Beginner’s guide to running
While simple at its core, beginning a running program does take a bit of forethought and planning. Sure you can absolutely just walk outside your front door and get started, but to keep you going long-term it’s good to keep a few things in mind. Below you will find a printable version of the beginner’s guide to running infographic.
Here are just a few tips to keep in mind as a beginning runner.
- Have the right gear. Make sure the clothing you are planning to wear is appropriate for the weather. Lightweight, breathable, synthetic, and moisture-wicking are important year-round. Don’t overdress for any season as your body will heat up, but right now in summer, it is very important to keep your cool as long as possible. Wear what you feel comfortable in. Avoid cotton as it will weigh you down and possibly cause chafing or blisters. Local running stores offer free gait analysis and shoe fittings, and those are highly suggested. If you can’t get to your local running store right now, make sure to have good stable, well-cushioned athletic shoes. Also for us ladies, it is very important, to have a secure and supportive sports bra. If you are running in the dark, please invest in highly-reflective apparel or my all-time nighttime running accessory, the Noxgear 360 LED running vest.
- Obey traffic laws. Always use a sidewalk when it is available and run or walk on the side of the road that lets you see the oncoming traffic. Avoid running or walking on the shoulder of the road. Stop at traffic lights and signs. Basically, use the rule of thumb that people don’t see you and it is up to you to make sure you make it back home safely. In this day and age with distracted drivers, it is incredibly important that you adhere to all of the traffic laws to ensure your safety.
- Always warm-up and cool-down. Promise not to hold it against me? I used to skip this every single time I went out for a run. But then I learned that a good ole-fashioned brisk walk before and after a run can reduce my chances of injury. Plus I learned to enjoy the warm-up as a time to set my intention for the run with positive mantras and to use the cool-down as a way to mentally transition for my day. Don’t skip out on these. If nothing else think of it as an extra few minutes that you are dedicating to your fitness.
- Measure by time. This is the best way to structure your running/walking work-out and to measure your progress. Use the clock as a way to measure the amount of time you dedicated to running/walking. Eventually, you’ll start to see that you can get a bit further during that same unit of time. Ease into running with run/walk intervals. Eventually, as you build your endurance and stamina you’ll be able to reduce the walking interval. There are several apps that you can download to use or buy an interval timer.
- Hydrate. This is another vital component to running well year-round, but absolutely essential to be properly hydrated during summer. Drink water throughout the day. For shorter runs, you may not need to take water with you but use your discretion. If you are not used to humid, hot summer activity it is wise to take something along to have with you just in case. The very important thing to remember is don’t skip electrolytes. One of my favorite electrolyte replacement drinks is Skratch, but if you have a favorite stick to it.
- Listen to your body. Running may be uncomfortable at first, but it should not be painful. If something hurts or you feel pain, STOP immediately. Either walk back home or if walking also causes pain, call someone to come get you. If you want to pursue running as a long-term endeavor, then pushing to the brink of injury is not the way to do it. As a new runner, consider skipping headphones so that you can really tune in to your body cues. If you must wear headphones, try to only wear one earbud so that you can still pay attention to your surroundings.
If you are looking for accountability, more support, and a customized running or walking program reach out to me.