Whether you’re looking for a new routine or you’re trying to create a healthier lifestyle, running is a great option to consider. While running may seem as simple as walking out your front door and jumping headfirst into it, there are some tips that can make those beginning stages much easier and more enjoyable.
Run in Intervals
Though you might be dedicated to your solid 30 minute run only plan, it’s not very reasonable or healthy for people who are just starting out. Your muscles need time to adjust to the new stresses of running, so don’t be ashamed to run in intervals. Let your runs flow naturally and walk when you feel you need to, and run when you’re feeling up for it. A great strategy to use is the 2 minute walk/run interval. As your body adjusts, you can start increasing the amount of minutes you run until you’re running the entire interval.
Give your Body Time to Recover
Though your new found motivation may be pushing you to run every single day, you can’t forget to include rest days. Like anything new, it takes time to adjust and the same applies to your body when you start running. Take a day or days to recover before heading out on your next run. This decreases the risk of injury and will cut down on muscle soreness those first few weeks.
Choose the Right Running Shoes
This is an important factor that many people forget. While the walking shoes you bought five years ago may have served you well, they will no longer be your friend on runs. Investing in a nice pair of running shoes is worth it because they provide balance, support, and cushion as you go. These are important features because they make your foot fall steady and they relieve the joint impact you feel with each stride.
P.S. The socks you buy are important too. Choosing quality, non-cotton socks will keep your run much more comfortable, cut down on chafing, and help prevent blisters.
We’ve all been there. We set these lofty goals and feel let down when we don’t achieve them. That’s a sure fire way to zap the fun and motivation out of your running journey. Start small. Set goals that are achievable and realistic, then increase them as you improve. Most importantly, celebrate yourself when you do achieve those small goals. Championing yourself where you’re at instead of beating yourself up for not being where you want to be yet will make it easier to stick with running for the long haul.
It’s easy to look around you at all of the experienced runners and feel discouraged about where you are. Just remember, even those experienced runners with great times and who run every 5k advertised, began where you are. No one is exempt from being a beginner. Keep pushing and one day you’ll make it look as easy as they do.
Starting something new can feel overwhelming for anybody, but as long as you allow yourself to be a beginner and have the dedication to keep going, running can be a great experience!