Running 101

Time to hit the streets and start running!

Running is one of the best ways to lose weight and burn fat, particularly when it's combined with an effective strength training routine. You'll find that running AFTER your workout will help you to lose weight quickly, and you'll burn more fat this way.

Here are a few rules beginner runners need to know--a "Running 101" if you will:

Rule #1: Know Your Paces

80% of your weekly running should be a fairly slow pace, meaning you should be able to carry on a conversation as you run. 10% of your running should be about the speed at which you'd run a 5K race, and the other 10% should be pushing yourself hard in short intervals of high intensity training. You want to find these speeds and utilize them to get your body in great shape.

Rule #2: Form Comes Later

When you start running, it's going to be tough to focus on distance and time if you're so worried about keeping your back perfectly straight, placing each foot perfectly in front of the other, and so on. If you worry too much about your form, you'll find that you never actually get good at running.

Instead of focusing on form, just focus on pushing yourself. You'll need to build up to running a few kilometers a day, and that will take time. Focus on the breathing, but don't worry if your form isn't perfect. You can correct your form later, and that will make your runs much easier.'

Rule #3: Change Things Up

There is nothing that will kill your desire to run quite as fast as being bored, so it's important that you keep things fresh and changing. Make sure to alternate your routes regularly, as well as your location. If you are always running in the gym, hit the park once a week for a fresh air run.

Another thing to change up is your pace. If you're bored of running slow for 45 minutes, try doing an HIIT run--4 minutes of a slow jog with 1 minute of sprinting thrown in. You'll get your workout done much faster, burn the same number of calories, and add some variety to your routine.

Rule #4: Start Out With Short Runs

You're not going to run a 5K race on your first day jogging, and you're definitely not going to be ready to compete in a marathon for at least a few months. Don't push yourself too hard right off the bat, as that's when you can injure yourself.

Instead, just focus on loving the feeling of running. With nothing but the road beneath your feet and the wind in your hair, it's a wonderful sensation. Start with short runs, and work your way up to the longer runs. Make steady progress every week, but don't push yourself on Week 1.

Rule #5: Don't Overthink Gear

Do you really need the latest tech for your runs? Probably not!

You need a moisture-wicking shirt to prevent discomfort, a simple pair of sports pants or shorts, an MP3 player loaded with a good audiobook or music, and the right pair of shoes. You can add all the fancy tech later, but start out simple.

Rule #6: Train Smart

The fact that you are running every day means that you are training hard, so it's important that you push yourself. But don't push too much! You're not going to run a marathon in a week, and don't think that you can either. Train smart, and work your body up to where you want it to be over the course of weeks and months--not hours or days!

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