Running can be a difficult exercise to get into the habit of doing on a regular basis. However, with all its benefits, the effort is well worth the reward. Luckily, how to start running doesn't have to be such a challenge. We've put together some useful tips to help you get into the healthy habit of running.
Tips for Running Beginners
Many people who start running think they will be able to run five miles in a short amount of time with no problem, but once they get going, they realize it's not as easy as it sounds. It is important to have realistic expectations when you first start running and to remember the more you stick with it, the more you will improve.
Invest in your shoes
Start with walking
You might be eager to start running as fast as you can, but if you are not used to running, this can really hinder your capabilities. As a
Warm up but don't stretch
Most everyone will tell you to make sure you stretch before you go out for your run but this can increase your chance of injury. How to start running doesn't mean to just hit the pavement, you should warm your muscles up with various types of exercise before beginning to run, instead of doing static stretches.
Don't overexert yourself
Pushing yourself too much when you are first starting out will only lead to injury and can discourage you from sticking with your running routine. When you start off running, you want to keep your discomfort down as you run and the general rule of thumb is that you should be able to hold a conversation while running.
Don't run every day
As a beginner, you might be setting a goal to run five or six
Slowly add on
One of the worst things you can do is to attempt to add more mileage, training or go faster than you are ready for. You want to slowly challenge yourself with your running routine. After you have run a few times, add strides at the end of your run where you sprint for about a minute rest and sprint again. Repeat these strides five times and after a few weeks, add another. Adding a strength training workout in your week will help you build muscles, which will help with speed. Do 20 minutes of strength training after your run. Do add on more miles until after you have run for at least 6 weeks.
There's an app
How to start running should involve keeping track of your progress so you don't get discouraged. One of the best ways you can track your progress is by using an app to help log your runs. You can keep specific notes in some of the running apps available that will allow you to note how you felt, what you ate, the weather and more on the days of your run. This can help you determine what effects your running and what you want to improve. It is also a great way to celebrate the small successes you achieve as you continue to run and create
Listen to your body
While some muscle soreness and body aches can be expected when you first start out, ignoring the pain signals your body sends can put you at risk for serious injury. If you have pains that are persistent or become worse as you walk or go about your daily activity, you'll want to take a rest day. If you notice you have pains only on one side of the body, this can be a good indication of injury and you want to see a sports medicine doctor to learn about how you can properly heal.
When you first start out, you don't have to have perfect form when running but you do need to be comfortable while you run. It is best to start off with shorter strides with the elbows at a
Adjust your diet
It is important to be aware of your calorie intake when you begin running. How to start running isn't just about tying up your running shoes, you want to ensure you are keeping your body energize and fuel to recover from your running. Each meal should consist of lean protein or healthy unsaturated fats, vegetables, fruits, whole grains or complex carbs that are healthy. Avoid foods that will only make you feel lethargic or sluggish.
Don't forget to rest
When you are just starting out running, you want to make sure you rest the day after your run. This will help your body recover better and you will improve your endurance more without getting discouraged. When you are out on your run, it can be tempting to skip your walk periods during your run, but this will only lead to you becoming tired more quickly which can have a negative effect on the goals you set for that day. Resting is just as important as the actual running.