Running is simple. Itís a great cardiovascular workout. You can do it by yourself without teammates or opponents. It requires little equipment and no particular court or field.
What do I wear?
Youíll need a pair of good running shoes and some running shorts. The shorts should be loose fitting to allow your legs their full range of movement. As for tops, t-shirts are cheap and comfortable but cotton doesnít dry quickly. Many brands make synthetic materials that wick moisture away from your skin. When the weather is warm and youíre not shy, wear a sports bra if youíre female or go without a shirt if youíre male. In cooler weather, opt for tops made from moisture-wicking materials and jackets. Running tights donít leave much to the imagination, but they sure do help keep your legs warm on cold days.
Where should I run?
Run anywhere with other people around and not too much traffic. Parks are ideal, especially if they have measured trails. Routes along sidewalks also do the trick. Workouts with repeats are best when run on a track. Try your local high school or college.
How often should I run?
Run twice a day for seven days per week if it makes you happy, although I certainly donít recommend this! Just make sure youíre not ending up exhausted and injured. Running once a day for 5 or 6 days per week should be more than enough to get you into great shape without wearing you out. Listen to your body. It will tell you how much is too much.
Should I run by myself or with others?
Running with others is preferable if youíre running before the sun rises or after the sun sets and if youíre in a secluded area. Having a training partner also makes runs more enjoyable. However, running with another person is bad when you are at very different fitness levels. If you are constantly waiting for someone else to catch up, your progress will be hindered. On the other hand, if your training partner constantly leaves you in the dust, your confidence will be hurt.
Can I train on treadmills?
Treadmills are good for rainy or cold days when you just donít feel like battling the outdoors. Use a little elevation to more closely simulate real running. However, simulated running is not exactly the same as running outdoors. I find my legs feel like rubber after running on treadmills for a week, but other runners tell me they find treadmills agreeable.
How do I find out about races?
Find our if your area has a local running club. It may have a Web site with a race calendar. Races will also often have pamphlets of upcoming races for anyone to pick up.
What should I eat?
Carbohydrates are a runnerís friend. Theyíre great fuel for endurance activities. Many runners swear by pasta, bananas, and bagels. Other favorites include oranges, granola, yogurt, and energy bars.