Ten golden rules to start jogging safely
- Cardio check: If you are aged 40+, have a chronic disease (such as high blood pressure) or haven’t done sports for more than 10 years, you should first go for a cardio check.
- Walking: Brisk walking improves your physical fitness. As soon as you can walk at a brisk pace for 2 hours, you can gradually start with jogging.
- Leg axes: When jogging, the most common pains and injuries affect the muscles and ligaments in the feet and legs. The important thing is to first check that your leg axes are correctly aligned.
- Stair training: Walking upstairs trains the heart, walking downstairs the leg muscles. When jogging, the feet and legs are loaded with three times your body weight. Stairs are ideal preparation for jogging and prepare the body for the physical strain.
- Interval training: Incorporate variety into your pace: walk for two minutes, jog for one – repeat alternately. Start slowly! Your jogging pace at the start should not be much faster than walking.
- Aim to jog for a full 30 minutes: Start with 10 minutes of interval training and gradually increase to 30 minutes. Once you manage 30 minutes, gradually start to shorten the walking intervals until you can jog for half an hour without a break. How long will it take? Depending on your age, body weight and physical fitness, somewhere between 2-6 months. Learn to rely on your instinct (not your head). Fear and ambition sometimes block our body’s signals.
- 6-months’ rule: Muscles can be built in 3 months, ligaments and tendons are only really stable under tensile pressure after about 6 months. During the 3-6 month period, it is therefore best to "start slow to go far". In order to stay free of injury in the long-term, you should wait 6-12 months before aspiring to ambitious sporting achievements.
- Train regularly: The body becomes best accustomed to jogging when you jog frequently at the start but not too intensively nor too long. Of course, breaks are permitted too.
- Boosting performance: After 6-12 months, joggers who are ready to boost their performance should follow these tips: first increase the number of times you go jogging a week. Then increase your jogging duration from 30 to 60 minutes. Only then – at the end – should you increase your pace.
- And finally: Should you suffer any physical complaints, lower the length and intensity of your jogs. Seek expert advice from a doctor or sports therapist.
Joggers with physical complaints
If you suffer any pain, your first focus is to relieve the pain. After that, it’s important to train your posture, running technique, strength and mobilisation.
- 1-2 times a week, 20-30 minutes. Depending on the pain, switch to alternatives such as aqua jogging or cycling.
- 4-5 times a week stabilisation, mobilisation and strength training for knees , feet and back.
Interested in more?
In their book Medical Running running experts Christian Larsen, Sandra Zürcher and Joachim Altmann provide tips on how to run without pain. With a training box consisting of more than 100 exercises, instructions for a running technique analysis and important background information, they ensure that every runner has the right tool for running healthily.