The ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said that even the longest journeys start with the smallest of steps. He was right, both figuratively and literally, and the experience of learning to run is one of the few times when his words ring truer than ever before in both senses of the phrase.
If you keep at it, you will get to where you want to be, whether that is healthier, happier, the proud owner of a race medal, or any combination of goals. The road may be long and it may be tough, but if you stick with it, you will get to where you want to be.
Whatever your initial reason was for lacing up those running shoes, it won’t be long until you’re having fun, becoming healthy, and able to confidently shift your attention to any goals you want to pursue next.
You will discover here a variety of alternatives that you may choose from to create a beginner running plan that is tailored to your specific needs, abilities, and goals. All that is required is a robust mind and the determination to get one’s body in motion.
Are you prepared to make running a part of your life? Check out some of our advice for beginning runners below to get you started on the right foot.
1. Determine Routes That Are Free Of Hazards And Traffic.
Find routes that are risk-free, devoid of traffic, and suitable for frequent use in any and all kinds of climatic circumstances. If there is no footpath and you are jogging on the road, you should go against the traffic. The only exception to this rule is if you are approaching a blind turn, in which case you should switch sides and stay there until it is safe to cross again. It is important to avoid injuring yourself while running on a treadmill that you should ensure you are going slow enough to run normally and not hold the handrails.
2. You Can Go For A Run Whenever Of The Day Works Best For You.
Simply said, you should schedule your runs during the times of day when you are most likely to complete the task. A good number of runners believe that it is more convenient to complete their workout first thing in the morning. Find a regular time that works better for you if that doesn’t fit into your daily plan, but if it does, stick to it. The next step is to save this time slot for running, which is the most essential step of all. Remember to bring all of your necessary equipment, stay focused, and resist the urge to make excuses (they can be very easy to find).
3. Begin Each Of Your Runs At A Slow Stage.
Always go into your runs with the mindset that you are going to have a strong finish. This will help you perform better. Start out gently to warm up, and then gradually increase the rate at which your heart is beating while you continue to run for whatever distance you intend to cover.
4….And Make Sure The Tempo Is Nice And Under Control At All Times.
If you still have enough air in your lungs to sing while you’re exercising, you’re definitely moving too slowly. If you are getting out of breath easily, you are moving at a pace that is too rapid. It’s a good rule of thumb to be able to carry on a conversation, so be sure you can do that. You’ll need to adjust your pace in order to maintain the appropriate amount of exertion.
5. Run Slowly On Hills.
It doesn’t matter what level you are at; hills are always a challenge, and you shouldn’t feel awful about taking it easy while climbing them. When climbing and descending hills, the key to success is to concentrate on sustaining an even effort rather than trying to increase your speed. If you discover that you are struggling for breath, you should either slow down or take a break to walk about.
6. Taking Walk Breaks Is Not Considered Cheating.
Many beginning runners would benefit from taking walk breaks throughout their runs. They prevent muscular exhaustion and postpone the depletion of your glycogen stores, which is your primary source of energy when running. As a result, you are able to run for a longer period of time overall than you would have been able to if you had run continuously. However, if you don’t feel like you need to take walk breaks while you’re running, you don’t have to do so, and the number of walk breaks you take will automatically decrease as your running ability grows.
7. It Does Not Make A Difference How Far You Want To Go.
When you are first getting started, the number of miles you travel should not be a concern of yours. The first thing that has to be done is to establish a routine for physical activity and work on improving one’s general level of fitness. In addition to this, you will reap the benefits to your health that come from continually boosting your heart rate over an extended period of time. Therefore, the first step is to just go outside on a regular basis. When you have a bit more experience and self-assurance, you may want to think about making an investment in some apparatus that can record your distances.
8. At First, You Shouldn’t Make Running A Daily Habit.
It is essential that you give your body time to recover after each run in order to ensure that it can adjust to the new demands that the training schedule places on it. Your goal should be to run three to five times per week.
9. If You’re Having Trouble, Go At A More Leisurely Pace.
It is very usual for runners to get tense when the effort feels like it is going to be difficult. When anything like this occurs, it is helpful to relax your hands, unwrinkle your forehead, and release any tension in your jaw. If you’re still having trouble, you should try going more slowly. When your runs begin to extend beyond the hour mark, only then should you start to be concerned about taking on additional fuel.
10. If You Have To Skip A Day, That’s Okay.
If you go behind on your beginner running schedule and miss a day, all you have to do is pick up where you left off and try not to beat yourself up over it. Even if you’ve had to skip multiple training runs, it’s unlikely that you’ve lost as much fitness as you believe you have. It is imperative that you do not allow this setback to throw you off track; simply get back on track by going for a run. Think of your running as a long-term project, and place the run or runs that you did not complete in the context of the hundreds of runs that you will complete in the years to come. There is a sufficient amount of time.
11. It Is Normal To Feel A Little Bit Achy.
It is likely that you are experiencing delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), which is normal as your body adjusts to the demands that exercise places on it. Symptoms of DOMS include pain that is widespread across the muscles that you have worked, pain that is present on both sides, and pain that lessens as you move more. If you have pain on one side that is localized to one region, like the knee, and it aches worse when you move, this is definitely an early sign that you have injured yourself. If this is the case, you need to see a physical therapist as soon as possible.
12. Be Sure To Warm Up And Stretch Before Each Workout.
Stretches that increase your range of motion before you run, such high knees, heel flicks, and side-stepping, are highly effective at preparing your body for the special demands that running places on it. Restoring the length of your muscles, speeding up your recovery, and lowering your chance of injury can all be accomplished by performing additional static stretches after your run and holding each stretch for 45 to 60 seconds.
13. Get Some Decent Running Shoes For Your Running Workout.
You won’t need anything fancier than a pair of regular trainers for the first few runs you go on. On the other hand, if you try running and find that you enjoy it (and believe us when we say that you will), you should consider purchasing a pair of specialized running shoes. These shoes will offer more cushioning and support, which will make running more comfortable while also significantly lowering the risk of injury.
It is recommended that you go to a store that specializes in running, such as Runner’s Need, to have your gait analyzed. This will determine how and where you land when you run, as well as any misalignments in your ankles or knees. A professional will analyze your running style by filming you while you are running on a treadmill. This will help them select the type of shoe that is most appropriate for you to wear.