Running for Beginners: 10 Tips to Get You Started
Running is a great, free way to get healthy, lose weight, and relieve stress. But if you don’t consider yourself a runner, you might be wondering where to start. Here are 10 tips to help you lace up those running shoes.
1. Set realistic, short term goals. Search for beginning training plans, or create your own. Whether it’s running a mile, a 5K, or just being able to jog to the end of your street, once you achieve that first goal, you’ll feel great, and you’ll be motivated to keep going.
2. Dress the part: spandex shorts will prevent chafing, specialty running shoes and running socks will protect your feet, and a quality running bra (for the ladies) is a necessity. Invest in running wear that makes you feel good! But don’t break the bank – check out end of season sales to find the best deals.
3. It’s okay to walk! There is no shame in taking walk breaks. If you’re breathing too hard, take a walk break until you feel comfortable again. Alternatively, set out to take regular walk breaks. For example, run for 3 minutes, walk for 1, and repeat.
4. Vary your training routes. Keep your runs exciting by mixing things up. Try out different side streets, run on a track, run a trail. Preventing yourself from getting bored will motivate you to keep going.
5. Focus on your breath and your steps. Push out the negative thoughts by focusing on the sounds of your breath and your feet touching the ground. Consider it a form of meditation. Over time, this will become natural. Speaking of breath: take deep, abdominal breaths to get rid of those pesky side cramps.
6. Soreness one to two days after a run is normal. Ice your aches and pains immediately, but for no longer than 20 minutes at a time. Remember to build in rest days to help your muscles recover.
7. It is not necessary to stretch intensely before a run. Walking briskly for a few minutes is all you need to warm your body up before hitting the pavement (or the trail).
8. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Drink more water than you think you need (but always remember to go to the bathroom before you start a run!).
9. Remember that you will have plateaus in your progress, and some days will be harder than others. Keep going. It gets easier.
10. Running with a partner can be great motivation. But never compare yourself to others. Everyone runs at their own pace, literally. It’s all about your personal journey.
Running has so many physical, mental, and emotional benefits. By listening to your body and staying committed, you’ll be amazed at the progress you can make.