The Ultimate Beginner Running Tips
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With the new year just around the corner we all know what that means: New Year, New Me! The majority of you out there will be choose fitness as one of your new year resolutions and we know just the thing to get you ready!
Not only should you have the gear and equipment bought and sized so you can break into your new sneakers (yes, you should do that!), you should also be aware of so many new things you need to do before you throw yourself into the new, wonderful, overwhelming world of running!
First of all, make sure you aware: You are about to engage in a journey that might not be all that pleasant. Sure, the results of working out and physical fitness may persuade you past it all, but as a fellow runner, I can promise you this.
Once you pass over and push through all the beginning stages of joint pain, or blisters, or getting used to waking up in the morning or venturing out late after work, you will eventually arrive at the runner’s high. You will eventually arrive at the “oh-my-god-I-don’t-even-notice-I’m-running-feeling“.
You will arrive at it like a welcoming bliss, whether it’s after the fourth minute or the fourth run, or the forty-fourth run, you’ll get there and taste it and never want anything different.
So a warning before you embark on this journey: you can seriously get addicted. Though it’s not the worst thing in the world to be addicted to, it does have a hold on you.
Before you leave your doorstep unsure of what to wear or self-conscious of your spandex pants, here are a few tips, thoughts and tricks to lessen the pain and pressure of being a first-time runner:
10. Invest in some good sneakers.
No they don’t have to be top of the line Nike Frees with the smart chip located to track your miles (though those are really cool!), but make sure they fit comfortably on your feet because you will be spending a lot of time in them. This also goes for socks! Too short socks, or certain socks might mean a blister problem, and the worst thing that could happen is not being able to run even if you wanted to!
Even though you might stretch your dollar a bit, your feet will thank you (and your wallet) for it.
9. Get comfortable clothes.
We’ve all been there. We saw how cool the short purple tie-dye spandex looked on the runner in the advertisement and went out and bought them. “They’re light! They make running fashionable!” And we’re pretty sure that’s what we kept telling ourselves after the sixth minute in and pulling them down for the twenty-ninth time.
Go with the clothes that make YOU comfortable, whether it’s an oversized t-shirt from your dad’s football days and your youth soccer league shorts that still fit you or just a sports bra and sweat-proof shorts. The better you feel, the more pleasant of an experience your run will be.
8. Be patient.
Getting used to running or working out in general if you’ve never done it before, or if you haven’t done it in a while takes t-i-m-e. Give yourself a break if you don’t feel amazing during the run, or after. Sometimes we have to push through an invisible barrier at an uncomfortable place before we start feeling the effects of it.
But don’t give up! Even though in the end, yes, running might not be for you, we are sure that there is some other sport or workout routine out there that fits you perfectly!
7. Keep it consistent.
Though it might not be the best feeling at first. The habit of getting up and out there and pushing through those first few minutes will pay off, mentally and physiologically.
The consistency that you put your body through does all kinds of amazing things to kick start the fat-burning and endurance-building processes.
6. Give yourself a finish line.
Whether it’s a certain time or distance to get yourself to in your runs or it’s a charity race you want to be in shape to complete, having a goal to achieve makes pushing through more practical and possible.
If you are running for a special cause, it will get you out the door the days that you don’t think you can.
5. Prepare your body.
Foam roll, stretch, warm up, cool down. There are so many things you can do to get your body ready for a run or ready for the next run. Even if these activities seem time consuming, pointless, or even annoying, like some things in life, they are essential to keep your body healthy and at its best. The last thing you want is an injury.
4. Take breaks.
Know your body and listen to it! Especially since you are just getting into the rhythm, don’t go balls to the wall your first week in. Former athletes or coming back from working out a long time ago usually makes us think we can do what we did in the past right from the start.
Give yourself time to get back into it! Treat running like the shore at the beach. First you dip your toes in the water and walk (or run as fast as you can on the wet sand, which is usually not that fast at all), then you take the water bit by bit, ankles, knees, waist, chest.. Don’t plunge into it unless you want to feel some sort of discomfort!
3. Hydrate and fuel properly.
This is one of our top three tips. If you’re embarking on a weight-loss journey and running is the poison you picked, make sure you are getting in enough good calories and water to keep your body healthy and filled with enough energy to complete the workout.
2. Find a buddy, or some good music.
Running can be a great way to meet new people or help keep each other accountable on completing your workout for the day. It can also be a great time of solidarity and that runner’s high is a perfect state of mind to think about what truly matters.
Music or no music is also a preference but there are plenty of good playlists already available or make your own so you don’t have to worry about finding a song while you’re crossing a busy street on foot.
We will all have those days where we don’t want to, or the bed just feels too warm, where we will say in our mind “tomorrow”, and even write it on our calendar. DON’T DO IT. The first step is always the hardest. But the bravest, boldest and best thing you can do for yourself is just to come as you are. Even if you are running a 30-minute/mile jog, you are lapping that person on the couch and you are getting closer to your own goal more than if you would have stayed in bed.
Stop reading this and get out and run!