Running or jogging—which is simply running at a slower pace —is one of the most effective, time-efficient workouts around . Getting started and sticking with a running program is not difficult once you know what to do and how to do it .
How to Get Started
• Check with your doctor to determine if running is the best exercise for you . If you have heart, orthopedic or other physical concerns, brisk walking may be a better option .
• Wear good quality, proper fitting running shoes . Poorly fitting or worn running shoes can result in shin splints, sore knees and blisters .
• Wear comfortable clothes that will keep you from overheating in summer and warm and dry in winter . Avoid heavy sweat suits that hold perspiration and chafe your thighs as you run . Always protect yourself with a hat and sunglasses on sunny days .
• Run on solid, shock absorbing surfaces . Indoor tracks, asphalt and level dirt surfaces are the best . Avoid solid concrete surfaces such as sidewalks .
• Ensure that there is water available throughout your run . If you run outdoors, invest in a water backpack or waist-belt to comfortably carry your water .
• Be sure that where you run is safe and well lit . Run smart by carrying identification and change for a pay telephone in your pocket or fanny pack in case of an accident or emergency . Joanne always carries taxi fare too, just in case .
• Lean forward, from the hips not the waist, about ten degrees .
• Keep your head level and look straight down the road, not down at your feet .
• Hold your arms at a 90-degree angle and pump them forward and back like a pendulum . Always remember to drive the elbows backward . Arms and hands should remain relaxed .
• Run with a rolling heel-toe motion . Strike the ground with the heel first, roll through the mid-sole onto the ball of the foot, then push off with the toes .
• Keep your shoulders down and relaxed .
• Try not to take strides that are too big, as it can cause you to lose your balance, put undue stress on your joints and make you work harder than you really have to .
• Take time to warm up and cool down . Plan to run the first and last five minutes at a slow, easy pace . Perform stretches for the calves, hamstrings, quadriceps and back musclesafter you cool down (refer to Cool Down in this section) .
• Never increase your mileage by more than 10% per week . Many runners are forced to stop training when they do too much, too soon .
• New runners should expect to feel some mild muscle soreness a day or two after their workouts . If you feel pain during or after your run, take time off and re-evaluate your situation .