When you’re a beginner runner, it’s tempting to jump into it wholeheartedly and give it everything you’ve got. However, there’s a danger associated with going too hard too fast. When you’re a new runner, it’s important that you plan your training purposefully so that you stay healthy and your enthusiasm doesn’t fizzle. You started running for a reason. Maybe you wanted to lose weight, improve your cardiovascular health, start a new workout routine, or just spend more time outdoors. No matter the reason, it’s important to start on the right track if you want to keep going.
Beginner Runners – Follow These 7 Tips To Getting Started With Running
1. Ease into it.
You might want to run as much as you can or as fast as you can, but that can lead to burnout or injury. Start out running small distances at a slow to moderate pace. If you need to, do a combination of running and walking. You should definitely feel like you’ve had a workout when you’re finished, but you shouldn’t be gasping for air. Knowing how to notice progress in your fitness level is very important to find a balance in training too much or too little at the beginning.
2. Wear the right shoes.
Wearing the right running shoes is EXTREMELY important for beginner runners. Running in the wrong shoes can lead to a plethora of running-related injuries. Go to a reputable local running store and ask the sales representative to show you some shoes. They’ll be able to point you in the right direction for something that will be a good fit for you. Read more about Finding the Right Fit Here.
3. Buy affordable running clothes.
If you’re a beginner runner, don’t go out and buy the most expensive stuff you can find. Your running shoes might be a little expensive, but your running clothes don’t need to be. Since you’re not an elite runner yet, you don’t need to pay elite runner prices. Go to a popular sporting store, or even to a secondhand store, to find what you need. Primarily, look for shorts and shirts that will be comfortable to wear while running and sweating.
4. Find some running buddies.
Whether you actually run together or just cheer each other on virtually, having running buddies helps. Initially, running is as much a mental challenge as it is a physical challenge. Having that comradery makes a huge difference! You can all sign up for a race (in-person or virtual) together and check-in on your progress as the race gets closer. As a new runner, having that friendly encouragement will help keep you on track.
5. Remember to stretch.
It’s important to stretch before a run, after a run, and generally throughout the day. As you start using new muscles, they’re going to tighten up a bit. By stretching regularly, you encourage your muscles to loosen back up and be more flexible. Beginner runners, keeping your flexibility up is key to staying injury-free.
6. Balance your running days with cross-training days and rest days.
Both for your physical and mental health, it’s best not to run every single day when you’re a beginner runner. By doing other exercises/cross-training and taking some rest days (Taking the Proper Rest Day), you’ll work out new muscle groups and give yourself time to recover from your runs. So what is proper cross-training for runners? Read our related article on Cross-Training Here.
7. Mix up your run route.
One of the best things about becoming a runner is getting to see new areas that you might not explore otherwise. Mix up your run route so that you get to see new parts of town. Running can get really monotonous if you do the exact same route every time. Sprinkle some new locations into your workout routine to keep things interesting.
If you follow these 7 tips as a beginner runner, you’ll set yourself up for success with your new running goals. Remember the overall reasons that you started running, and work to keep yourself motivated. Running is great exercise and can make for a fun hobby if you do it right. If you keep yourself on track mentally, you’ll stay on track physically.