Here are a few excellent tips for brand new runners just in case you have recently joined the world of running! Many runners who are just starting out may not know too much about running and end up with painful or devastating injuries. These tips will help you get on track right away and know what is necessary and what is not! Please keep reading to learn my tips for brand new runners!
1. Always Stretch
Of all the tips for brand new runners, this one is certainly an important one! Proper stretching before and after a run helps eliminate a majority of the soreness, enables you to run the next day with more ease, and keeps your muscles flexible and loose! But the best thing it does for you is limit the possibility of injury due to improperly warmed up muscles.
2. Don’t Stress about Pace
When you first start running, it may seem like a big deal if you can’t pick up your pace as fast as you’d like. Don’t worry about it! Never compare yourself to other runners. You need to stay on target for YOUR body and ability! Go as slowly as you need to, and over time you will be able to pick up the pace!
3. Stay Hydrated
Drinking enough water will be more than important once you start running. Dehydration can set in faster than you realize once you start pumping up the cardio! Try to get your recommended 6-8 glasses per day, and remember that juice is good for replenishing electrolytes too!
4. Breathe with Your Nose and Mouth
Many new runners think that they can only breathe through their nose when running, because we often hear how that is the “proper” form to breathe while running. Only highly experienced and seasoned runners have perfected this skill, and that was only with intense training! New runners’ lungs will not have the capacity to breathe through the nose alone during a run. Use your nose and mouth, and don’t worry about it.
5. Don’t Buy Flashy Gear
We’re all tempted by the brightly colored running gear that the stores display, and every new gadget that comes out seems like it’s “necessary” to have. That’s not true! The only things you need right away are a good pair of shoes, a good bra, and water. As you get into the sport, you will gradually build your “supply” of running gear, but just know that most of the items offered to the running community today are either unnecessary or over-priced.
6. Use the Run/Walk Method
You may notice that even runners who have been at it for several years still employ this method. That’s because it works great for conditioning the lungs and training your muscles! It’s great for brand new runners, since it gives your lungs and muscles a break in between running. Don’t feel hesitant to try it, just set your own pace!
7. Build up Slowly
I must stress the importance of building up slowly. Most new runners set out to do too much too fast. On your second week of running, it’s not likely that you will be able to run 6 miles without hurting yourself badly. Set realistic goals, and build up to them!
8. Stay Safe
Here are a few safety rules that new runners should learn now and always keep in mind. Always tell someone where you are going. Try to run familiar paths, in well-lit conditions. If something feels sketchy, it probably is. Never run in unfavorable weather conditions. Stay away from animals that are wandering about. Take water with you always. Carry a phone if possible, or run in public areas in case you fall or need medical help. And always dress to suit the weather conditions!
9. Keep a Training Log
Keeping a training log is important because it will show you your own progress. If you feel like you just aren’t getting anywhere, or you’re at a standstill, look through your log and go back 6 weeks. Seeing your own progress will encourage you!
10. Have Rest Days
Rest days are extremely important. Your body needs time to rest and rebuild muscle. Ideally, you should take 1-2 days a week to rest. If you’re training for a marathon or some other event, take one day of rest per week, and then one other day for a light and easy workout.
11. Stay Motivated
No matter what, don’t give up! Stay motivated to run. Make it a daily habit. If you need some encouragement, ask a friend to keep you accountable. You don’t want to lose any progress! Just don’t run on your rest days.
12. Cross Train
You don’t need to run 5-7 days a week in order to be considered a runner. In fact, you only need to run 3-4 days max! The other 2-3 days you can mix up your workout. Do something else, like riding a bike or lifting weights. Other muscles in your body need to be worked out too!
The most important thing to remember if you’re a brand new runner is that you won’t see progress overnight. You will be sore for the first few days, even weeks! There will be days you want to give up. Just remember that you ARE making progress, and pretty soon it will all pay off. Health and fitness are important to make time for! I’d love to know, what are your tips for brand new runners?