Running Tip for Newcomers: Learn How to Run Like an Olympian

Getting started is the hardest part of running, but once you have gotten the hang of it, you’ll be happy you started. As a recreational runner, I have established lifelong friendships, found solitude, gain motivation and improve my overall health through running – and it didn’t cost me a shilling.

Running can help you to lose weight and reduce the risk of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke among other benefits. The best part is you can do it anywhere anytime and the results would be the same.beginner_runner_22

This post is to provide beginners with valuable information on how they can turn running into a safe, enjoyable and sociable event so you can run like an Olympian. During your first couple of runs, you will need an anchor – a form of motivation that will encourage you to continue if the road gets rocky.

The weather won’t always be on your side and your legs might try to rebel during the first few days. Running with your partner, a friend or in a group is a great way to get started. Here are a few this you can follow to avoid common mistakes among beginners.

If you preparing to start running, whether for the first time or you are getting back into the groove, then you will definitely need a few tips for proper running. It is quite hard to learn things like proper breathing, maintaining correct balance and stride all on your own; because of this here are some tips for beginners who are just getting into running.

Running Tips: Breathing

Running methods vary from individual to individual and so to do the breathing methods that are used as well. While it is somewhat difficult to say which method is right and which method is wrong, there are a few tips that anyone can benefit from no matter what their methods.

Mouth-and-Nose Breathing

Inhale using both your nose and your mouth simultaneously and follow through by exhaling through both nose and mouth as well. This breathing method is especially beneficial for persons who find themselves needing a huge lungful of air. This should be done with care since inhaling too much at a given time can give you a stitch in your side.

Nose Inhale, Mouth Exhale

For individuals who have trouble breathing in through their mouths there is a viable alternative. It is recommended that you make an effort to inhale through your nose while subsequently exhaling through your mouth. For many individuals who go running or jogging this is the best way that they find that they can effectively manage and control the rate of their breathing.

Never forget that at all times your breathing should be measured and even before, after and during your run. Make a conscious effort to control your breathing or you may end up fatigued and winded.

Running Tips for Beginners: Posture

Just like proper breathing, proper posture is extremely important as well. Maintaining proper posture ensures that your body’s muscles do not become quickly worn out or damaged as your running gets underway.

Posture Check

Your head should be in an upright position at all times and your eyes should be looking as far as two dozen paces in front of you. Your back should be kept straight with your chest up and slightly out, while your shoulders remain relaxed and your feet planted firm with every step.

Stride Right

Jogging or even running for that matter do not require that you lift your feet higher than is required since it will just mean that energy is being wasted. Long distance running, for exercise or recreation, calls for moderation as it relates to using energy with each step, so you should just raise your feet off of the ground and nothing more. Likewise, just slightly bend your knees to move yourself forward as your run with moderately-sized steps.

Relax

It is highly recommended that you don’t clench your hands tightly into fists while running, you should instead clasp them as if you were carrying and egg in each one. Clenching your hands or any other body part (Shoulder, back neck, etc.) means that you are putting that same part of your body under unnecessary stress and strain. Maintaining correct posture make running and jogging far easier.

Nifty Tips for Running: Set the Speed

So just how fast should you run to see the best results? Everyone asks themselves this question when they just start running and it is a question that they should answer on their own.

Sing

If you find yourself out of breath before, after or during your run; then it is safe to assume that you are doing something wrong. A simple jog or a light run should not actually push your body to the point where you are out of breath.

It is recommended that you breathe, not only through your nose while running but also through your mouth as well. This means that you should be inhaling through both your nose and mouth simultaneously and consequently exhaling through both as well.

Try singing your favorite song while running to maintain your speed.

The “Right” Way

What is important to note here is that, there are numerous ‘right’ ways that you can vary your breathing that it is hard to be wrong. Each and every individual runners_beginners_32who takes up running will manage their breathing differently; however, the most important thing to remember is that taking shallow half-empty breaths is a big no-no. Instead, whenever you are running your breaths should always be strong and deep, you should fill your lungs with more than enough oxygen each time, giving you more fuel to burn.

Closing Note

Most people have a love/hate relationship for running – we hate the anticipation of getting to the finish line but we love the sense of accomplishment it gives us once we’ve crossed the line. My advice is that you try to make every running experience as fun as possible. Try to listen to some motivational music and apply a “no excuses” mentality to your routine. By doing this you will accomplish much more and look forward to every run.

Good Eating Habits After a Workout

So, we’ve looked at how important good nutrition is before your workout – it helps store energy so that you perform at your best. However, the post-workout meal is just as important, as it helps your recovery, which can lead to consistent training. Honestly, taking care of your nutrition after a workout will be very noticeable – you WILL feel better and recover more quickly.

Drinking After You Work Out

After any exercise, you need to make up for lost fluids. Whether it’s water or a sports drink, you need to drink a lot more than most people do! You can get all scientific and weigh yourself before you work out and after, and replace the fluid you’ve lost – around 20-24 fluid ounces of water for every pound. Or just drink as much as you can (within reason) – the body is quite remarkable, it will be difficult to drink too much.

Eating After You Work Out

It’s considered ideal to consume juice or any other form of carbs 15 minutes exercise_eating_drinking_22after you work out so that you restore your glycogen levels. If you eat .3-.6 grams of carbs for every pound of body weight within two hours of exercise, it helps to build up your glycogen stores, which means better recovery and improved performance. If you wait longer than a couple hours, you’ll have 50% less glycogen, which means less energy in the end.

Carbs and Protein for a Speedy Recovery

If you combine both protein and carbs within a half hour time frame, your insulin response will double. In other words, more glycogen stores. You should consume four grams of carbs to every gram of protein. Eat too much protein and it can slow your glycogen replenishment and make you less hydrated.However, do it correctly and you can have 100% greater stores in your muscle glycogen than someone who only consumes carbs.

Protein After Exercising

Besides that, there are plenty of other reasons why you should consume protein. It gives you more amino acids, which can rebuild your muscle during an intense workout session. In addition, it increases your water absorption so that your muscles become more hydrated. It even helps boost your immunity, which means you’ll get colds less often and have less of a risk for infection.

Overall

If you want to refuel your body after a big workout, consume 4:1 in carbs and proteins. Foods can help you out, but drinks high in these can help with digestion, which will mean your body has a higher chance of absorbing everything. Pro athletes are using high energy drinks with protein as an essential, directly after exercise – every time. They know what they are doing. Try it out for yourself.

Eating Before Exercising

You need a certain calorie intake if you want to build lean muscle, and you need to have a good muscle workout regimen going on. While you do need lots of calories for your workouts and tissue repair, you need to eat a certain combination of calories so that you actually gain muscle.

Carbs

Carbohydrates, or carbs, are the energy source that you mainly use during your workouts. It stores as glycogen in your muscles, and is used when you need short bursts of power. The more you work out, the more glycogen you need. When you run out, you’ll feel sluggish and your muscle contractions will no longer be fueled. Athletes who do plenty of strength-training exercises need lots of carbs if they’re going to build muscles well.eating_exercise

The amount of carbs you need depends on how long and how intense your training sessions are. If you do a normal workout that’s under an hour, you’ll only need two grams per pound daily. If you train for over two hours, you may need three or four grams of carbs per pound. For the average male, you’ll need 400-600 grams per day, if you do strength-training workouts that are intense. Your carb requirements depend on the workout and your body size.

Protein

No matter how intense your workout, you’ll need some protein as soon as possible after you exercise. Protein builds and repairs your muscle tissue that hard exercise breaks down. It’s the basic building block of muscles, so you’ll want to have more protein if you want to see results during your strength training. Despite this, many athletes overestimate their actual needs.

The USDA says that the normal person needs 0.4 grams of protein per pound daily. For the athlete, you need 0.6 to 0.8 grams per pound daily, and not exceed a pound. If you weigh 200 pounds, you’ll need 128-164. You can get this protein by eating plenty of lean meats such as fish and chicken, consuming dairy, and eating fruits, legumes, and nuts. Protein shakes and bars are also a convenient way to add more protein to your diet.

Fat

Just because you’re told to avoid it, doesn’t mean you don’t need any. Your intake of fat should consist of 30% of your calories, and it should come from healthier fat such as lean meats, fish, olive oil, seeds, nuts, and avocados.

Water

You should always drink after exercise to replace the fluids that you may have lost. Drink about two cups two hours before you work out. Drink four to eight ounces during your workout for every 15 minutes. Consume 16 ounces after your workout. For a more accurate measure, drink 16 ounces per pound that you’ve lost during your workout.

Eating After Your Workout

Consuming protein and carbs after you exercise so that you restore your glycogen and help fuel your muscles. Combining four grams of carbs per one gram of protein is ideal. It allows you for more stored glycogen by doubling your insulin response. However, too much protein can do the opposite. If you need more help, talk to your nutritionist or doctor for more information. This article is not intended for professional medical advice.

Should You Run Steps?

Running up stairs is a pastime for many runners. However, is it a good idea? Or is there a reason why you shouldn’t run? To many, the answer is an obvious “yes.”

Why Steps Can Be a Good Workout

Running up stairs can burn calories with ease, and pump up your thigh muscles like none other. You feel the burn in a short amount of time, making a ten minute exercise seem like hours. You begin to sweat, and then learn how to take advantage of your movements. You think that there’s definitely a reason why you should keep running, but there are a few who disagree with that.

Why Running Steps Can Be Dangerous

Despite this, a few people believe that running steps should be avoided. According to some orthopedic doctors, your body weight is too much for one leg to support as it goes up the stairs. With the aggressive way that you do it while running, it can be dangerous. Your body was not designed to go up and down that way in an efficient manner. However, this mainly has to do with people who have been injured. If not, you may not have a problem running up stairs, so there’s no reason why you should avoid it. That said, should you run on steps or try a treadmill?

Treadmill Running Vs. Step Running

Despite what some people say running a treadmill, track or any other flat surface is not as good as running up the stairs. The reason for that is because the balls of your feet and your toes contact your step, not your heel, when you run up therunning_stairs_33 stairs. Why is that important? Well your ankle joint flexes absorbing the shock you feel when you go up or down the stairs. The shock that may be sent to your spine is gone, so that you won’t have to worry about getting neck or back pain.

To many this feels better in the long run than running on a treadmill. When you run on a treadmill for the most part more force goes up your body. This can lead to some annoying pains, such as knee, back, headaches and more. For many this won’t be a problem, but if you suffer from certain ailments, it may affect you more despite the fact that your feet may work perfectly.

Running Steps Is Good for Your Muscles

When you run up stairs it trains your muscles much more than running on a treadmill alone. It’s a great way to build up your glutes, quads, calfs, hamstrings and more. This allows you to run faster and start off fast in races. If you’re a sports player it’s perfect that you run up stairs on occasion. This will keep your legs going strong for years to come.

Overall,stair running is something that everyone should perform if they can. It has many advantages and few disadvantages, and it helps to build your muscles and burn calories. For any exerciser it’s needed.

Managing Your Diet and Training Regime For Runners

If you’re a runner, you should know what and when you need to eat. However, your body has different plans. It may make you hungry when you don’t need to be, which should be during training, or it will not be hungry after training. Because of our lives your muscles, stomach and brain are usually all over the place. For instance, running early can cause fatigue later on when you’re working. But if you train midday you may feel too hungry to do so. Don’t get us started on doing it after work, which may cause you to eat dinner too close to bedtime.

In this article, we’ll explain how you can sync up that body of yours so you can get the balance you so deserve.

Running Early

There is debate as to if you should eat if you run during the morning. Let’s shut this debate down by saying that you do need to eat. Your body needs some energy to help you with the run, and your entire body needs those nutrients. This has been proven by studies. Eating before a run can give you more endurance. Your exercise will be less strenuous and flow better compared to those who eat beforehand.diet_hydrate_runner

There are some exceptions. If you eat too soon before the run, you may get nausea and cramps. Some people get up close to when they need to get to work. However, if you’re an early bird, you should have enough time to do everything before you leave.

If you do eat, munch on some high-carb foods that are low in fat and decent in protein. About 400-800 calories should give enough for your training. Make sure you drink enough water beforehand so that you don’t lose sweat.

These great meals can get you started:

Two pieces of toast with fruit
Cereal with low fat/fat free milk and a slice of fruit
A bagel with low-fat cream cheese

For Those Who Sleep Late

Most of you all will be like this, and won’t have enough time to eat before you leave. With that said, experiment a bit and see what you can digest before training. A few ideas are as follows.

Half a bagel
Half of a carbohydrate drink
One energy gel with some water

If these don’t help, eat a large dinner the night before so you can have some fuel beforehand. Unless you’re doing an extremely long run, you should have enough fuel to run in the morning.

Tips for Both Kinds of People

No matter when you wake up, you need calories from protein, carbs and nutrients once you finish with your run. A post-workout meal will give you energy for work, stopping fatigue in its tracks. For best results eat no later than an hour after you train, and include carbs and protein in your diet. A few ideas include a fruit smoothie with some protein powder added to it, eggs on whole-wheat toast and fruit juice or simply leftovers from last night!

For Those Who Love Lunch

If you run during the hours of lunch, you might succumb to hunger. If you eat breakfast at an early time, like six in the morning you haven’t eaten for about six hours. Your energy that breakfast provided is now history and your blood sugar will lower because of it. Don’t give yourself a bigger breakfast, because that may make you feel worse. Instead, make sure you have a small snack ready before you run.

Tips for the Runner:

Timing is everything. Eat one hour or up to four before you run. This gives you enough time for food to be converted into energy.

The quantity matters. Depending on your body size and what you eat during breakfast, you should have 100-400 calories.

Content is key. Grab low-fat foods that are high in carbs and nutrients. A few snack ideas include:

An energy bar or breakfast with fewer than five grams of fat.
A slice of whole-wheat toast with fruity spread.
Seventy-five grams of dried fruit with some vegetable juice.
Oatmeal that has been brewed with skim milk.

Lunch After Running

There’s a problem with exercising during the lunch hour, and that’s that you have little time to eat lunch. However, you still need fluids and foods to help your brain and body fuel and recover for the rest of the day. Packing a lunch of your own can help, unless you have a place at work where you can eat. Packing your lunch takes little time at all. For a few tips, read down:

Shop for convenient items that take little time to prepare and eat. These include raisins, nuts, cereal bars and yogurt.

Fruit is perfect. Throw in a few fruit pieces in your bag so that you can have nutritious carbs with ease.

Leftovers rock! Grab any food from last night and seal it in a container so you can reheat and eat

Exercising During the Evening

Running helps to eliminate stresses that work causes. But, there’s a problem in doing so. Sometimes you’re too hungry or tired to eat. If you do run without eating you’re going to eat everything you can before you can even make your dinner. Or you make dinner too late and go to bed full.balance_runner_food_22

What should you do to avoid this? Simply eat healthy all day so that you won’t have digestive problems that could interfere with your training. This way you’re always fueled and will never have to use “I’m hungry” as an excuse to not run.
In addition, you can eat light meals after your workout so you can recover. This will prevent digestive problems and help you sleep better.

Tips for Evening Runners

Never skip your breakfast. Consume 500 calories for breakfast. A fruit smoothie made from yogurt, juice, and fruit can help. Cereal with skimmed milk, fruit and nuts can help as well.

Lunch should be your big meal. Include quality proteins like lean beef, chicken, fish or tofu and add whole-grain breads and fruits.

Snacking during the mid-afternoon can help. About three hours before running, eat a piece of fruit or a protein bar, and drink some water to stay hydrated.

Speaking of water, drink more. Drink right after running. Drink as you fix your meal. This will restore the sweat you’ve lost, and will help you to stop eating everything you see.

Moderation is key during dinnertime. According to legend if you eat before bedtime the calories will turn into fat. That’s a lie. You’ll still use that energy as fuel for the next day. But if you eat too much, no matter what time your body will keep the energy as fat. Make healthy choices and keep running.