"Why Should I Start Running?"
That’s probably the one question you’re asking yourself (or someone suggesting that you should start on learning to run for beginners). There shouldn’t be an excuse or a reason as to why not (unless you are dealing with something that physically denies your ability to run). But think about giving yourself the best workout day in and day out without shelling out hundreds of dollars on a gym membership. Not only will running help you financially, but also mentally. Going for a run can be meditative and help you clear your mind of the day’s mental clutter.
As with everything else that any of us would like to do, perhaps the hardest thing you might be dealing with right now is “how or where do I begin”. Don’t worry about what is perfectly normal. Before you take on the exhilarating experience that is running, here are some tips for beginner runners that you should take to heart (figurative and literally, seeing that running is a good cardio exercise).
It Won’t be Smooth Sailing from the Start
Who said starting something was easy? Listen, I know that sounds a little bit intimidating... but, starting out on learning to run for beginners will be a challenge. You’ll probably be asking yourself “what did I just get myself into” and similar questions. But do not give up. Once you get the hang of it after a few runs, it becomes easier. Easier to breathe, easier to move. And you won’t feel as sore (don’t worry, it’s normal to feel soreness after a run).
Your Shoes Matter
Picking the right kind of running shoes is important when starting out. Be sure to get fitted for a good pair that will be comfortable and can last you quite awhile. The good news is, you don’t have to buy expensive running shoes. If you really want to save money, get the popular shoes from the previous year. There’s a good chance that you’ll pay clearance prices compared to the hottest shoes on the market right now. And who cares if those shoes are “so last year”? At least you have a comfortable pair that will get your started on your running journey.
Want to Measure Your Running Progress? There's an App for That
Using the old catchy “there’s an app for that” quip from Apple, there is an app that will measure your running progress. It is called Couch to 5K. Use this app consistently and feel like a world champion every time you track your progress day after day, week after week. Other alternative apps include RunKeeper and MapMyRun.
Switch it Up with Walking
Contrary to popular belief, it is not wise to just run for say 30 minutes straight. If you do plan on learning to run for beginners for that time period, break it down with intervals of running and walking.
For example, here’s a formula you can use for a 30 minute run:
Do an interval where you can walk for four minutes and run for two minutes. Let’s do the math:
4 (walk) + 2 (run) = 6 minutes total
6 minutes * 5 intervals = 30 minutes
So in short, do this interval 5 times to cover the 30 minute time block. Makes sense, right? As you progress, you can shorten your walk times and increase your run time intervals gradually. If you want to go longer, adjust accordingly.
Make Adjustments to Your Attire
Yeah, we talked about shoes earlier. But what about the rest of your gear? One of those pieces of attire we’re talking about are your running socks. Cotton socks may be comfortable, but it absorbs a ton of moisture. Not to mention, cotton creates friction. And friction can lead to blisters. Find material that can wick the moisture (like socks made from synthetic materials). You do not want your feet to feel like they’re running through miles of swamp land. And there’s another piece of attire we need to...ahem...talk about. By now, you probably got the hint. It’s your underwear. Things can get sweaty around there too. So invest in some quick dry undies that will wick moisture and keep you nice and dry.
Don't Stretch.. Say What?
The topic of stretching and running has been talked about almost ad nauseum. Static stretching, contrary to popular belief, will hinder your running performance. Whatever you do, don’t stretch. Do this instead…
Do Dynamic Warmups
A few minutes of bodyweight movements like lunges are always a go-to warm up exercise. If you have no idea on where to start, here’s a video showing a wide range of dynamic workouts that you should try out before learning to run for beginners:
Eat Right (Duh!)
Carbs, protein, and fats are your best friends before and after you run. Be sure to have a good mix of this in your diet so you can get the energy you want and recover faster after every run.
Rethink Your Days Off
Your rest days should not be considered your “lazy days”. On days when you don’t run, consider the idea of doing other exercises like biking or yoga. You can also throw in a strength training regimen that you can do on days when you don’t run.
Celebrate Your Wins-- Big and Small
One of the true keys of your running success is tackling the small goals (and the big goals). Remind yourself that no matter how many times you run, you get stronger every time. This should give you a huge mental boost and give you something to look forward to regularly.
Now, you’re armed with ten tips for beginner runners that you must follow. Once you get started, it’ll be a bumpy road. But keep going and remember that it’s more of a mental game than it is physical. But the rewards are worth the benefit.