Running for Beginners: Top 10 Running Tips
If you are thinking of an effective yet simple physical activity to compensate for your lack of movement due to various factors, such as having a tight schedule and not having enough time, try running for beginners. To help you consider, you should learn that running can do the following: 1) it improves your overall health not just by enhancing your cardiovascular functioning but boosting your immune system as well; 2) it’s a good way to lose weight; 3) it is a great stress reliever by keeping your focus; and 4) it enhances your psychological well-being including your confidence and mood, enough to fight off depression and other mental issues. There are obviously more. But this sure is enough to push you through.
Now since you’re still beginning, here are some tips to better prepare you. Of course, you cannot just easily start off like it’s as simple as taking a walk in the park. It needs earnest preparation as with all other forms of exercise. If you’re already starting, then maintaining it would be an issue too. You’re basically incorporating a new habit in your daily schedule that is already set so discipline is a must. Finally, bearing a healthy mindset will almost certainly do the trick.
Things to Remember When It Comes to Running for Beginners
Running Tips for Beginners – Wear Proper Running Shoes
While it may seem absurd, it is imperative not to take on a proper run wearing only slippers, much more on barefoot. Obviously, having a good pair of shoes or running sneakers is seriously essential. From road shoes that are good in pavements to lightweight racing shoes which are best for an uneven trail, or even hybrid running shoes for a combination of different terrains, there are plenty of options to cater your specific needs. If you’re still uncertain, better find a local running shop and get help from experts using gait analysis and some professional advice. Money may seem an issue at first since good running shoes are pretty expensive but there really is no regret when making a good investment.
Running Tips for Beginners – Run on the Right Surface
Running for beginners should include a mixture of various surfaces to engage muscles even more so, make them stronger, and prevent injury. Having a good form and being a very light runner who aims for fast running will make pavement perfect for you since it does not cushion your every step. There’s no risk of turning your ankle too. If you want to cushion instead, a forest or park is ideal, though you’ll be more prone to injuries due to a lot of rocks and an uneven surface. A tartan or synthetic athletic track that stays good whatever is the weather is yielding but stresses the Achilles tendon all the more. A sandy surface meanwhile will make you lift your feet (which means a risk of overworking the calf muscles) and train your muscles. There is always a place for everything. But combining them will do the trick.
Running Tips for Beginners – Do Warm-Ups and Proper Stretching
As is the case with other forms of exercise, doing warm-ups and proper stretching is especially vital when it comes to running for beginners. Warming up is like telling your muscles and the whole body that you are about to take on a more strenuous activity. By gradually increasing your heart rate, you are preparing your heart and lungs to adjust properly to the ensuing demands. Most importantly, it helps you prevent any injuries after the physical movements. A good start would be to walk for about five minutes and then increase your speed to a jog for several more minutes. Repeat these steps when cooling down, that is, from running to jogging to walking. You can also try some dynamic stretches such as an arm and shoulder roll. Remember to maintain a proper body form such as keeping your posture straight. Top 10 Warm Up Exercises
Running Tips for Beginners – Do Not Rush!
It’s normal to dream of being able to achieve so many for a short time. But this shouldn’t be your mindset. For example, you can start with a Walk/Run program that involves mixing together periods of walking and expanded periods of running. This entails breaking each running session into intervals that is short and easy at the start. It also basically means you should not run too much and too soon since you still don’t have the stamina and physical fitness to do so. Do otherwise and you’ll end up in pain, frustration, and even injuries. You should also limit your distance at first, probably half or a quarter of a mile or even just a several hundred feet. You’ll slowly get better over time. Also, take a break every now and then. Remember that you’re not superman and your body demands time to recover (see item no. 8).
Running Tips for Beginners – Focus on Proper Breathing
Yes, proper breathing is necessary when it comes to running for beginners; even for the well experienced. And yes, it doesn’t just entail the usual breathing practices we do during any normal activities. The ultimate goal here is to get enough oxygen to your muscles and to the whole body while running and make the most efficient way of doing so. How? Simply breathe deeply through your mouth and focus on a long and steady breath. When breathing seems to feel like an ordeal for you though, try to slow down. Now, how about preventing the very common side stitch—the stabbing pain we feel under the lower edge of the ribcage? Just change your running gait by breathing in and out in sync with your left foot hitting the ground.
Running Tips for Beginners – Listen to Your Body
Before, during, and after running, it is crucially important to listen to your body. We’re not talking about muscle pains and simple exhaustion here since it’s basically part of the activity; we’re talking about the chest, back, or leg pain, and some dizziness that seems unnecessary especially after the exercise. What’s worse is when you are already experiencing it and still go on. It is only through experience that you’ll eventually get the hang of reading your own body signals and learning when to stop. When the whole thing seems to worsen though, consult your physician. In general, always remember to take care of your body. This involves a healthy diet to accompany your physical activities and knowing your limits. There’s no use exercising to be healthy when you’re weak, to begin with.
Running Tips for Beginners – Setting Goals and Making a Schedule
Making running a regular habit is not easily done by casually picking any day to run; it involves making a schedule and disciplining yourself to stick to it. Now maintaining it would be easier said than done, especially when you’re still starting. So make sure you set your goals, making it S.M.A.R.T., that is, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Tangible. Keeping these goals always in mind will help you stay motivated. And of course, rewarding yourself for every achievement will inspire you more to keep up the great work. This makes keeping a running log essentially needed to track every progress you make, as well as the possible improvements you might need to do.
Running Tips for Beginners – Don’t Make it an Everyday Habit
One of the most common thinking when it comes to running for beginners is that you should run each day. This is actually not advisable according to running and medical experts. This is because when you make it a habit every single day, you are preventing your body to have its recovery and thus, you are not allowing yourself to become stronger the next time you run. Naturally, taking a rest makes your muscles recover from the stress and exhaustion the activity has brought to it. So know when to take a pause from running. Yes, it is important to discipline yourself on your schedule. But that doesn’t involve risking yourself to injuries. Running at least 3 to 4 days per week is good enough. You can even visit your massage therapist for relaxation during your rest day.
Running Tips for Beginners – Do Cross Training
You cannot expect to stay fit just by running all the time. Try cross training. Essentially, it refers to incorporating other types of exercises to your routine, preferably on the day you are not running because, as aforesaid, it’s not healthy to run every single day. Some find yoga as a great addition. Not only does it strengthen your muscle flexibility and help you focus on your breathing, it is also a great way to prevent injuries in the future. You could also perform other cardiovascular activities like swimming, biking, or if you are a nature lover, hiking, and even strength training or doing workouts. All in all, cross training will train the other muscle groups in your body while allowing your running muscles to take its break. Also, adding some variety to your regimen helps keep things away from boredom.
Running Tips for Beginners – Maintain a Healthy Way of Thinking
To discipline yourself in maintaining running and other forms of exercise, treat it as one of your passions. Try becoming a relatively obsessed running enthusiast. Surround yourself with anything that is associated with the exercise. That means joining other runners or having a running buddy to make it more fun. This also means avoiding comparison. Do not ever compare yourself with other runners, especially when you’re a beginner. Remember that everything takes time and so is your running. Your aim here is not to run fast but to run far and good. So keep on practicing and make them instead of your inspiration. Which lastly means that above all else, enjoy every experience like you’re trying it for the first time.