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The 18 Most Important Beginner Running Tips - All You Need To Start Running

You have decided to start running. Good for you!
Follow my beginner running tips and you are off with a running start!

Before we get into it, please find below links to the other pages in this section:

beginner running programs beginners running program 1 beginners running program 2
beginners running program 3 running for weight loss beginner jogging
walking vs running benefits of running running and weight loss
beginner half marathon training how to start running running for fitness

Beginner Running Tip 1 : It is Never Too Late to Start Running

Whatever your age: exercise is good for you. Regular exercise gives you the following benefits:

  • You will have more energy

  • You will decrease your chances of getting a heart disease

  • You will decrease your chances of getting cancer

  • You will sleep better and feel more rested

  • You will lose weight

  • And the list does not stop there! So put on those running shoes and your running clothing and go for it!

    By the way, ever checked the number of so called veterans in race results? The vast majority of the running pack consists of people aged 35 and older. It is never too late to start running!

    running quote

    Beginner Running Tip 2 : Visit a Physician

    Before you start your running program, pay a visit to your physician. This is always a good idea, but especially in case of the following conditions:

    Beginner Running Tips Marathon GPH
  • Overweight

  • Heart problems

  • Completely untrained

  • Breathing problems

  • Chronic fatigue

  • Age over forty

  • Hey, better safe than sorry !

    Beginner Running Tip 3 : Use a Running Program

    I have developed running schedules especially aimed at beginners. These beginner running programs will accomplish many things for you. They will:

  • Increase your fitness

  • Help you lose weight

  • Give you a slow and sound build-up thereby reducing the risk of injuries

  • Too many beginning runners do too much running too soon and stop within weeks because of injuries. Not you though!

    ... Really Done Wonders for my Health, Stamina and Self-Confidence...

    "Ran it today (not a race, just the distance) and now move on to concentrating on my 10K and half marathon.

    To sum up, the training program that I used to run really did wonders! I am indebted to Dominique, the owner of this site. It's really done wonders for my health, stamina and self-confidence (who knew I could run 5 metres let alone 5 kilometres?)."

    Natasha from Canada about running her first 5K with the help of Beginners Running Program 3 (running 30 minutes in 12 weeks)

    Beginner Running Tip 4 : Start with a Run / Walk Program

    One of my most important tips for beginning runners is to start with a run/walk program.

    Some people will never start their exercise program, because they don't know how to start running. All my beginner’s running schedules consist of both running and walking. When you start off, especially when you are completely untrained, you will not be able to run far distances.

    Moreover it is not wise to do so, because you put yourself at the risk of running injuries and health problems.

    Therefore, start slowly and find out you can still make fantastic progress in just a matter of weeks!

    My beginner running programs can help you get there! And when you get stuck, there is an easy FAQ section in which the most frequent questions get answered. And you can ask questions yourself as well!

    Know that story about the tortoise and the hare? Be the tortoise and astonish your friends and family. Be a winner!

    Beginner Running Tips Tortoise2

    Very mean beginning runner

    infographic beginner running tips

    Beginner Running Tip 5 : Check Your Pulse

    An obvious factor which many beginning runners will monitor is their weight. Another one, often forgotten is your heart rate.

    Running is a cardiovascular activity. It trains your heart. Your heart pumps blood through your body. A result of proper, regular exercise is that your heart will be able to pump more blood through your body with every heart beat. So it will need less beats to do the same amount of work for you.

    Regularly check your pulse and see if you are improving. For fair comparison you need to check your pulse under the same conditions everytime

    So the best moment is early in the morning, just after you have woken up, but haven’t gotten out of bed yet. Count the beats during ten seconds and multiply with six to calculate the number of beats per minute.

    You should see a steady improvement in your pulse. Not from day to day. But you will definitely see your pulse improve over longer periods of time; i.e. every few weeks or so.

    So do not get discouraged too quickly, when you don't see improvement for a few days!

    Important: if your pulse is higher (5 to 8 beats per minute) today than yesterday instead of lower this could mean you are overdoing it. Take a rest today and check your pulse again the next day. When it is back to its old level you are ready for your next hard run again.

    Beginner Running Tip 6 : Keep a Running Log

    beginner running tipsFor many runners, keeping a running log is an excellent way to keep track of their progress.

    In a running log you enter basic information about your runs.

    For example: distance, time and type of workout.

    You can also be more comprehensive and regularly put in your weight and pulse.

    It is extremely motivating to see your mileage increase and your weight and pulse decrease as your running program progresses !

    Just a tip: don’t go off buying a running log. You can easily make up your own training log with pen and paper or in a computer spreadsheet.

    Beginner Running Tip 7 : Listen to Your Body

    Probably one of the most ignored tips for beginning runners is to listen to your body.

    In the top 5 tips for starting runners, this one would top the list.

    Of course, when you run you are bound to get tired and you can experience muscle pains afterwards. That’s fine. To a certain extent. However, when you, during or after your run, feel dizzy, or when you experience pain in your chest area, your back or your legs, beware!

    Take it real easy:

  • Immediately stop running and rest or walk for a bit until you feel better.

  • Cut back on your training load or stop it until the pain has ceased.

  • Check with your physician if you keep on experiencing pain or if you are feeling unsure about anything.

  • Take care of yourself. You only have one body and one life. Running is a great healthy activity, but in your enthusiasm (too much too soon) you can harm yourself. Follow one of my beginner’s training schedules to avoid injuries. Even then, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY !

    Learn to listen to your body and you will be your own best coach who can tell you to keep on going or to stop.

    Beginner Running Tip 8 : Low Intensity

    beginner running tips

    Another cause of problems with beginning runners is that they start at a too high intensity. They decide on a certain running route and measure their time on every run. Everything needs to be speed, speed, speed.

    If you are a starter, you are far better off doing low intensity runs for a number of reasons :

  • (Too) fast running is much more strenuous on the body. If you go too fast too early you will end up with injuries.

  • Paradoxically the slower you go in the beginning, the faster you will be in the end. Base building is considered to be single most essential part of your running. This means easy running (the pace where you could maintain conversation).

  • Eventually you will be able to go longer and further if you do your runs at low intensity.

  • You will avoid overtraining. If you tell yourself at the end of your running workout ‘I could have gone for a bit longer’ then you have been running at the right pace.

  • Beginner Running Tip 9 : Regular Workouts

    Regular workouts are an important key to your progress. When running for fitness it is far better to workout three or four times a week for thirty minutes than to do one two-hour training per week.

    As a starting runner, you will not have the stamina to go for two hours in a row anyway. But studies have shown that multiple short workouts are more beneficial than one long haul.

    It's got to do with consistency,with building up stamina and to get your body used to the regular exercise, rather than shocking it once a week or once every few weeks. The "shock therapy" does not help you build up your fitness and gives you a higher risk of injury.

    Make sure that you follow a good running schedule which takes care of a slow and regular build up.

    Check here for good beginners running programs.

    Beginner Running Tip 10 : Set Goals and Celebrate Progress

    One of the best ways to keep motivated is to set attainable goals for yourself. This can be anything:

  • Run at least three times per week

  • Lose weight; no be more specific; lose 5 kilos within 3 months. 

  • Be able to finish a local 5K race which is held 12 weeks from now

  • Improve your PR on the 10K with 30 seconds this year, Etc.

  • Whenever you reach a goal be proud of yourself! Give yourself a compliment and treat yourself to something. Basically, anything tangible or intangible that gives you the feeling you have done well.

    Sometimes there is nothing better than just having that glowing feeling of pride when you have accomplished something you didn't know you could do.

    Make an effort to celebrate. E.g. have a nice warm bath, share your results on your favorite social media site, or get yourself a running present. Maybe a shirt or a pair of shorts, a heart rate monitor, subscription to a running magazine, etc.

    Beginner Running Tip 11 : Don’t De Discouraged if You Don’t Experience Weight Loss Immediately

    In it for weight loss? congratulations! You have chosen one of the best ways to improve your weight. Please note however that you might not experience weight loss immediately. As a starting runner, you may be discouraged with a lack of progress at first.

    But, muscles are heavier than fat. Proper exercise will reduce your body fat and will increase your muscle mass. This could sometimes even lead to an increase in weight.

    However, your body could still be leaner, you'd look better and still fit better into your clothes!

    Keep this in mind when you step onto those feared weighing scales!

    Running for weight loss?
    Then check out the running for weight loss page for a few good tips!

    Also consider signing up for the "Lose 10 Pounds eCourse". It contains valuable tips regarding how to lose weight including diet myths, the most-used diets, how to combine diet and exercise etc, etc.

    It's very popular, and for a good reason... it provides some solid information about exercise, weight loss and food.

    Subscribe now, especially because you immediately get access to the "Fat Loss Jumpstart" eBook.

    Fat Loss Jumpstart

    Beginner Running Tip 12 : Combine Exercise with a Proper Diet

    OK, allow to me to repeat myself a little bit. I'll once again stress that subscribing to the Lose 10 Pounds mini-series is a wise decision.

    Being overweight is often caused by a combination of not enough exercise and improper eating habits. Take your time to learn about your diet and what you can do to make improvements.

    The Lose 10 Pounds mini-series is a short guide. It's no fluff, straight-to-the-point, very clear and a must if you are serious about your weight loss.

    Beginner Running Tip 13 : Warm Up and Cool Down

    By doing a warm up you are letting your body know that it will have to start working soon. It is important to do this so that your heart and legs can adjust properly. So don’t sprint out of the door, but start with a brisk walk, followed by very easy running for a couple of minutes. Then stretch.

    At the end of your workout take a couple of minutes to cool down. So run very slowly or walk the last minutes of your workout and end with some stretches. This will improve your recovery rate and reduce muscle pains.

    beginner running tips infographic

    The 18 Most Important Beginner Running Tips in a Picture

    Beginner Running Tip 14 : Cross Training

    Running is good for you. However, your legs have to endure a lot while running. Every step you take, the impact on your legs is two to three times your body weight. Therefore it is wise to incorporate a slow build-up and optional cross training in your running program.

    Cross-training is any different form of activity which isn’t running like riding a bike, swimming, hiking, walking, going on the elliptical machine, etc.

    Cross training is great. It is still helping you increase your fitness while giving your running muscles a break.

    Beginner Running Tip 15 : Involve Your Family and Friends

    beginner running tips

    In these fast and stressed times you are making a good decision to start running.

    Regular running training is important for your progress.

    Sit down with your family, inform them of your decision to change your life for the better and work out the best times for all agendas to do your training.

    Stick to these times and have your family there to remind you of your training as well.

    Even for experienced runners the hardest part of running is getting out of the door! Make your support network push you to make sure you stick to your running schedule!

    Beginner Running Tip 16 : Find a Buddy

    I just said it: the hardest part of running is getting out of the door. Find that you regularly have trouble doing this. Then find a running buddy to make the journey more pleasurable and to keep yourself accountable to someone else.

    When you have a buddy who is running with you, you don’t want to let each other down and you will do what is needed: you get out of the door. Moreover your running buddy will help you to keep to your goals.

    Beginner Running Tip 17 : Eat, Live and Breathe Running and a Healthy Life

    Surround yourself with running. Get a subscription to a running magazine or buy a magazine at your bookstore.

    Buy yourself a great running book or occasionally visit a running store. Not even necessarily to buy something there, just to browse and get energized by the atmosphere.

    I love running stores. Looking at new shoes, browsing through the latest gadgets...

    Another great tip is to find a local race in which you can compete. It will help you keep yourself to your training schedule. You will be surprised how much fun you will have in running the race, completing it and talking about it with your fellow competitors.

    Don't ever feel like you are too slow to join a race. Every race will have people walking the full distance. Time allowances are usually such that there is sufficient time for you to cover the full distance. Start off with a local 5k.

    Beginner Running Tip 18 : Subscribe to a Running Newsletter

    best running tips newsletter

    You have got a lot to learn about running.

    About running injuries and how to prevent them.

    About shoes.

    About running apparel.

    About heart rate monitors and other gear.

    Browsing this site will hopefully help you a lot in that respect.

    So will subscribing to the Best Running Tips Newsletter. It gives you a regular overview of additions to the site and, even better, provides you with even extra running tips.

    I challenge you: try it out.

    It's risk-free.

    Don't like it? Then unsubscribe easily at any time.

    But I doubt you will ever do that!

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    Make Sure to Also Check These Pages

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