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In this article, we give you some useful tips on how to prepare for your next training session in order to make the most of it.
- Set a Goal: what do you want to accomplish with your training? Do you want to compete for medals, finally complete your first marathon, or just stay fit and healthy? Too often, beginners go into their training without a real objective. Thinking about the goal and the time you will need to achieve it will help you start planning in a realistic framework. It is the first step upon which all the other decisions depend.
- Pick your discipline: athletics is a very diverse sport and your training plan, as well as the equipment you are going to need, will largely depend on the kind of discipline you are training for. You can choose between three general branches of athletics: running, throwing and jumping, or pick a combination of the three, such as pentathlon. Running is certainly the most popular athletic sport and most suitable for complete beginners. Here you will also have multiple choices: you can choose road running or cross country, sprint or marathon. Pick the discipline that best suits your individual preferences.
- Invest in good equipment: most athletic disciplines don’t require too much expensive equipment. Focus on getting a good running shoes, at they are a key piece of equipment that you will need. When looking for the right shoes for you, the most important thing on your mind should be comfort. Any irritation you feel in the store will only get worse once you hit the road. Ill-fitting shoes are the leading cause of injury. Also, consider the terrain: if you are mostly running on the road you will need different shoes than if you are running in the nature.
- Find a club: this is not obligatory, as you can also do your training on your own, or with your friends. However, if you are a complete beginner, or if you plan on entering professional competitions, enrolling in an athletics club is a really good idea. Your coach will help you develop good personalized training program and besides, it is much easier to train when you have someone pushing you. Another advantage is that as a registered athlete you get discounts on sport competitions across the country.
- Make a workout plan: a well-balanced plan is the key to training success. A progressive training program that gradually increases in intensity will take you the furthest. Make a schedule that also includes some recovery time and stick to it. You should incorporate cardio in your routine, as well as exercises for strengthening key groups of muscles: legs, arms and core.
- Install a training app: there is a lot of great training apps that will help you track your progress day to day. Some apps even provide step-by-step training instructions. Map My Fitness, Workout Trainer and All Day are only some of the amazing free apps you can download on your smartphone.