If you are out of condition or are running or jogging for the first time, you should build up your general fitness, capacity and speed very gradually. Don't be in a hurry, and don't be a hero. At this stage it is not important how fast or how far you can run. What is important is how you feel. If you get breathless, ease off and walk for a while. Use the talk test: you should be able to make conversation with your buddy while running. That means you are maintaining the right speed for you. If you are breathless, it means you are too fast.
Sometimes before breathlessness occurs, your calf muscles may become stiff and start to hurt in protest. Do not push through the pain but ease off.
Initially, beginners should only run alternate days.
The schedule below is for advice only. Change and modify according to your needs:
|Day 1||Day 2||Day 3||Day 4||Day 5||Day 6||Day 7|
|Week 1||4 km||4 km||5 km||Jog-Walk|
|Week 2||4 km||4 km||5 km||Jog-Walk|
|Week 3||5 km||4 km||5 km||Jog-Walk|
|Week 4||5 km||4 km||5 km||Jog-Walk|
|Week 5||6 km||5 km||6 km||3 km||Jog-Walk|
|Week 6||6 km||5 km||6 km||3 km||Jog-Walk|
|Now cut down on the walking and increase the jogging|
|Week 7||7 km||5 km||7 km||3 km|
|Week 8||7 km||5 km||7 km||4 km|
|Week 9||7 km||6 km||8 km||3 km|
|Week 10||8 km||6 km||8 km||4 km|
- Do not run after a meal. Wait for at least three hours.
- You may feel like doing much more - resist the temptation till the first two months are over. Since you are still unfit, there is a danger of injury. It is advisable not to be an injured hero.
- You may feel sluggish on some days. Just Walk-Jog from lamp-post to lamp-post, or bus stop to bus stop, or signal to signal.
- If you have missed running turns due to a busy schedule or illness, don't try and make up for it. Just restart but at a level slower than your last one. Your body would have slowed down and needs time to rev up again.
- Run in your own natural style; you will feel more relaxed.
- Do not tense your neck and shoulders and don't grit your teeth or frown. Do not clench your fists. Curl your fingers lightly with your thumb resting gently on top of the index finger.
- Hold your arms easily at your side, forearms facing each other and bent slightly above the hip bone, and at the waist.
- Look straight ahead of you, five metres ahead on the road. Do not look down; it will make you slouch, ruin your posture and hinder your run.
THE FOOT POSITION
- When you run, do not land on your toes. Land as gently as possible on the ball of your foot and heel - almost like a flat foot. It gives you a spring in your step and prepares you for the next step forward.
- Do not lift the knees high.
- Maintain a natural stride length.
- Avoid the sitting posture - i.e. when your knees are slightly bent. This happens when you lean slightly back. It prevents the legs from being straight, ruins your posture and cuts your momentum.
- When running uphill, lean forward slightly from the waist - do not slouch or bend forward. Shorten your steps slightly.
Breathe naturally through your nose and mouth, as deeply and rhythmically as possible.
Repeat the same exercises as you did during the warm up. This is necessary because after running, muscles tighten and shorten up. They must be stretched out. It will prevent you from being sore and help your heart rate to slow down and get back to normal.