Thinking of getting started with running, but not sure where to begin? Check out our 12 tips that will definitely help you get out there and reach your goals.
Running is the king of cardio; it’s good for your heart, keeps your weight off, energizes your body, and most importantly, helps you to be in good health. No idea where to start? We’re here to help you out!
- Get prepared for your first running session
Preparing for your first running session depends on what level you are. If you haven’t been active in the recent years, then make sure to start your running routine by walking for about 10-20 minutes. Once you’re comfortable with walking, you can include short running intervals. With some time, you’ll see that running will slowly replace your walking sessions.
If you’re in shape, feel free to start with a short warm-up and then continue with slow jogging. Making running a routine takes up to a fair amount of time, so be patient! Don’t overexert yourself, and make sure to ease yourself into running slowly.
- How often should I run?
To be honest, there isn’t a right answer to this question. However, one thing is for sure: sometimes less is more.
Since you’re in the initial stages, consider running three times per week. And even if you’re super enthusiast about running, always make sure to take at least 1-2 days off from running to allow your body to recover. Trust us, you’ll feel stronger during your runs after a day off.
- Will it always hurt this bad?
When it comes to running, keep in mind that real pain is not common. It is true that feeling some discomfort is normal, especially if you’re a real beginner, but as time goes, you’ll learn to make a difference between fatigue and injuries.
If you’re feeling severe pain during running, then you’re probably injured. In such cases, make sure to take a few days off until the feeling of discomfort disappears.
- Never skip the warm up or cool down
To avoid injuries, start each running with a proper warm-up and end it with a cool-down.
Start your warm-up session with some jumping jacks or lungs, or opt for a simpler warm-up by walking in place while swinging your arms. A proper cool-down is just as crucial in your running routine as the warm-up. Walking a few minutes after running is always a good idea as it allows your body to slow your breathing and heart rate gradually.
On the other hand, stopping abruptly after running can cause muscle cramp and dizziness or even lead to injuries. And this is the last thing you want, right?
- Create a realistic plan and stick to it
In the initial stages, make sure to create a realistic plan and stick with it. Training plans allow runners to monitor their progress while staying motivated for the longer term.
For instance, couch to 5k is a fantastic program for beginners as it has been designed to get you from the couch to running 5 kilometers in 9 weeks. Yes, really.
- Find a running partner
Did you know that running can be a fun social activity? Find a running partner or join a running club, and see for yourself!
Amongst other things, running with a partner will help you turn running into a habit. Since someone is counting on you, chances are better that you won’t skip running sessions. When choosing a running partner, always make sure to have someone about the same level of ability as you to run with.
- Run that extra mile
If you’re happy with your regular results and don’t strive for better performance, then you’ll easily find running too monotonous and boring.
You can break up the monotony in your running by adding short sprints into your running sessions. If you always run at the same speed, then you’ll never improve. Although you may enjoy a relaxing evening run in the city center, it’s time to leave the pavement behind you and explore running routes in the woods instead. You’ll see how much it’ll spice up your running sessions.
- Treadmill vs. outside
Is running outside is better than running on a treadmill? Or is it the other way around?
When running on a treadmill, it pulls the ground underneath your feet, and there is no wind resistance, which makes running a bit easier. Furthermore, in case of bad weather, the treadmill is the absolute winner.
On the other hand, many people find it incredibly boring to hit the treadmill. If you’re running outside, the scenery is passing you by, and you have a more natural sense of the distance remaining.
So, which is one is better for you? It’s up to your preferences!
- When and what to eat?
When it comes to eating before running, you really need to find the golden mean. When you begin your running session, you should feel neither stuffed nor starved. Always make sure to eat snacks or a light meal at least an hour (or two) before you start running. Some examples include plain bagels, a banana or an energy bar high in protein.
On the other hand, stay away from heavy meals, such as fatty and fried foods, as they may cause digestive issues. Some examples here typically include hamburgers, cheese, and bacon.
- When and what to drink?
Staying hydrated during running is of utmost importance for runners as it helps them avoid fatigue, cramps, and headaches.
The general rule about drinking and hydration is straightforward: drink water if you feel thirsty. It’s also important to keep in mind that everyone’s fluid needs vary. The more you sweat, the more liquid you’ll need during running!
- Find the right equipment for you!
One of the best things about running is that you can do it anywhere, and it doesn’t require an initial investment. Still, if you’re serious about your running routine, it may be a good idea to consider buying a pair of running shoes and a heart rate monitor, such as a reliable running watch.
For instance, HeartBit revolutionized heart monitoring by helping runners achieve peak physical performance while making sure their heart activity stays within safe parameters.
- Top running tip for beginners: stay motivated!
Constant motivation is the backbone of any successful running routine. However, as a beginner runner, chances are that you’ll experience difficulties, and in such cases, it’s somewhat difficult to stay motivated.
Therefore, consider keeping a running diary or choosing a reliable fitness app to track your progress and stay motivated. You’ll see that monitoring your progress will make all the difference!
As you can see, starting out as a beginner runner can be first intimidating, but if you’re consistent enough and follow our pro tips, then you can be pretty sure to stick with running for the long term, while even enjoying it. Are you ready?