On Wednesday I posted a 5k training plan for beginners (find that here), so today I want to share some helpful tips that can make all the difference for a new runner (or even for someone wanting to pick it back up again).
It can be intimidating to pick up any new sport and running is no exception. There are so many good runners out there running multiple marathons, ultra marathons, and more, that sometimes it is hard to admit that you haven’t made it past that one mile mark. It’s okay though, we all start somewhere! Everyone at any level has to work at, and most runners will totally cheer you on through your journey.
To help prepare you to hit the pavement and find that running bug for yourself, here are my 10 tips to get you started.
1. You should definitely consider investing in running shoes. Gym shoes and running shoes are not the same thing. Running shoes will help prevent injury since they are made specifically just for running. You will want to go to a running store, not a big box store (such as Dicks Sporting Goods), so they can fit you for the right pair. They will cost anywhere from 70-120 dollars, so it is an investment but it is well worth it. Sometimes you can find last years model in the shoes you decide on and they will be cheaper. Here is a post dedicated to finding the right running shoes.
2. Learn your pace. You need to start out running at a slow pace. As you get stronger and your endurance increases, you will get faster. The biggest problem most people have when starting out is that they try to run too fast and then they can’t run any distance. You have to pace yourself. When you finish a run and you feel like you could keep going, that is when you know you can start increasing your speed. Increasing your speed and/or distance too fast is the most common cause of running injuries. Start slow!
3. Remember, running is not suppose to be easy. It takes a lot of work to meet your goals, but that is what is great about it! If you put in the work, you will be able to do it. Keep telling yourself that.
4. You will have good and bad days. No matter who you are or how far you can run, we all still have bad running days, and sometimes it lasts more than one day. Push through it, it means an awesome run is coming!
5. A lot of running is a mental game. Don’t get down on yourself.
6. It is a good idea to find someone that is at the same running stage as you and try to run together sometimes. It really helps a lot! Even just running together every once in a while helps.
7. It is great to push a jogging stroller, but try to at least have one run a week that you are not pushing it. I do not push my stroller on my long runs. You run different when pushing a stroller and it is important to get the correct running form down. This is especially true if you are preparing for a race!
8. On your crosstrain days, do something other than running. This could be a workout video, swimming, anything other than running.
9. I like to take 1 rest day during the week and then also on Sunday. Try to still go for a walk or do something active but not necessarily hard on these days. If you don’t want to take 2 days a week off, at least take 1 day off to let your body recover. If you feel exhausted one day and it’s not your scheduled rest day, it’s okay to listen to your body and take the day off when you need it. Just make sure to get back to the swing of things the next day.
10. Sign up for a race in the near-ish future so that you have something to work towards. It will give you so much more motivation!
Most importantly, have fun!
Photo by Xans Eye Photography