I am determined to get back into running for my fitness. I asked some of my running friends and trainers to give me some tips to help me get started. I think these are great running tips for beginners (or those who have not run in a while) like me.
1. Dress Appropriately
The perfect pair of shoes will make ALL the difference. Get proper running shoes from a store that specializes in running. These stores often have extra tools and experts to analyze the way you run in order to pick the shoe that is right for you. For women, a really well fitting sports bra is a must as well.
2. Learn How to Run
It sounds silly, but there is a wrong way to run and a right way to run. Improper form can lead to injuries. Ideally, you should run with your head stacked over your spine, keep your shoulders relaxed and engage your core muscles. Here is great form graphic:
3. Aim for Consistency
When you stop running for a while, like I have, you need to build back up your conditioning. The best way to keep running is to “keep running.” Easier said, than done, but it really is true. Even a few minutes a day will help you stay on track.
4. Keep a Running Log
Tracking your progress can be a great tool to keep running. If tracking only distance and time seems boring, get creative. Consider logging more details like the route you took, a bird your saw, a song that kept you going. Looking back on a running log can help you get out there on the days you don’t really feel like it.
5. Eat Right
Running with a full stomach can lead to cramps, but running on an empty stomach will drain your energy fast. Eat a pre-run snack that contains some carbs and protein for sustained energy.
6. Stay Hydrated
Staying properly hydrated is key for a successful run. If you don’t drink enough, you’ll likely get fatigued or cramp up. The goal is to drink about an ounce of water for every 10 pounds of body weight about an hour before you workout. I typically drink water with just a splash of lemonade for flavor.
7. Keep Your Body in Running Shape
Keeping your body in running shape take more than just running. Regular stretching and strength training are also important to maintain a healthy body for a good run. Getting enough sleep is important too.
You might also like this post about running on a treadmill for beginners. Includes a bonus workout too!