Top 10 tips for beginner runners
Looking to start running or maybe you fell off and are aiming to start again? Here are 10 tips to help you along the journey.
Looking to start running or maybe you fell off and want to start again? Running is hard in the beginning especially if you’re not used to it, your body is going to go through some suffering in the beginning. Even professional runners will have their ups and downs, and different phases of your life may hinder you from continuing, making it harder to start again.
If you’re a newbie or getting started all over again, here are 10 tips to help you along the journey.
Tip number one - Start slow
This might sound pretty obvious, but you wouldn’t believe how many people try to hit the ground running and start doing 5 miles per day in the first week. Obviously, they aren't able to do it and might actually hurt themselves. Don’t do that! Keep a slow pace and grow throughout the weeks. That goes for both speed and distance. Try to start with half a mile and some walking to get your body used to the impact and the motion.
It’s ok to start slow. Don’t try to go on a full sprint, because it is harmful. Remember: if you’re too tired, it is ok to walk. Routine is better than speed! As much as I love running long distances, that wasn’t always the case. Respect your limits and you’ll have better results in the long run.
Tip number two - Choose a great playlist!
Everything is better with good music and you can choose any genre, on one of the many digital music streaming services. They’ll have just the right beats per minute, and those steady bpm’s to help you to keep your pace. There are a lot of lists that you can select from to match your vibe and give you a boost to make sure you have a great time.
They also squeeze some faster songs in there and before you realize it, your mile time has gone naturally down, without much effort.
Tip number three - Don’t forget your arms
This is something that you should pay attention to, getting your mind to focus on your arms may help you “trick” your brain and feel a little less tired. If you focus only on your legs, you are going to notice how tired you are, which will ultimately lead you to stop running.
Switch the perspective! Focus on your arms, keep them moving and you will notice it helps a lot. It also helps with balance and performance. If you want to speed up, start with your arm movements and your whole body is going to follow up. It sounds silly, but it works and makes a huge difference!
Tip number four - Breath!
Again, it seems obvious but many people forget all about it. Breathing is paramount when you’re running! Pairing the breathing with your steps will make your run smoother and easier than if you’re huffing and puffing with an unsteady breath.
Make sure you get a pace where your breath can follows your inhales and exhales, matching the beat of breath and steps.
Tip number five - Good running shoes
They make a difference, both on your performance and on your health. Cheap shoes, or shoes that are not made for running can harm your health and your pace. Some stores may help you measure your feet and see the way you place your weight to help you choose the best pair of sneakers.
A good pair of shoes protect the arches of your feet and even your backbone. A bad pace will harm your whole body. Pay attention to your clothes as well, especially if your thighs rubbing together. That can make your skin sore… A high-waisted tight workout pants will help to keep everything in the right place, but you should choose what fits best for you.
If you have bigger breasts, you’re probably going to need a good sports bra to keep them in place. You can’t go without them, it will be a lot harder and more painful if you don’t have a good supportive sports bra. Or you can wear both a regular bra and a sports bra, if you don’t want to invest in a better one.
Tip number six - Get a running buddy
Have someone to work out with have a lot of benefits, it holds you accountable and make the runs more enjoyable, also it is a lot safer, especially if you are female and you live in a big city. Even a small run may be a little dangerous nowadays. Having a running partner is super awesome and motivating, so you guys can keep each other up to date.
You’ll find that if you have a running mate, you’re less likely to flunk the runs and quit the habit. Keeping someone else motivated also helps you become more motivated, and vice-versa.
Tip number seven - Be consistent
I know it sounds like a no brainer, but it makes a huge difference. It is better to run three times a week with consistency, than four times without consistency. Be it once or twice a week, stay consistent because you’re body is going to get use to it and will start craving those runs sooner than if you are not consistent, making the habit a lot easier.
When you fall out of your routine, it is often times harder to go back. Don’t let that happen. If you’re really, really tired try running slower or less miles, but don’t flunk.
Tip number eight - Resting is important!
Resting is not important, it is super important! As a runner, you want your body to recover properly to prevent yourself from getting hurt. Not only due to the pain, but if you hurt yourself, you’re going to have a bad time when you need to catch up with the time you lost when you were recovering.
Take care of your bones and joints. It is the same with consistency. If you are consistent and rest properly, it gets easier over time, otherwise it will get harder and harder due to your body feeling overworked.
Tip number nine - Switch it up
Switching the locations can make you feel more adventurous and less bored. A new scenery takes the focus from being tired to seize the moment and is way more enjoyable! Sometimes you can take a drive to scout other places to run. Also when you go on a trip or vacation, it can be deliciously invigorating to take a run in that new environment.
It is also safer to switch routes, to prevent stalkers. You can switch the distances, making an extra mile a day or stepping up your pace on the other day. Practice your speed and sprints. Changing your pace helps to develop your cardio capacity. If you’re a treadmill runner, you can switch the speed or the inclination. Maybe even the music or the treadmill, if you’re using the same treadmill every day.
Tip number 10 - Pick the right time and place
If you are a treadmill runner, this won’t apply to you. But if you are a roadrunner, be sure to avoid rush hours if there is pollution. Early in the morning or right before the sunset is great, but if you run in the middle of the day, you are going to get all the heat. That could be good in the winter, but not in the summer, as you risk becoming dehydrated easily, which can make you drop your performance or even harm yourself.
Night runs are awesome, but they can be dangerous depending on where you are, so the place is also important. If you pick the wrong place for your first run, like places with a lot of hills and inclination, you are going to get too tired and it won’t be a good experience. Running in the woods or in the canyons is not advised for beginners because an uneven floor might make you stumble and trip. An ankle twist or a nasty fall can get you out of business for a few weeks, so choose wisely.
I hope these tips will help you out! They sure helped me when I started, and they helped a lot of people I know to get into this beautiful and healthy habit of running.