6 Tips on Making the Jump from Walking to Running
Are you a fervent walker and keen to slowly start taking up running, but you’re not sure how? Running strengthens your cardiovascular system and muscles, stimulates your metabolism, provides space to collect your thoughts and relieves stress. Understandably, running is becoming increasingly popular. We’ll show you how to get started!
One in 22 Million
According to information gathered by the German Athletics Association, around 22 million Germans run regularly. Whether alone or in a group, you just lace up your shoes and off you go – in this sense, running is the simplest sport in the world! There are, however, a few things beginners should bear in mind as many have a tendency overdoing it in the excitement of starting out, placing them at higher risk of injury. If you have already gained some experience walking and don’t have any health-related or physical concerns, the transition shouldn’t be difficult provided you follow a few tips and rules.
Walking vs. Running: I Believe I Can Fly…
Walking and Nordic Walking are both sports that are easy on the joints, involving moving at a brisk pace and using either your walking poles or your arms to support your rhythm. One foot is always in contact with the ground, while the other hangs in the air – this is different to running. Runners literally lift off the ground and each movement contains a flight phase where both feet are in the air. So, get ready to take off!
Tips to Start Running Successfull
1. The Health Check
Whether you’re a newcomer or returning to the sport, you should get a health check from your doctor to rule out any risks. This doesn’t just apply to the so-called ‘risk groups’ – i.e., those who have reached a certain age, pregnant women, people who are overweight, people with orthopaedic problems or those who have had an injury – but also anyone who wants to switch from walking to running for the first time, or has taken a long break. Get the ‘go-ahead’ from your doctor and get started with confidence that you’re really doing something good for your body!
2. The Training Plan
So as not to start blind, but quickly achieve some initial successes without a high risk of injury, you should compile a training plan. Either get some professional support from a sports shop or research a suitable plan online. If you have already got a base level of endurance from walking and your first goal is to run for around 30 minutes non-stop, the training plan should include 3-4 running sessions per week and last for about 8 weeks.
3. The Right Running Route
Flat tracks and natural surfaces are particularly good when starting out. Your body needs to get used to the new load, and the heavier impact on the ground after each flight phase. You should avoid hard surfaces such as asphalt or concrete as much as possible, therefore. Additionally, steep inclines consume too much energy at first, causing your posture to suffer and increasing your risk of injury.
4. It’s all about the Attitude
When running, maintain an upright posture and look straight ahead into the distance. Just as you already know from walking, you shouldn’t let your head or shoulders slump. You should also actively use your arms to support your running rhythm. Keep them slightly bent and swinging loosely so they give you that extra boost without cramping. Be careful not to clench your hands into fists but to keep them loose too. Try not to take too large a step initially, and roll your running movement over the whole foot. In time you will automatically find the stride length that suits you.
5. Equipment and Preparation
Shortly before your training session, only eat easily digestible foods that are not heavy on the stomach and are full of nutrients to provide you with energy. Bananas are an ideal choice. Also, try to replenish your water supply regularly – preferably with water (you can mix it with juices), or unsweetened teas. If you’re not sure you can finish your workout without a drink, take something to drink with you. You should also go to a specialist store to choose a shoe that suits your needs. This will give your body the best support in handling new movements and stresses.
When you get hooked on something, you tend to overdo it or push yourself too hard. Especially when you’re impatient in the beginning. Try to give your body the time it needs and slow down, even if it means falling behind your schedule. Before you train yourself into permanently sore knees or joints and overload your body, take a break from running and walk part of the way or see a doctor. You’re more likely to reach your goal with patience and self-control than by rushing impatiently. It is worth keeping a running diary to record and visualise your progress!
Exchange ideas with like-minded people and try to support your body as much as possible with a healthy, balanced diet and strengthening exercises! Even if there are sometimes setbacks, the feeling of having made it will be like no other! One thing you mustn’t forget: enjoy what you do and do it for you!
At the request of the many Korean fans among our members and together with the runners from Korea, we are organizing this wonderful race under the sign of Bongeunsa Temple - the landmark of South Korea.
Take part in this exciting race together with Korea fans from all over the world and get your beautiful Bongeunsa Korea medal!
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