If you find yourself doubled over and wheezing before you’ve even reached the end of your road, don’t be tempted to give up in despair – your only problem is that you’re trying too hard too soon.
Running is a high-impact activity and you can’t expect to be a pro straight away.
Legendary running coach George Gandy believes fitness has to be built up slowly and gradually.
The key to getting fit is to slip into a sustainable routine: “Just get out there and run regularly, staying well within your comfort zone,” he says.
People find it difficult to get fit because it doesn’t come instantly. In a culture of instant gratification and promises of instant weight loss, we have high expectations of our bodies. In reality, it takes time and patience to build up muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness.
You may not notice results straight away, but after a few weeks of sticking to a regular running routine, you will see a difference in your endurance, speed and possibly even your physical appearance.
Gandy recommends starting by combining jogging with walking. Slowing down isn’t giving up – giving up is choosing TV and the sofa over your usual run.
As you get fitter over the weeks, you will naturally be able to shorten your walking time and lengthen your running time.
Once you can run continuously for about 20-30 minutes at a comfortable pace, you can start to add new elements to your training.
1. Go for longer
As soon as you feel comfortable with your running, try to lengthen one of your weekly runs by 10 minutes.
2. Go faster
On another run, try to go at a faster pace for a while. Don’t try to keep it up for the whole run – just choose one part to go faster, such as the last few minutes.
As the weeks go by, your body will get used to the adjustments you make to your routine. Before long, you will also begin to notice the physical effects of your exercise, such as weight loss and improved muscle tone.
You should also notice how much better you feel keeping a regular exercise routine.
If you need help getting healthy, a life coach may be able to help. To find out more, please visit our Health page.
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