Are you new to running and want to know the best tips for success? Read on to see how you can make more progress, faster, even though you’re new.
As a new runner, you might have questions about the best way to get started. With so much information on what to wear, how often you should run, the type of trainers you need and so much more it’s easy to get confused but don’t worry, because in this article, we’re going to outline the top tips that any new runner needs to be successful.
If you look at the wrong information you’d be fooled into thinking that it costs thousands to take up running. There’s new kit, fancy devices, and the latest shoes, but the truth is, running doesn’t cost anything. If you have some sneakers, a pair of shorts, and the right type of shirt, you’re ready to go.
Smartwatches, GPS devices, and the latest tech are all great, but when you’re just starting out. The only thing you really need to worry about or spend money on is getting a good pair of running shoes. It’s important to make sure that you’re running in a comfortable pair of shoes and not something that’s going to hurt your feet, put pressure on your knees, or generally cause you any pain.
It’s easy to watch a Rocky montage or see others running and think you’ll be fine.
Maybe you ran in the past or you consider yourself pretty fit, well, even so, you need to be realistic about what you’re letting yourself in for.
There’s a very good chance that your first few runs will be hard and leave you feeling rough, but that’s ok. Just like with any new activity or form of exercise the first few times are going to be difficult. You just need to prepare yourself for the fact that it might take a few weeks to get used to, but once you’re in the groove, it will get easier.
Run With Friends
One of the best ways to make running more fun and enjoyable is to run with others. If you have friends that are runners, going out with them could be a great way to start, if not, joining a running group is the next best thing. It’s a fantastic way to meet people from a range of different backgrounds that also enjoy running and you’ll find people of all ability levels. Some of whom may be new to running, just like you.
It’s understandable why some people are scared to join a group, especially when they’re new, because they think everyone will be better than them, but most groups are often full of friendly people who just want to let off some steam and run. Our advice is to try a few groups for yourself, and see which one feels right to you.
You’re Competing With Yourself
As a new runner, you’re going to experience different feelings. You might be new to exercise and looking for a way to get in shape or you might be fairly fit already and looking for a way to challenge yourself further. Either way, you need to focus on yourself and not on anyone else. There are a lot of new runners that try to keep up with more established runners, even though they can’t match their pace, which causes them to get discouraged and lose motivation. Our advice is to focus on you, even if that means you’re at the back of the pack or you have to walk for certain parts. By focusing on your own development and doing your best, you’re less likely to get discouraged or burn out too early.
Make a Plan for Progress
Having a plan is extremely important. As a beginner then having a set structure with the days that you run and the distances you’ll cover already laid out will help and as you become more advanced, having a plan will help you to make quick progress. You need to think about things like when you’ll run, how far you’ll run, and if you’re going to do long runs or try shorter interval sprints amongst other things. As you become more comfortable with your routine and how your body responds you can then start looking at bigger goals such as running a race or completing a large event but the important thing is to be clear about what’s up ahead. Having a plan doesn’t mean making things so rigid you can’t exist outside of them, it simply means getting everything in place to help you be successful.
Don’t Forget About Other Forms of Exercise
The best thing you can do as a runner is to make sure you don’t forget about other forms of exercise, even if you get to a more competitive level. Running has obvious benefits, but you need to make sure you do other activities to supplement your training, improve your conditioning, and ease the pressure on your body. That’s why you should also consider lifting weights, going cycling, and doing some type of yoga or Pilates. While some runners believe this will negatively impact their running ability the truth is that by lifting weights you will strengthen your body and develop stronger muscles to help you run faster. By cycling you’re able to stay on top of your conditioning, without putting your joints through the type of stress that pounding a pavement would, and by doing yoga or Pilates, you can make sure your muscles are recovering properly, reducing the risk of you getting injured.
If you want to be an effective runner that is able to continue running without causing stress or damage to the muscles and joints, then adding in other forms of exercise can help.
You might be running as a way to get out of the house, de-stress and enjoy some alone time, you may be doing it to help you do some form of exercise (because you know you should), or you might have taken up running because you know how effective it is to help you lose weight. Either way, it’ll be much easier to achieve your goals if you pay attention to what you eat.
Whether you’re trying to get the right fuel before you go for a run or you want to get your calorie balance just right to help you lose weight, what you eat is important.
Despite what you may have heard, you can’t outrun a bad diet, and just because you’ve taken up running it doesn’t mean you can eat what you want. By focusing on your nutrition you can help other aspects of your life, including your performance, body weight, energy levels, and mood.
Listen to Your Body
You must listen to your body and pay attention to what it’s telling you. As a new runner, it may take some time to figure out what your body is trying to say but once you’ve got more experience you’ll know how to follow the signs. It’s important that you don’t overdo it or try to do too much too soon and you also want to make sure you don’t try to run through any injuries in the hope of getting better performance. No pain no game is a catchy slogan, but it’s also not true. Often, if there’s pain, you’re doing something wrong and should stop.
As a new runner, there’s a lot of conflicting information out there but hopefully, you feel more confident after reading this article. One of the main points that many new runners are relieved to hear is that no, you don’t need to spend a fortune before you even make it outside.
It’s also good to know how welcoming running clubs can be and that for many people, it’s a great way to make new friends. Overall it’s worth remembering that when you start running you might be told different things by different people, some of whom are far more advanced than you and use tactics, tech, and training methods that you aren’t quite ready for. But you just need to do what’s right for you. Focus on doing your best and beating your performance and you’ll be making progress in no time at all.