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Running Your First Kilometer

·3 mins
beginner training

Since you come so far to come to this content, it means you are motivated to start this journey, so let’s see what’s the best way to be ready to run your first kilometer.

Preparation #

Regarding your gear, a decent pair of running shoes is enough. I would suggest not buying a new pair of shoes yet. If you have an old one that fits and feels comfortable, it’s perfect to start. You can do the same for your sports gear.

Schedule a day in the week when the forecast is decent. Let’s avoid a day too cold, too hot, or rainy weather, which will make it more difficult than it needs to be. If you don’t have a choice, like me in Singapore, try to plan for the best time of that day to make it easier for you, like noon if it’s wintertime.

As you are planning for a day, you can also plan your route. Prefer a flat area to start, a place you are already familiar with. Let’s avoid hills, muddy trails, or sand beaches: those unstable terrains can make it difficult to start and enjoy your first steps.

It can be a great motivator to run with someone, so if you have a running buddy or a friend that wants to start with you, don’t be shy to bring them along. It will make this first running experience more enjoyable too. If you can’t find anybody to run with you, don’t worry, you can do as good without too :)

Ready, Steady, Go #

On that training day, don’t miss warm-up before your start running. It can be as simple as gently rolling each ankle clockwise and anti-clockwise, then doing a few jumping jacks or equivalent. We want to warm up the muscles as well as get your heartbeat getting ready. It doesn’t need to be very long. A few minutes is great to get yourself ready.

Once warmed up and the route in your mind, let’s start running, but start slowly!. The goal it to make this first run enjoyable, so let’s keep it nice and easy.

Don’t worry about the speed, we’re looking for a comfortable pace where you could have a conversation. If you feel you cannot talk, you are going too fast.

After 200 meters or so, start walking but let’s not stop yet. Take one minute or two walking to take a breath and try to listen to your body: how does breathing feel like? How do your legs feel like? Do you feel any pain in your feet, your knees, or some places else?

If it feels off, let’s take a few more minutes walking to see if it goes away or persists. In case of past injuries, it might be best to stop there.

However, if you feel good to resume after two minutes of walking, let’s resume running for the next 200 meters. You should repeat this cycle of walking and running until you have completed 1000 meters of running.

Once completed, take some time to recover and cool down. Take a few minutes to stretch and prepare your body to recover from this recent effort. My advice is to focus on stretching your calves, hamstrings, and glutes muscles to make sure you don’t get tight muscles the next day.

Congratulations! 👏 You finished your first kilometer.

That’s it for your first kilometer. As we went through it, take time to prepare, get ready and recover the same way for the first coming runs: start slow, take your time to listen to your body, and don’t forget to have fun!

Photo by Chander R