As I mentioned in my post about my long weekend trip I encountered astonishingly interesting book concerning jogging. It’s written by Sara Kirkham and entitled “Get into running”. Since my trip I spent several hours reading the book and decided to create a compendium of knowledge about how to start the entire process.
The book is great, If you have an apportunity you should definitely get it. Mine was discounted and I got it for literally less than 2$. Definitely a great investment. The author starts with all the information concerning benefits of jogging, which I’m not going to decribe in a great detail, since these are pretty obvious – you loose weight, you get healthier, sport is good. Obviously. Second chapter is a detailed description of all the fancy equipment joggers need for running – foot pads, meters, special clothes and all the other items, which I believe are not relevant for beginners. For me there is no point in investing all this money into something you might not stick to.
How to start?
Real content starts in chapter three, around page 43. The author needed this many pages just to tell us we should wear good shoes for running – sorry for the sarcasm in this post, but somehow I always get so annoyed when I read books with tips and the interesting part is literally 2 pages out of 300.
The concept is that you have to be frank with yourself and truthfully assess what level you are on. Have you jogged before and want to go back to it? You hate physical activity? or maybe you lack motivation to keep jogging? When you are the first type – you’re a quieter, if you’re the second type – you’re a newbie and if you are in the first group – you are an aspiring full-time jogger – in a nutshell a pro. In this post, mostly because I want to start jogging myself and I’ve never really done much sport in my life, I’m going to focus on the tips for beginners.
1. Plan ahead
Planning is great for everything really. When I was in IB my Business and Management teacher always said: “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail“. Wise words that can be utilised for virtually every purpose. Since we start from the beginning it would be wise not to set the bar too high, you know what I mean? I am definitely not going to run 5k tonight, since I haven’t jogged since high-school. We have to be realistic, otherwise we might quit faster than anticipated. We have to start with… walking. Yeah, I know – sounds riveting. When we will be comfortable with walking chosen distance (I advise starting with chosen time period, rather than kilometers) we should implement very slow jogging in appropriate intervals. How often? According to “Get into running” we should jog every second day and every second Sunday. Below you can check my proposition of an initiatory plan (appreciate the Excel table):
Because I might have a little extra kilograms from God-knows-what *excessive candy eating, fast-food, alcohol and tons of potato chips*, I decided to go easy on myself with this and hence my plan might be too basic for you. If so, you can simply start with any week you like and go up. You probably can see a pattern here – each week you have to decrease time of marching and substitute it with jogging – simple. With time going out for a walk is going to become a habit.
2. Prepare for doubts
What is obvious for me (from all these times I tried exercising anything and I always quit – hence the extra few kilograms, is that at the beginning it’s going to be hard. We just have to deal with it, my fancy reader, and move on from that. What I advise and am planning to do myself is to:
- set jogging goals,
- measure my achievements,
- exercise for a jogging event.
My jogging goal (which covers also bullet point number 3) is that I would like to take part in a jogging event. I am a realist and I know I’m not going to run a marathon any time soon, but 5 km jogging event in Warsaw on 11th of November 2018 is within my reach. This is going to be a celebration of 100 years of independence in Poland and I wanted to join in, since each year all those brave people run just in front of my windows. Set your measuring goal (a one that you think objectively can be achieved) and let’s get to work.
Measuring achievements will definitely help you motivate to get off the couch and move further. I believe that each time I got better in something I was more prone to do it again. It’s the same with dieting – you see result, you will probably skip McDonald’s next time.
Remember to keep yourself focused on the goal and never let your sight off of it.
3. Find someone to join you
Jogging with someone else might not only improve your technique (apparently we should jog at a rate that allows normal conversation) but also make you more consistent with your schedule – there’s nothing better than someone waiting for you to make you go out. Running is healthy and the more people join in, the better it will be for all of us. Think about someone who might join you – your sister, boyfriend, friend and invite them in.
If it comes to me I think right now I am going to start alone – taking walks and jogging will not only be my activity, but also a way of quieting down and focusing on my thoughts. Ever since I was born I didn’t have much time alone (I have four siblings, I lived in boarding houses, never had my own room and now when I am an adult I live with my boyfriend. I work in an office full of people on a very busy construction site and I constantly have to talk to someone) and I think such activity might help me get my alone, relaxing time. What I planned is to find someone just like… well, YOU. Someone on the other side of the screen who is going to join me on this adventure and hopefully we might be able to help each other keep up with jogging.
4. Listen to music
I know it might be dangerous at times – don’t get ran over please! – but listening to music and focusing on music instead of how sweaty you are is something I believe is essential. Focusing on something else improved my swimming – I can now swim up to 32 length of the 25 m pool, and the only reason I am able to do that is by not thinking about what I’m currently doing. For obvious reasons I can’t listen to music while swimming, but for jogging it’s perfect. Get your phone or an mp3 player (ok, iPod can do as well) and let’s go out! If you have any nice songs that keep you pumped and energized, please let me know! I am currently looking for my jogging playlist to prepare for my start on Monday.
If you’re using a phone you can track how far you ran with Endomondo or any other tracking application. Do you know any I might find useful?
5. Let’s not forget about food!
Starving yourself is a terrible idea no matter what you’re doing – dieting or jogging. For running though (and burning all those calories) you need to eat properly – carbohydrates should consist of 60% of your diet, protein 15% and fat 25%. While we increase intensity of jogging your body will know what it needs and you might get some weird cravings. What I am planning to do is start my day with eggs or oatmeal, eat lunch prepared at home and light dinner. I will update you guys on my newly established eating habits on Instagram, so don’t forget to follow me there!
Food is important, but what is even more crucial and you already read it everywhere fifty times? WATER! Hydrate, hydrate and hydrate. I am currently drinking my favourite water which takes part in an interesting promotion since the company just turned 50 years old. Floret and I are trying to win a car, a bike or some other cool prizes, so keep your fingers crossed!
If you would like to join me on an adventure to start jogging write an e-mail or state in the comments. Jogging is going to improve our lives and no matter where you’re from we can all do it and help each other in the process!