Originally published by PNB Metlife at HealthForHappiness.in

Running is one of the simplest workouts, but it can have an immense positive impact on your mind and body. However, like any lifestyle change, there will be some teething issues in the beginning. Get over these and the rewards will be well worth it.

Running is one of the effective ways to boost your fitness and get into shape, but it does have a learning curve. Now when you finally decide to run there will be different phases that you will go. Make your way through each of these stages and you will be ready to tackle any distance. Even if you’re not a runner or have just started it, it’s relatively simple to understand and follow these stages to their logical conclusion.

Stage 1: Anxiety
You have decided to start running as a means to get fit, and are aiming to compete in a 5K soon. Obviously, you will be very anxious to get off to a good start. One way to not let the anxiety get the better of you is by starting slowly. Set off on a run-walk day instead of only running and build up the momentum. This is especially crucial if you are only now starting a running routine or have resumed running after a short hiatus. Take your time to beat the anxiety.

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Stage 2: Pain
After your first run, or at least the first proper running day, you will experience soreness in muscles, and some rustiness in your movements. Don’t let them get the better of you. Sore muscles are an indicator of having worked them out after a long time. Take adequate rest after your first run and make sure you are using these all-important stretches to help your muscles recover. This will ensure an injury-free running experience.

Stage 3: Excitement
This is when things start to pick up. After the first week of running for a beginner, the excitement of heading out for a run truly sets in. It could come in the form of your body adjusting automatically to a running routine, or your rest days feeling hollow as you are not running. It’s time to channel this excitement and learn newer training routines that will help you get over many hurdles along the way.

Running gives you that much-needed me-time to help you focus on your priorities
Running gives you that much-needed me-time to help you focus on your priorities

Stage 4: Confidence
Strength and conditioning between runs not only helps you get stronger, but gives you confidence to take on the run on any day. It allows you to rest assured knowing that your body is fit enough for the trials ahead. But preparing adequately is the key and make sure you are doing every little thing you need in terms of workouts for your run, whether it’s a gentle 5K or a hill run!

Stage 5: Eagerness
The last stage for a new runner can be a double-edged sword, and one that will truly set great runners apart from the pack. Eagerness to head out and compete can actually ruin all your mental preparation. Remain calm before the run and keep going over your technique and form.

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Channel this eagerness and help get over things that will throw you off your game – it could be something as simple as learning your favourite running top won’t work just before you set off for the start line, or seeing that it has rained the night before which could affect your preparations. Your eagerness to go out there can be the difference between getting over these obstacles or letting them deflate you.

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