This page may contain affiliate links – they are marked with a *. Making a purchase via my affiliate means I receive a small share of the sale.
Wondering how to start running for beginners? When you decide to start running, one of the things you have to consider is whether or not you are mentally and physically ready for it.
If you’re not used to being very active, or are already active in other ways, it can be a bit of s shock to the system when you begin your running journey. That’s why I out together this post; to help you prepare for a new challenge – running.
Running can seem intimidating at first but there are many ways of making sure that you’re as prepared as possible when starting out.
Some years ago, fellow runner and Blogger Jennifer Allen shared her top tips to start running with us, which you can see below. This post expands on each of these, and covers much more.
JENNIFER ALLENS 5 TIPS TO START RUNNING:
- Set a goal
- Use C25k – lots of apps available here is the link to the NHS one
- Team up with a friend/join a club
- Listen to your body – warm up, rest, stretch, do some strength training (particularly glute work)
- Have fun!
Set A Goal
Having a goal to reach can help you stay on track when you’re feeling discouraged. Whether your goal is to finish a 5K or just run around your neighborhood, setting one will motivate you in the process of starting out with running.
You could also consider running as part of a team or group. This will help keep you accountable and provide support from other runners who are experiencing similar challenges as well as provide encouragement!
Get The Right Gear
First and foremost, running shoes are a must, as they provide the best support for your feet. They come in different forms (cushioned, stability, and motion control) depending on your running style and comfort level. The most important thing is that you find a pair that fits well and does not cause any pain or discomfort when running.
“You can start to run with nothing more than a pair of trainers, and, at least initially, I wouldn’t be concerned about their price tag or quality. This refinement can come as mileage and continued enthusiasm kick in!”
Running clothes should be comfortable enough for you to wear while exercising. You can choose from different types of fabrics such as cotton or synthetic fibers like polyester which are great for keeping you dry during your workout sessions. Also try out different styles such as shorts, tank tops, or tights so you can find out what works best for you!
Read More: Choosing The Best Sports Bras For Running
You might want some accessories like a hydration belt while training since this will help ensure that water is always available when needed most. Many runners also like listening to music while working out because it keeps them motivated throughout which means less time spent thinking about how much longer until you’re finished.
Read More: How To Layer For Running in Cold Weather
Fuel Up Smartly
Running is a great way to improve your fitness and stay healthy, but it’s important to fuel up properly before and after your run. Eating the right foods can help you recover faster so that you’re able to feel strong for your next run.
Take It Easy
The first rule of running is to start slow. The best way to do this is with a run / walk strategy. You are not trying to run as fast as you can at the beginning; rather, you will be taking small steps that allow your body plenty of time to adjust and relax into the movement.
After warming up for 5-10 minutes by walking or doing done mobility movements, increase your speed for the running intervals until you are running at about 80% of your maximum capacity.
“Don’t worry about the time it takes you to run any distance but keep steadily increasing the distance, the rest will follow.”
“These days things like parkrun offer a regular, free, timed run for you to measure your improvement should you wish to and joining a running club might be a great way for you to improve.”
Choose A Target Distance
It’s important to choose a distance that will challenge you, but not so much that it causes injury or leaves you frustrated. Start with a short distance and build up from there. It’s also crucial not to go too fast or build up your distance too quickly in the beginning stages of your running journey – this will only lead to fatigue and burnout.
When choosing your starting distance, think about what is realistic for yourself right now, taking into account how much training time you have available each week. If it takes most Sunday afternoons off work for your runs (or any other day), then choosing a longer run probably isn’t going to work well at first – stick with shorter distances until they become more manageable and less intimidating.
Create A Training Schedule
Creating a training schedule will help to give you an overview of where you are, and how your training is going. A training schedule is a plan that tells you how many days per week and how far you will run each day or week, as well as what time of day(s) you will be running and for how long. Start with a simple schedule at first; adding more days or distance as you get improve.
It’s important that your body has enough time to recover from each workout before moving on to the next one. It’s also important that when planning out your training schedule, you make sure there are enough recovery days built into it so that your body doesn’t become overworked or burnt out.
Stick as best as you can to your training plan, but don’t be afraid to be flexible and forgiving. However, the closer you stick to the plan, the more consistent you will be and the sooner you will start to see progress.
And finally: Be realistic about what kind of runner—or person—you are right now. Don’t set yourself up for failure by trying something too ambitious; instead, focus on smaller goals until they feel easy before moving on to bigger ones down the road.
Don’t Start Too Fast
If you are a beginner, you should never start running too fast. This will only lead to injury and slow your progress in the long run. You should start with a short distance, time, and speed and then gradually increase them over time.
Start with a distance that is comfortable for you. For example, if your goal is to run 5k (3.1 miles), then start by running 1k (0.62 miles) first, then build up from there as time progresses until you reach your target mileage (5k).
Once this is achieved, the gold standard is to increase your mileage by no more than 10% each week, so take this into consideration when creating your training plan too.
Give Yourself Time To Rest & Recover
Running is a great way to stay fit, but it’s important to give your body time to rest and recover. You might have heard the popular saying “no pain, no gain”, which is true for some people – but for beginners, this can be a very dangerous motto.
“Be sure to warm up, take rest days, stretch and mix in some strength training. This rounded approach will improve your running and help to keep you injury free. A regular massage is a great way to lessen muscle tension and improve range of motion.”
The human body needs rest in order for it to heal from workouts or injuries sustained while working out. When you’re running consistently and hard enough that you feel soreness the next day (especially if it’s an area of your body that wasn’t used before), it means you’ve been pushing yourself far beyond what you are capable of physically right now. If this happens on a regular basis or if this happens once every other week or so then listen up.
Running Is The Best Way To Start Feeling Healthy
Here are some of the many benefits of running:
- Running can improve your mood. Running helps increase serotonin levels in our body which makes us feel more relaxed and calm.
- Running can help you sleep better at night by reducing stress levels during the day and making it easier for our bodies to relax at night when we are sleeping.
- Running helps increase HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol), lower LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), reduce blood pressure, prevent the risk of heart attacks by increasing capillary growth around heart muscles, and decrease inflammation.
Running is a great way to kick off your journey towards better health and increase fitness. It’s especially great for beginners because it’s easy to get started, doesn’t have to cost a lot of money and doesn’t really require any equipment other than running shoes.
However, if you really want to be successful at reaching your goals as a runner (and avoid injury), there are some things that need careful consideration when planning out how often you should run each week.
I hope this post has covered all of those considerations plus given you some helpful tips.
How did you get started on your running journey?! Any other tips to share?!