract yourself! Most people will get tired running because they are thinking about how much running they are doing. Music is a great distraction for this. Create a playlist that can help you feel pumped up and zoned out!
Get a running group together
A group or a buddy is a perfect way to foster an environment that is motivation, encouraging and inspiring. We all have experienced times where we don’t want to go for a run, or go to the gym, or get to our workout. Having a friend who is able to hold you accountable will make a huge difference!
Resting is important too
Don’t forget to listen to your body! Running can be extremely rewarding in both it’s mental and physical benefits but always listen to what your body is telling you. Rest and drink water when you need to. For those who are just setting out on a program, it is very important to be in tune to what your body is saying to avoid any serious injuries.