Have you always wanted to be an Olympic runner but did not know where to start? As the saying goes, “learn to walk then learn to run”. Try to choose a safe place away from traffic and loose dogs. Use the buddy system-always bring a friend. Try to walk at least three times a week.
Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing made of cotton or other breathable material. Wear a comfortable pair of running shoes with a nice spongy insole and flexible soles. Soles should conform to the movement of the foot so the runner does not run flat-footed. Warm up with simple stretching exercises for five to ten minutes before beginning the walk. Practice walking heel to toe, evenly on the heel and then the ball of the foot. Breathe slowly in through the nose, out through the mouth. Try to keep control of the breath even when moving quickly. The breath should come deep from the diaphragm, or stomach area-expanding the ribcage when inhaling. Choose a landmark up ahead, and walk slowly towards it. Find another landmark, and walk faster towards the new landmark. Keep a steady pace. Choose another landmark ahead, and slow back to a normal pace once that landmark is reached. Continue this process for approximately 30 minutes. Over a span of about a month, work up to a walk/ jog, jog/run, and run/sprint at your own pace using your own variations. Stop if breathing becomes too labored. Periodically check the heartbeat by placing two fingers on the main artery of the neck or wrist. Count the number of heartbeats felt for one minute. That number of heartbeats should fall between 55-85% of the maximum heart rate. Maximum heart rate is found by subtracting 220 from your age.
Be consistent, but do not push yourself. One way to stay motivated without undue pressure is to join your local track club. There is on in Knoxville called the Knoxville Track Club. This club is available for anyone who wants to join-any age, any level. They meet every day at different places around Knoxville. Just choose your time and place. Yearly membership is very reasonable but not required for participation in group runs. For more information , click on the link below. Soon, you will be ready for your first 5k and training towards the Olympics!
Hatfield, frederick C. PhD, Fitness: The Complet Guide, pg 314, official course text for International Sports Sciences Association's certified fitness trainer program, Copyright 2004