Getting Yourself into Running Shape

Getting yourself into running shape is important, as it will ensure that you can get plenty of cardio exercise in your workout. If you're already lifting weights and doing bodybuilding, you'll want to add cardio routines to your workouts if you're serious about seeing results. Here are a few things you can do to get yourself into running shape:

Start Slowly  -- One of the things that you need to remember is that you're probably not in running shape right now, so your body isn't going to be able to keep up with the pace if you try to run for 5 miles. Start out with a slow jog around your local park, and set the goal to run for 1 or 2 miles. Don't worry if you peter out after a few minutes, but just push yourself as much as you can. Once you make it to your initial goal, you know how much farther you can go on the next run.

Gradually Increase -- A mistake that can cost you dearly is trying to push yourself too hard within the first few weeks of running. Don't try to add a mile to your route every week, but just add a few hundred yards. Make sure to slowly increase the amount of running that you do, as it will help you to work up to your goal over time. It will be the best way to ensure that you avoid injuring yourself, and you can keep yourself motivated to run no matter how tired you are.

Use the Right Gear -- Regardless of how fit you may think yourself to be, it's of the utmost importance that you use the right gear when you work out. The same is true for running, so make sure to buy the right equipment for running. A good pair of running shoes will cost you a good $50 or so, but it will be worth it. Your feet, ankles, and knees will need the support, and it will be essential to have a good pair of shoes in order to protect yourself as you run. Without the right shoes, you'll find that twisted ankles, painful feet, shin splints, knee problems, and back pains will prevent you from running. With the right shoes, you'll be ready to run pain-free!

Don't Strain --You need to avoid straining your body when you run, as that will cause your risk of injuries to increase. Say you are running at a mild 4 miles per hour. If you try to increase to 5 or 6 mph, you'll be working your muscles a lot harder. Trying to sustain this pace over 5 miles at a time can be a real strain for your muscles, and you can end up injured or in a lot of pain. Slowly go increasing your capabilities and endurance as you run, and you will be much less likely to injure yourself.

Warm Up Before and Cool Down After -- You cannot forget to warm up before your run, as that will ensure that your muscles are limber. If you don't warm up, your muscles will start releasing a lot of lactic acid very quickly, and this will cause them to cramp up. You should take a few minutes to stretch before your run, particularly your calves, your thighs, and your back muscles. Also, walk the last hundred yards or so to let your muscles cool down after your run, and go through a short stretching routine to give your muscles the chance to release the tension that you've built up during your run.

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