Do you like running?
I hate running...at least I used to.
That type of cardio has always made me feel like an elephant was sitting on my chest and my legs were made of lead. If you are in the same boat and would like to run, here are a few tips for you.
One of the reasons I felt so horrible during a run was because I struggled with anemia. This is when not enough oxygen is in your blood. Because of that, I had to slowly work up to that type of cardiovascular exercise. If this is something you struggle with, or if you haven't done cardio in a long time, I recommend slowly incorporating cardio into your regular workout routine.
Start with 5-8 minutes of low-impact cardio (squats, kettle-bell swings, skiers, jumping jacks, trampoline, etc.)
Once you feel ready, work up to 10-15 minutes of low-impact cardio (jumping rope, trampoline, modified burpees, etc.)
Again, when you feel ready, increase to 20 minutes of cardio, increasing the difficulty (burpees, jump squats, jumping jacks, skiers, etc.)
Getting your body prepared beforehand is going to help make running feel a lot easier. One of my favorite ways of increasing my cardio is through elliptical training.
Start with 3-5 minutes of low resistance at a moderate pace
Once you're ready, increase your time to 8-10 minutes of low resistance at a moderate pace
When that gets too easy, increase your resistance by 2 and increase your pace slightly for 10-15 minutes
I find that the elliptical was much better for training my body to be prepared to run than the regular cardio workouts. However, it's different for everybody. Once you feel like you have increased your cardio enough that you could go 20 minutes without feeling like you're going to pass out, you can try running.
Make sure you are wearing supportive shoes, rolling through your feet properly, and using your thighs as much as your calves when running. This prevents shin splints and sore muscles. Stretching too much before a run can lengthen the muscles too much and decrease power so keep it short and sweet. The static stretching will happen after your run.
I would recommend starting off slow by fast-walking for 2-3 minutes and then running for 2-3 minutes. By alternating between the two, you are slowly increasing your cardio as well as strengthening your muscles. When you are ready, try running non-stop for a couple miles.
It's all up to you and what you think your body can handle. Some people might need a lot of prep work to get them used to running, others might be able to go right into it with no problem. Running doesn't have to be horrible.
I still would prefer going on the elliptical before going for a 5-k, but at least I now have the tools I need to keep my body strong and healthy while running. I hope that this also gives you the necessary tools to enjoy running more.
Do you like to run?
Until next time,