Can’t swim? Learn how to start running

Running can be a great addition to your cross-training plan for ocean swimming, open water or pool swimming events also often include some degree of running. It may be that you simply need to run in and out of the water at the beginning and end of an ocean swimming event. Or maybe you’re participating in an event such as a duathlon or triathlon, which requires running as one of your disciplines.

If you’re interested in starting to run as part of your ocean swimming cross-training plan, check out these top tips to get going.

Consider where you’re currently at

What fitness sessions are you currently doing? How long is it since you have been jogging? Consider your past and present injury and medical status to determine whether it’s wise for you to get started with running right away.

If you haven’t run for a very long time you might want to consider incorporating walking into your fitness regime first. You can gradually add some run intervals later. Running is a high-impact activity so you’ll want to make sure that you don’t have any injury concerns, especially in the lower body, before you start. Get professional advice from a physiotherapist if you’re unsure.

Make sure you’ve got the gear you need

One of the great things about running is that you don’t need a lot to get started. You don’t need to travel to any special location or purchase anything fancy for a great workout. Consider the following items as part of your preparation checklist:

  • Comfortable footwear that is appropriate for running
  • Clothing that allows you to move freely and to sweat comfortably! If you’re running in the sun you may want to wear a top that covers your shoulders, and a sunhat and sunglasses
  • An app can be a great way to start off your running plan at appropriate intervals. Download a ‘couch to 5km’ app, which will help you gradually build up your running intervals over time. (Usually, it’s about 8-weeks to get up to non-stop jogging using these apps)
  • Consider whether you want to have music available to help motivate you while you’re running or whether you’re happy to run without it
  • Sports watches can also offer value for some people when it comes to motivation and adherence.

Plan your sessions

Planning is an important part of success when it comes to a running plan (or any health and fitness plan). Aside from getting an app to guide you through your sessions (like the free C25k app – ‘Couch to 5km’), here are some other things to think about:

  • What are your short and long term running goals? Your plan should be designed with these in mind
  • What days and times will you go running?
  • How does this fit into your current exercise routine? Are you adding run sessions in, or will they replace something you’ve previously been doing?
  • Will you run straight out the front door, or are you going to a specific location?
  • Will you still run if it’s raining, snowing, hailing, or boiling hot? If you’re going to run in any conditions, what clothing or other considerations are there? If you’re not going to run in certain weather, what is your plan B?
  • Adding to the plan B concept, what will you do if other barriers pop up (for example, work or family commitments)? When do you plan to make up any missed sessions?

Get the support you need to be successful

The right support can go a long way to helping you with running success, especially when you’re first starting out. Here are a few areas to consider:

  • Do you need a running coach or personal trainer? A coach or trainer can offer the ultimate in support and accountability. They can also help you tweak the variables in your running plan so that you don’t under or over train
  • If it’s just a little extra motivation and enjoyment that you’re after, find yourself a running buddy or a running group to train with
  • Make sure that you have people in your life who are supportive of you achieving your running goals. A support team can play a crucial role in your success. For example, if you have kids that aren’t going to be running with you, you might need to ask your partner or a friend to babysit while you run.

For more information about running as part of your ocean training regime, check out these awesome tips for soft sand running.

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