Running is an increasingly popular activity. You are becoming more and more aware of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and have decided to run.
In this article, you will find out if you can become a runner and what it takes to get started.
Anyone can become a runner, regardless of age, body composition, or current fitness level. It takes willpower and a good pair of running shoes to master the first few miles. Patience and gradual progress are important if you wish to avoid the possibility of injury.
A lot of people find running too difficult and boring. You either like or dislike running.
Below you will find runner tips for beginners so you don’t give up running quickly, either due to injury or lack of motivation, and so that you can enjoy running without interruption.
How to become a runner?
You decided to start running. Good job! However, what now?
Running is quite demanding and it takes a lot of patience to see the first results. It is important not to overdo it at the very beginning so that you don’t give up quickly.
Read these 19 tips that will help you get started.
1. Consult a doctor
Your health is the most important.
If you have never done any physical activity before, visit a doctor before you start running. Especially if you are older than 40 and have not run so far or if you are overweight.
2. Set goals
You are healthy and ready for new challenges.
Before you start training, think about what you want to achieve. Set realistic and achievable goals that will motivate you on your path.
Read more: How To Set Running Goals? (Ultimate Guide)
By setting goals, you will be focused and motivated, and once you achieve those goals, your self-confidence will grow and you will push yourself further.
3. Find a time to run
With your daily business and family obligations, it is hard to find time for training. If you have the will, you will find a way. At first, it will be enough to set aside 30 minutes for training, 3 times a week.
Think about which days your workout would fit best and establish a weekly running schedule. Don’t let anything distract you from keeping to that schedule.
There will be days when you may not have the will to run or the weather will be bad, but if you have pre-determined training time, there is no room for thinking and wasting time. Instead, you just have to get going.
I guarantee that you will feel fulfilled and ready for the day ahead of you after you finish your workout.
4. Pick adequate gear
For starters, it is most important to pick a pair of good running shoes.
Buy your running shoes from a specialist sports equipment store, taking into account your running style and foot shape. When choosing running shoes, pay attention to the way they fit your foot, how stable they are, and how they absorb shock.
Try on several models of running shoes until you find the ones that are most comfortable for you.
TipBuy running shoes at the end of the day or after running because your feet swell during the day. Wear regular sports socks when trying them on.
Avoid cotton clothes as it slows down the cooling process.
Pick running clothes made of light, breathable, and fast-drying synthetic materials. Such clothes will help cool your body by absorbing sweat droplets from your skin and making them easier to evaporate.
It is especially important for women to find a suitable sports bra to avoid discomfort during running and to be able to get the most out of it.
Prepare your running clothes according to the weather conditions. Remember that there are no bad weather conditions, just bad equipment.
In order to track your workout, use something to track the time. This includes a regular stopwatch, GPS watch, or smartphone. Choose what suits you, what you can afford, and what is most practical for you.
5. Determine your running routes
Before you start running, determine where you will run. Initially, avoid hilly terrain until you get to a certain level of fitness.
If you can, avoid running close to roads for safety, and so that you can enjoy running without being interrupted.
6. Start gradually
Running is quite demanding and many give up very quickly. That is why it is important to start slowly and gradually increase the distance and running pace.
At first, don’t bother with your running pace. Run at a conversational pace and slow down if you can’t say a full sentence.
In the initial phase of training, you cannot run too slow, just too fast.
Start by using the walking/running method. Over time, you will build enough endurance and you will not need walking breaks. Run the running segments at a conversational pace.
Sample workout for beginnersWalk for 15 minutes, then alternate 10 times between a minute of running and a minute of walking, and then walk for 10 minutes.
Read more: Is It Bad To Take Walk Breaks During A Run?
7. Choose a training plan
Beginners often start training too intensely. They want to progress as fast as possible and exaggerate out of ignorance.
If you are new to running, join a running club or choose a training plan to follow. That way, you are less likely to overdo it and quickly give up or get hurt.
8. Don’t forget to rest
Recovery is just as important as training.
Without adequate recovery, you risk injuries, and your results are very likely to stagnate. This will demotivate you additionally, and you will probably give up.
9. Include strength training
Before you start running, it is important to prepare your body for the stress of running. You should do strength exercises to strengthen your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints.
In addition to helping you prevent injuries, strength training will help you build the muscles you need to maintain proper running form for longer, and thus be a better runner. Research has shown that the risk of injury is reduced by up to 50%.
You can do strength training anywhere, including at home. There are no excuses. It is enough to do it 2 times a week.
10. Pay attention to your running technique
The proper running technique will help you become a better and more efficient runner, while also reducing the risk of injury.
While running, it is important that you keep your body straight, slightly leaning forward. Look straight ahead.
Your arms are bent at the elbow at a 90-degree angle. Swing your arms in the direction of your movement. Do not clench your fists, always keep your palms open.
Pay attention to the position of the feet. Do not run on your heels. If you run fast, run on the balls of your feet.
TipAvoid overstriding because it costs you too much energy and reduces your efficiency. You should land your feet just below the knee, slightly in front of your center of gravity. This maintains speed and helps avoid braking. Likewise, your knee is protected, and the muscles and tendons in your leg allow you to cushion the impact of landing.
11. Pay attention to your nutrition
In order to be able to run peacefully, pay attention to what and when you eat. You need to adjust your diet to your workout schedule.
Running on a full stomach will negatively affect your running and can lead to nausea, cramping, and bloating.
Before running, choose foods that are easily digestible and will not burden your digestive system, such as a banana or energy bar. Over time, you will know for yourself what suits you best.
After a hearty meal, it is recommended to wait about 3 hours before running so that the food can be digested.
Many people start running to lose extra pounds.
Running burns calories, making you hungrier, which is why you will probably eat more than usual. Many are fooled by this feeling and think that they have burned a lot more calories than they ingested. However, many people gain weight, instead of losing it. Therefore, pay attention to how much you eat.
12. Pay attention to hydration
Besides nutrition, hydration is also important. Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day as you will lose it through sweating during running.
When your body lacks fluid, you become increasingly slower.
Water is an important nutrient that is vital for optimal performance, resistance to injury, and maintenance of normal body temperature. It helps carry nutrients to your muscles and remove waste products from them.
In addition to fluid, you will lose a large number of electrolytes through sweating, so drink isotonic drinks during hot days or long workouts.
TipThe easiest way to check if you are dehydrated is by checking the color of your urine. The brighter the color of your urine is, the better hydrated you are. On the other hand, a darker color indicates dehydration.
13. Warm-up before each workout
A proper warm-up will prepare your body for training and thus reduce the risk of injury.
14. Don’t forget to cool down after your workout
After each run, cool down by jogging or walking and doing static stretching exercises.
Unlike warming up, the goal of a cooldown is just the opposite. You are trying to reduce your body temperature, that is, to bring the body to the state in which it was before running.
Cooldown after a workout speeds up your recovery and makes you better prepared for your next workout.
15. Keep a running log
Write your completed workouts in the running log. Describe how you felt before, during, and after your workout. Make a note of which workouts were easy for you and which were too difficult.
With the help of a running log, you will find it easier to track your progress and review your goals and see if you are on the right track.
TipIn addition to being able to track your progress, a running log allows you to maintain your motivation. If training becomes too hard for you, you will be able to check your earlier notes and remind yourself of the progress you have made since you started training.
16. Be consistent
Continuity is important if you want to progress in training. Just as the absence of one workout will not set you back, one training session will not be enough for you to progress.
Be patient, nothing comes overnight.
17. Listen to your body
We are all different. Listen to your body and react to the signals it sends you.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Focus on yourself and your capabilities.
18. Connect with other runners
One of the best ways to maintain motivation is to run with other runners.
Connect with other runners either virtually or, even better, live. That way, you will have the support of people who understand you and you will be able to share experiences with each other.
For example, if you agree to do a workout with a friend, you are less likely to cancel the workout, regardless of your lack of motivation.
Also, running in a group of runners who have the same level of fitness as you will keep you motivated and help you when it becomes difficult.
19. Enjoy running
Lastly, regardless of how crazy it sounds, enjoy running. With a smart approach to training, that is possible.
Gradually increase the loads, do not bother with running pace, and pay attention to adequate recovery. In time, the results will come on their own.
Hi, I’m Matea! I’m an Olympic Marathon Runner, founder, and writer behind OLYRUN.com. On this site, I provide help in the form of my knowledge and experience to all who love running and active living. Read more…