Have you wanted to begin running, but never took the first step? Now is a great time to start! Whether you are setting big goals - like completing your first marathon - or simply want to get out of the house and moving right now, it’s important to take the right steps in the beginning.
The tips below will help guide you through the beginning stages, establish a routine, and ultimately become a successful runner.
Take it Slow
One of the most important tips is to take it slow at first. Running too long or too fast in the beginning can cause you to over-exert yourself quickly or cause injuries. Your body needs time to become accustomed to the strains and stresses of running. Begin by using a run/walk routine. Start by running for a minute then walking for 2 to 3 minutes and repeating. The run/walk method is great for beginners to slowly build up your running time. Slowly increase your running time (2 minutes, 3 minutes, etc.) and decrease your walking time to 1 minute between running. Keep this pace until you are able to run for 20-30 minutes without any walking in between. Not sure how to stay on these intervals? Apps like this will cue when you should switch from walking to running.
Set a Schedule and Stick to it
Establish a habit and routine around running. Once you establish a habit, it will be easier to follow it (even when you don’t feel like it). Again, it is important to take it slow at first. For example, set a schedule to run (or run/walk) for 20 minutes, 4 days a week. You can slowly increase your time or distance as your body builds stamina. As you get stronger, you can increase to 30 minutes for 4 days a week, or 20 minutes for 5 days a week. Don’t increase your time and distance together, rather one at a time. This running program provides a great guide for beginners. Set small goals for yourself when you begin. As your body gets used to running, set larger goals.
Stretch it Out
The warm-up and cool-down are crucial parts of every workout, including running. Establish a warm-up routine before each run. Add a few minutes to walk or jog before you start each run, and incorporate other exercises such as lunges, squats, side lunges, and high knees. Stretching afterward will improve your flexibility, ease your muscles, and prevent injuries. Foam rolling is a great way to recover and prevent injuries through deep stretches in your muscles. This article lists easy instructions on how to foam roll your legs properly.
The right gear and products can make a big difference in your performance. Whether you are using your smartphone or smartwatch, there are many sophisticated apps for running to help track your progress, set goals, track your heart rate, keep locations with GPS, and even connect with other runners. Check out this article with the best running apps to choose the right app for you based on your specific goals.
Wearing the proper running gear is also crucial for a successful run. The wrong pair of running shoes can cause pain and even injuries. Spend some time researching the best running shoe for your running preferences and gait. Don’t know where to start? Check out this guide on choosing running shoes that breaks down what you need to look for and offers the best recommendations based on your needs. For running socks, look for a synthetic blend to prevent blisters or choose wool-blends with moisture wicking to keep your feet warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Our wide selection of running socks will help you find the best option for your running style.
Running can seem intimidating, but if you are prepared and follow the right steps you can achieve a lasting and rewarding running experience. Take the first step in your running journey today!