So you’ve decided you want to start training for your very first 10K run. Before we throw around empty ‘congratulations’ and ‘best of lucks’ in your direction, we want to make sure you go about it the right way, which is why we’ve got four inspiring ladies guiding us to train the right way.

Meet Ayesha Bilimoria, All India track & field athlete, and founder of One Track Club and Fitness Centre; Anupriya Kapur, an avid runner and a work-from-home mum with her very own blog; Nazuk Arora, an art consultant who completed her first few half marathons and has hat-trick podium finishes in adidas Uprising running events to her credit; and Shailja Sridhar, the recent winner of the TSK 10K and Chennai marathon; she has also qualified for her maiden Boston marathon this year!

They’re telling us six things to keep in mind before you begin training for your first run. We’d start taking notes now if we were you {or you could just bookmark this page, duh}.

The Starting Point

First things first—start small. Instead of psyching yourself out by taking on big challenges, Ayesha advices that you should just aim at getting out of bed 20 minutes before your usual wake up time and head out for a walk or jog. Over time, just increase your run time and things will get easier.

Remember, every seasoned runner had a starting point—Anupriya gave running her first shot two years ago and felt she would collapse after only 200 metres!

Pick the Right Track

SG9_2888-1 Running into Fitness: 6 Things to Know Before Your First 10K RunA popular running track among many Delhi runners is Nehru Park. If that is too far, JLN Stadium and Lutyens’ Delhi are great options. If you’re from Gurgaon, Biodiversity Park is where you should head without a second thought.

Ideally, traffic-free open spaces are desirable; gated communities are okay too, for those living far from such running tracks.

PS: We have a list of safe running trails in Delhi you can check out here.

Diet for an Optimal Run

When Ayesha told us we need to eat in moderation throughout the year, our faces fell a little. But she quickly wiped away our worries by telling us we didn’t have to stop eating what we loved—just eat less of it. For your training period, there are two things you’ll definitely have to bid adieu to though: one, junk food, and two, alcohol.

If that puts you in sombre mood, we believe you’ll like what Shailja has to say: ‘Just think of all the good food you can indulge in once you’ve finished your 10k run—that always keeps me on track!’ Well, we know good advice when we get some.

Hydration too, is a year-long requirement. Drink enough water and supplement it with salts & isotonic additions; there are enough available in the market under various brands. A simple home-made concoction of water with ¼ teaspoon salt, ½ tablespoon sugar, and half a lemon squeezed into it works wonders as well.

Train the Right Way

adidastraining Running into Fitness: 6 Things to Know Before Your First 10K RunYou don’t need to run every single day, but you should definitely mix things up if you want to get the best from your runs and avoid falling into a rut. Nazuk and Shailja both run three to four times a week, which they supplement with surya namaskars, HIIT {high intensity interval training}, swimming, spinning, TRX suspension training, and Plyometrics. These girls are fierce!

While the above mentioned exercises are great for people with intermediate and advanced levels of fitness, for a good kickstart into running, Ayesha suggests the following stepped up training regime: single leg step balance, wall squats, single leg glute bridge, squats & single led side raise, leg raises up to 90 degrees, V scissors, and hand & side planks.

Don’t forget to stretch and cool down after your workouts.

Running Gear and Essentials

adidasgear Running into Fitness: 6 Things to Know Before Your First 10K RunTo pick the right kind of shoes would probably be the most important thing to do. While each of the four recommended that you go through a gait analysis before investing in the right pair for yourself, the PureBoost X – which is specifically designed for the needs of the female runner – is a safe bet.

Augment these with the right kind of apparel {that’s made of breathable fabric},  a sipper, an armband, and a sweatband or a cap, and you’re good to go!

Staying Motivated

We all have crazy schedules that can make staying on track a far-fetched idea, but surround yourself with the right kind of people and half your problems are over. If you can’t convince your friends to join you on your running goals, you’ll find plenty of communities in the city with like-minded people who’re running towards goals similar to yours.

Another great way to stay motivated is to follow runners and other fitness freaks on social media, so that each time you want to scarf down an entire chocolate cake, you know all you need to is open your Instagram feed and look at all the hard work these folks are putting in, and you’ll be able to pull yourself back.

This story is in partnership with adidas.

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