Planning to finally start running during the pandemic? Running is still one of the best forms of exercise you can choose from. In fact, a lot of people have already adopted this form of exercise to keep themselves healthy these days. It’s something you can do alone and basically anywhere while easily following safety protocols. In addition, running is also a good way in maintaining your weight, lifting your mood, and relieving yourself from stress.
Before, to get started, all you need is a good pair of shoes; but now, due to recent quarantine requirements, it’s a lot more challenging – a lot of the usual running places and parks (like UP) are now closed, team and group runs are paused, and road running events are now non-existent.
But that does not mean it’s impossible to start your running journey today. Here are a few things you should take note of if you want to get started running these days:
1. Get the Right Gear
To start running, it’s still best to choose the best type of running shoes for you, this is easier before when running stores are open, but now, store hours are unpredictable.
When shopping online, you can start with the most basic type of running shoes; but when time and situation permits, it’s still best if you can visit a specialty running store like RUNNR or TOBY’s to get your shoe size and running gait analyzed. This can help you determine the type of shoe best fits for you. Armed with this knowledge, you can then use this information to buy your future shoes online.
While at it, get yourself a running belt, a good earphones, and a GPS or fitness watch to help you track your fitness.
2. Choose the Best Route
The most accessible types of running are on the road or treadmill; however, there are those who still have access to the track or trail depending on their quarantine restrictions. Due to some safety protocols set other the LGUs, some areas may not even be open for runners.
If the best option for you now is to run indoors in the safety of your own home and you have the budget, get yourself a reliable treadmill. This is as simple as scanning your options on different shops like Decathlon, Chris Sports, and Toby’s. Be sure to take note that not all treadmills are created for the same purpose so choose the one that is designed for long distance running.
Related Article: How to Choose the Right Treadmill for Runners
If you are allowed and can run outdoors, it’s best if you choose a route that is familiar to you. Make sure that it is safe and consider one where you can pass by convenience stores just in case you would need some extra hydration. In addition, take note of establishments that allow the use of their bathrooms because you’ll never know when you might need one!
3. Don’t forget your New Normal Essentials
When you run outside, you have to be prepared for anything. Here are a few things you should have in your running belt:
- Alcohol to disinfect especially if you touch anything
- Extra face mask to replace your running mask
- Hydration bottle so you can skip the visit to the convenience store
- Cash or e-wallet
- Safety Accessories
4. Be Ready for Anything.
First, don’t forget to wear your mask. If a regular mask is quite uncomfortable, you may try using a running mask like P29 or T8 mask. Remember, wearing a mask not only protects yourself, but also protects the people you encounter along your running route.
Next, do not neglect your nutrition and hydration as these can help in making or breaking your runs. You have to make sure you are fueled and hydrated to ensure better performance. During easy runs, water is usually enough; but when you plan to run longer, you might want to bring an extra protein bar, energy gel, salt sticks, or some powdered endurance fuel to keep yourself fueled. Find out which brands works best for you by trying them out.
Lastly, I always bring some cash or make sure I have enough on my e-wallets in case of emergency that I would need to buy something in a store or ride the transportation going back. It’s also never a bad idea to carry in some lights for those who run early or late and a pepper spray for extra safety.
5. Build your Strength
Running is not just all about getting one foot in front of the other. There is so much more beyond it like strength training. In order to get better at it, you need to train certain muscle groups and ensure that they will be prepared as you progress. You would need stronger muscles and joints to run faster or longer while lowering your risk from injury. There’s no need to get a lot of equipment especially if your available space does not allow you. Train with Active offers a variety of equipment online that are good for strength training.
6. Get Guidance
Since teams and running groups are not allowed these days, you should consider getting a coach that can guide you in starting your running program. This is to make sure that you will not be pushing yourself too much towards your goals and to guide you on your needed nutrition.
There are several coaches now who do their service remotely and use apps in order to track your progress. But personally I work together with Coach Ken Mendola of We Ken Run, a USATF L1 coach, who trains athletes by making personalized training plans that are according to their goals
7. Set Goals or Join Virtual Challenges
One of the best ways to enjoy running is to set personal goals, do you want to run your first 5K or 10K? If you need extra motivation, what you can do is to join Virtual Challenges to test what your body can do and engage yourself in a community that shares the same passion.
Do you know that keeping in touch with people can help you stay healthy and fit? Check out the Pinoy Fitness Atleta mobile app and connect with people from the community and run with everyone virtually anywhere you are for FREE!
8. Read more to Know More
As mentioned, learning more about this sport will help you improve and become better at it. Keep on reading to expand your knowledge and so you will not be clueless on what to do. Do not be afraid to ask people, but always check the facts through credible sources. Browse through the Pinoy Fitness website for more articles that might interest you or help you understand running more and follow us on Instagram to keep yourself updated.
9. ENJOY RUNNING
When you enjoy it, running will eventually just become something that is a part of your life and not something that you are only trying to start doing. Break the cycle of being sedentary or having to start all over again all the time by loving what you do. Some days, it won’t be as easy as getting up and lacing your shoes; but if running is something that gives you joy, you’ll keep on doing it even on the hard days.