Ever wanted to be a runner, but didn’t know how to start? Here are some beginner running tips to help you start and stick with it.
Invest in Shoes
It’s extremely important to find the right running shoes for your body; otherwise you’ll be prone to running injuries that will derail even your best intentions. In general, your running shoes should feel comfortable from day one. And while running shoes may not be cheap, they’ll last a while.
As with any workout, you need the right gear to help you stay comfortable, safe, and happy while you run. Planning for a run takes a little bit of forethought — when to go, what to eat, and what to wear during and after the run should be part of your daily running checklist
Don’t expect to be 5K-ready as soon as you begin your new running hobby. At the beginning, running for even a minute without stopping can be hard — which can discourage even the most enthusiastic new runner. Keep your expectations realistic, and move at your own pace, walking when you need to.
Warm Up, Cool Down
Every run should begin and end with a few minutes to prime and soothe your body. Start each run with a slow jog before you ramp up your speed, and before you hit the shower, make sure you do a few posts-run stretches to help relieve soreness, increase flexibility, and prevent injuries.
Feed those leg muscles with the right post-workout snack; it’ll ensure that you’re helping your muscles build and repair themselves. After every run, make sure you eat a snack or meal that’s high in carbs and protein, and ensure that you drink enough water after your run (as well as throughout the day).
Increase Mileage Slowly
If your entire running career has been spent on the treadmill, then it’s time to transition outside. Outdoor running makes you a better runner, because the varied terrain strengthens different muscles than just treadmill running alone.
Fix Your Form
Noticing that your running form is far from perfect? Working on better posture and alignment while you run can help prevent overuse injuries. Keep your form in mind when you run — relax your neck, raise your knees, engage your abs, and keep your arms parallel to the ground as you stride.
Sprinting intervals: Mix up your workout by sprinting at one-minute intervals; you’ll help increase your speed and endurance.
Tempo runs: These are runs where you run slightly faster than you’re used to (but slower than a sprint); this helps you become a faster runner.
Hill work: Go ahead — find an incline. Running up a hill is an amazing way to increase your endurance and become a faster runner.
Stick With It
There’s no secret to becoming a runner; it’s just a matter of sticking with your workout. Once you’ve followed our tips to build your endurance, speed, and running confidence, don’t undo your hard work with an extended bout on the couch. Schedule your runs every week, so you’ll be sure to do them. And when someone asks you if you’re a runner, remember to proudly say, “Yes!”