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. These are great running tips for beginners (or those who have not run in a while) like me.
If you are a beginner runner, start by running short distances at a slow pace. Gradually increase your running distance and speed as your body becomes conditioned. Always warm-up and cool-down with a light jog or walk.
Start out by running three times a week for about 10 minutes each time. As you get more comfortable, gradually increase your running time and frequency. Aim to eventually run for 30 minutes, five times a week. Increase your speed gradually over time.
8 Running Tips for Beginners
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. Use proper running form
It sounds silly, but there is a wrong way to run and a right way to run. Improper form can lead to injuries. It’s important to focus on your form. Make sure to keep your head up, shoulders back, and core engaged. The goal is to have your head stacked over your spine, keep your shoulders relaxed and engage your core muscles. Use this image as a guide.
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
Stay properly hydrated 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 your 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!
8. Tired Legs – Should you push through?
While you’re improving your running skills, there will be times when your legs are tired but you’re not out of breath. You’re running when tired and learning to overcome fatigue. Rule out other reasons your legs might be tired like poor sleep, high resting heart rate, pain. You can try to push a little harder each time. Just remember not to overdo it. Take walk breaks if needed. There’s no shame in taking a break during your run! Becoming a stronger runner is about testing your limits, but not exhausting yourself completely.