Running is a great sport. All you need is a good pair of shoes and the great outdoors. However, it can be a little discouraging or intimidating for those new to the sport. Something to remember is that Rome was not built in a day neither were marathoners. It takes a patients and a good plan.
Here are some good running tips for new runners:
1. Warm up – This is key when beginning an activity such as running. To prevent injury, it is always better to warm up with a five minute walk before starting your workout. Please note: it is always recommended to be warmed up before stretching.
2. Don’t worry about pace – Many who are new to this sport start off running too fast. When this happens, one will not only get discouraged, but lose too much energy and burn out. Rule of thumb is to run slow enough that you can have a conversation. If you can’t, slow it down.
2. Don’t over do it – The one thing you don’t want to do while running is get an injury. Even though it may feel okay to go further on the first day, it doesn’t mean completing a mile or more is a great idea. Start with obtainable goals like running intervals (walk/run) for 30 minutes or running in small increments, such a 10 minutes. These goals will change over time and you will see your progression.
3. Download Run for God’s 5k Challenge app – This is a MUST for all new runners. This app is not your average couch to 5k app. It is a running app that will allow you to run an open run or a certain distance as well. The reason why this app is ideal for new runners is that it takes someone who has never run before to completing their first 5k (3.1 miles) realistically. Intervals is the method, learning to run 30 minutes without stopping is the goal. It is a 12-week training plan that is so obtainable. Try it out Here
4. Invest in good shoes – Just because your next door neighbor runs and wears a certain shoe doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the right shoe for you. If you invest and purchase a pair of shoe from a sporting goods store, you may end up spending more in the long run. For instance: I love a certain pair of shoes, but after a while of running, my knee started to ache. After heading to the running shoe store, I realized that that particular shoe was actually hindering me. If I invested earlier in the right shoe, I wouldn’t have had a new injury.
5. Run on different surfaces – I have learned a little later in my running career the value of this tip. Now I run on sidewalks, trails, roads, and the grass (which is great for strengthening your ankle muscles). The grass and trails are much softer and easy on your knees.
6. Take time to recover – I have a lot of running friends who are hard core who don’t appreciate the time to recover. No recovery time is a guarantee for injury. Once you get the hang of running, it’s easy to want to go for a run as much as you can. It is also important to take time off and recover because this is the time that the body adapts to the stress of exercise and the real training effect takes place. Recovery also allows the body to replenish energy stores and repair damaged tissues.
7. Going out the door is the hardest part – Running is 10% physical and 90% mental. Strange, but true. So getting out of the door is the toughest. Some tricks would be to leave your running shoes by the front door. Get up same time to run everyday
8. Find a great playlist -This is key! I use Apple Music and Pandora, so I can always change playlists and switch it up. Music is definitely a motivator. Just remember to be alert and aware of cars while running and wearing headphones.
9. It’s okay to take a break – This is something that some runners take personal. Again back to the mental aspect of running. It doesn’t mean you are less of a runner if you take breaks. Sometimes it is needed. There are times I stop to stretch while running the trails.
10. Enjoy the journey – This is honestly the best tip I can provide as a runner. Hal Higdon once said that it is not about the destination, but the journey. Seeing how God created our bodies for endurance is remarkable. Celebrate even the smallest accomplishments and the Friend’s you’ve met a long the way.
Tanna is a certified distance coach and is training for her 18th marathon in NYC this Nov. 2019. For questions or training, email firstname.lastname@example.org.