Do you see people jogging everywhere you go? They seem to be out there all the time, come rain or shine, wind or even snow. Well, it’s time that you joined them! Jogging is one of the best forms of cardiovascular exercise around, and it’s something that almost everyone can do because it doesn’t require a lot of expensive equipment or special skill or coordination.
All you need is a decent pair of running shoes and a place to use them and you are set. Read on to learn more about how to get started jogging so that you can join all those joggers who aren’t discouraged by a little bad weather.
The Equipment You Will Need
Before you even buy any equipment, it’s a good idea to figure out if you are a good candidate for jogging. Get a check-up with your doctor and tell him or her about your plans to start jogging. For most active and healthy people, this won’t be a problem. However, if you have any joint or cardiovascular problems, a doctor may be able to advise a safe and healthy way to start your jogging routine.
Assuming that you are good to go jogging, the first thing you should invest in is a decent pair of runners. This means you may have to spend a few bucks to get a good pair that fits you properly and will be suitable for the type of running you will be doing (i.e. indoor on a track; outdoor in the park etc).
If you go to a store that specializes in equipment for runners, like the Running Room, for example, you will have the opportunity to speak to people who really know something about running and what to look for in a pair of good joggers. These shoes will last you for a while so it’s a good idea to spend your money wisely.
Your First Day Of Jogging
Every article or piece of advice on jogging advises the same thing – start slow or you make regret it. Spend 15 minutes stretching before you even start walking. Your quads and hamstrings will need a good stretch before you test drive them on the track for the first time.
After you have stretched, start out walking for a bit to walk up your muscles and get relaxed. After about 10 minutes of walking, start to run at a pace that is comfortable to you. Remember, the whole idea behind jogging is pace yourself – you don’t want to sprint and pass out after 5 minutes but you also don’t want to go so slow that you might as well be walking.
When you are running, it’s a good idea to have a watch with you so that you can keep track of how long you’ve been running. When you first start, try to run for 30 minutes with walking in between when you need it. So, you might be able to run for 10 minutes and then need to walk for 5 minutes. This is fine.
Don’t push yourself too far too soon or you may get injured. When you’ve caught your breath after walking for a bit, start to run again. Repeat this pattern until the 30 minutes are up. That’s it! You’ve completed your first day of jogging!
If you’re just a beginner, you may wonder how it is that people can run marathons – how can they possibly run for such a long time? Well, it’s all about building endurance. For the first week of your new jogging routine, you should do the same every other day – plan for a 30 minute run and try to spend as much of those 30 minutes running as possible, but walk when you feel you need to.
In week 2, continue with the same routine, but this time, make sure you run more than you walk so that you are improving upon your week 1 performance. In week 3, try to up the running to 40 minutes with only a short stint of walking at the beginning to get warmed up. Repeat for week 4 and 5. By week 6, you should try to run for the entire 30-45 minutes without walking at all.
Once you have built up your lungs and have achieved some endurance goals, you can start concentrating on distances. For example, see how much of a 5km run you can do without walking. But remember, if you need to walk, just walk. Some days you will find it easier to run than other days – this doesn’t mean that you are losing endurance so just pay attention to what your body is telling you. If after a few months of regular training you can run a solid 5km run, you are in great shape. From there, maybe you will become that marathon runner that you never thought you could become!
Unfortunately, like most physical activities, jogging comes with its own set of injuries to watch out for. Here are just a few of them:
Pulled Hamstring Muscle: Hamstrings are the one located on the back of your thigh, opposite your quadriceps. Generally, people don’t use their hamstring muscles to the same degree as their quad muscles which means they are often weaker and more prone to injury. Plus, people often fail to adequately stretch their hamstrings which can also result in injury. If you are a jogger who does sprints as well, you might be more prone to these injury because it is most commonly seen where you are engaged in sudden accelerations.
Shin Splints: This is another common type of pain suffered by runners. It refers to pain over the front of the tibia bone, the bone located in the front of your shins and is associated with overuse. The causes of shin splints may vary among different people because it has a lot to do with body type. The way your foot hits the ground when you run can affect this area. This is why it’s so important to have good running shoes that address your specific needs.
Plantar Fasciitis: This is a problem that can affect runners and non-runners alike, but is often seen in recreational runners. This injury refers to a painful foot problem caused by an inflamed area of your foot running from your heel to your arch. To treat this problem, you can try anti-inflammatory medicine or even special inserts for your shoes. If this is a problem for you, ask a sales associate at a running store if they have any special devices to help control the pain when you are running.
While there are some injuries that runners can suffer from, there are also many benefits to jogging, the most obvious being that it’s a cheap and healthy form of exercise. Plus, it’s a way to get you outside on a regular basis. Now that you know a little more about starting a jogging regime, it’s time for you to discover the joy of jogging too!