running tips for beginners
So I’ve shared alot of different running tips on here before, including marathon training, half marathon training, tips for staying motivated, race day favorites, etc. But, I get a lot of questions about running tips for beginners – where to start, how to learn to love it, etc. So, I think this process is probably different for everyone…but today I thought it might be helpful if I share a few basic running tips for beginners! Because you’ve gotta start somewhere!I get asked alot if I’ve always been a runner or how long it took me to build up my endurance. I started running consistently about 7 or 8 years ago. So, no I haven’t always been a runner! I grew up in a family of runners (my mom has run a full marathon and several halves, my sister has run a full marathon, and my little brother is just a running fiend). So, running was always a part of our family life…but growing up, I was kind of the “non runner” of the family, believe it or not haha. I cheered and did tumbling, so that was my way of staying active.Once I got to college though I quickly figured out I needed a new way to stay active, since I wasn’t cheering anymore. I liked the idea of running (being outside, music, clearing my head), but literally hated it! I felt like I was going to puke after 1 mile (or less!). So, I started small (literally with like half a mile) and built from there. And my advice for any new runners would be the same – start small and be consistent with it! But, now that I’ve shared a little bit about my running story, I’ll share some more practical + detailed tips with you guys!First of all – you need the right running shoe. Having the right running shoe for you is CRUCIAL. If you don’t have the right shoes, you will be uncomfortable and much more prone to injury. I love the ASICS Gel Kayano and the ASICS Dynaflyte and the Nikes I’m wearing in this post. But, every runner is different and needs different things from a shoe. I’m a neutral runner (meaning, I don’t really pronate or supinate), and don’t need a ton of support. So, these shoes work great for me. I recommend going to Run On or Luke’s Locker (or any running store), to have them recommend a shoe for you personally!
My next piece of advice for beginner runners out there is to get some type of fitness watch or app to track your runs and your progress. I have the Apple Watch (series 3) and absolutely love it. I wear it every single day. But, the Fitbit is also great, or the Garmin. Or if you’re not ready to invest in a fitness watch, there are so many great running apps out there to help you track your distance and your progress – “runkeeper” and “map my run” are two of my favorites!
So now that you have the right shoes and the right app or watch…let’s talk about actually running haha. Having some type of plan or program can be really helpful. I know alot of people that love the “couch to 5k” app because it gives you a plan on how much to run, where to start, etc. I’d recommend looking into that, or just looking up a “5k running plan”. [Even if you’re not planning on running an actual race, these plans can still help give you an idea of how many miles to run or how to start!].
Once you find a plan…don’t be intimidated when you see on day 1 you’re supposed to run 1 mile. I recommend making the distance your goal, but you don’t have to run that whole time! Do your best – push your body. See how far you can go before you just want to die haha. Do a mix of walking and running if you need to, but make sure you hit that distance goal of 1 mile, or whatever it is. You’ll see that if you are consistent with running, soon you will be running the entire mile without stopping once, and then you can build from there. But, don’t feel like in order to “be a runner” you have to run the entire time. There’s nothing wrong with walking / running, especially if you are just starting!
If you’ve never really run before…be prepared to be sore. Your legs will feel like “what are you doing to me?!”. To help with soreness, make sure you stretch after every run, or roll your muscles out with a foam roller. And if you’re just now beginning to run, do not run every single day. That’s how you’ll get shin splints or knee issues, etc. If you are new to running, I’d suggest running 3 days a week. On other days, do some type of cross training (either cycling for cardio, or strength training with weights).
After you’ve been running for a month or so (really, once your body feels more adjusted to it), you can build up how many days a week you’re running. But, don’t build up too fast or you will definitely risk getting injured!
Lastly, never underestimate the power of good running jams! Y’all can find me on spotify (laurenkaysims), to see my running playlist. I’m so motivated by music and makes running so much more fun for me!
I also want to add that even if you follow all of these running tips for beginners…you might still not like running haha. Not everyone loves to run and that’s okay! What’s important is that you find an activity or something that gets your heart rate up that you enjoy. Maybe it’s running, maybe it’s spin class, maybe it’s hot yoga. I’ve tried to force Michael to run with me and he’s come a long way (he’s run two half marathons now!), but he still doesn’t necessarily love it haha.
But, if you are brand new to running I think it takes being consistent with it for at least 3 months before you really enjoy it. So, give yourself time!
Let me know if y’all have any questions about this in the comments below! Thanks for reading!