How to start running? The program "from zero to a hero"

Running is one of the best activities influencing physical capacity, which creates proper environment for burning body fat. How to start running? There are constantly new questions about it, so it's good to go back to the basics.

If you are obese, running may be impossible for you. Start with changing your menu, gradually introduce physical activity according to the plan described in issue number 2. It's good to remember, that running itself, without any changes in diet is not that efficient for body fat reduction according to scientific studies – it brings the results worse by even 46% within one year of training [1]. People who averagely ran over 5 km a week lost 5.58 kg within one year – if they added diet to their physical effort. People who only ran and ate similar things as before, lost 3.55 kg less – the loss was only 3.81 kg.

Issue number 1: “runner's equipment”

Shoes. Running is the sport for minimalists. To be honest, you can even run in military shoes (which was once evaluated; there was also run in uniforms with guns, e.g. for 3 km). Because of practical issues, it's good to invest in running shoes. They differ from the models for resistance training, shoes for walking or those dedicated to indoor sports (e.g. those with bright soles). At the beginning, there's no point in buying the most expensive shoes with tens of supposed “improvements” and “support systems”. Choose some comfortable, simple model for running, e.g. by Asics (e.g. from the Gel Venture line), Adidas or Nike. It's very frequent, that a new model with the same functionality, but dedicated to the new season is more expensive by 20-40% than the “old version”. If you look for the shoes well – you will be able to find shoes from previous lines, e.g. Asics Gel Venture 4 or Asics Blackhawk much cheaper. You have to be careful with cheap shoes, because, e.g. those from the Patriot line by Asics are, in my opinion, very bad – they don't provide any comfort and they get destroyed very fast. The most demanding individuals, who run in difficult conditions, may look for the shoes with the Gore-Tex membrane. Other kinds of membranes (e.g. Te-Por, SympaTex) don't necessarily do their job, despite being advertised that way. Attention – some salesmen mislead the customers on purpose suggesting that the shoes have better membrane than they really do. The sign “Gore-Tex” proves that the pair of shoes has it – otherwise there's another technology (not necessarily worse, but both Te-Por and SympaTex disappointed me after few walks in worse conditions). For the beginners, I don't advise shoes for “natural” running – they require months of adaptation to the technique of running, they are designed for advanced runners. They are also not so good for running on hard surface. In the later period of training, shoes with smaller amortisation, however, may be an interesting choice.

T-shirt – if you can't afford much, you can use a 100% polyester T-shirt. Those, who are more demanding, may run in T-shirts by Under Armour, Adidas or Nike (which include spandex/elastane – it's usually few, up to twenty per cent of content). The middle option are good-quality T-shirts by Kipsta or Domyos (which are often on sale). The ones made from nylon are the most expensive. The least demanding people may look for T-shirts from the mixture of cotton, but... they have to be good for long, intensive work.

If the weather conditions are bad, the outer layer may be e.g. long-sleeved sweatshirt (also thermoactive). For cooler conditions and rain, you can use “breathing” jacket – for the most demanding with the Gore-Tex membrane. It may be so-called soft-shell.

Trousers – you just need simple, running trousers, e.g. 100% polyester. Less demanding individuals may find simple modles from cotton or its mixtures. If you want – the market is full of any kind of trousers close to the body – leggings for men and women. For runners it's usually thermoactive kind of clothing, for summer or winter, with fluorescent elements (e.g. by Craft).

It's good to invest in thermoactive underwear (e.g. sports boxer shorts) – against appearances, the matter of protection from abrasion during long training is important. Women should buy sports bra, which is well-fitted. You should take off any jewellery for running – anything you can lose, and what can disturb you during training.

Those who already reached this moment in the article may say that there are too many expenses for such minimalist sport. Well, in late spring and summer, you just need shoes, shorts and T-shirt for running. Many other sports disciplines are connected with huge investments, e.g. the triathlon equipment may cost a fortune (as there is no upper limit of the price of bikes, you can find some models at the price of a good used car, and the foams for swimming may be at the level of the whole salary). Martial arts equipment is the same: each protection for particular part of the body, gloves, boxing bag, good GI – they are all expensive. And you should add the cost of boxing wrappers, rubber protection for teeth, medical tests, etc.

At the beginning you don't have to buy pulsometre or a specialist equipment to monitor your effort (which uses e.g. the GPS system). If you want – you can use a simple application in your phone, e.g. Endomondo, GPS Logger or any other. You will be able to monitor the tempo, distance, altitude and other parametres with enough precision.