How to Start Running
Six Running Tips for Beginners That Will Help You Get Started With Running
You want to know how to start running.
You don't know what to do exactly.
Well, just take a couple of minutes to read this page and I'll try to help answer your questions, so you can lace up and get out of that front door onto the roads!
You have got questions like :
Let me try to answer these questions in a short and quick manner. Let's dive straight into it.
How to Start Running Tip #1 - How Fast Do I Run?
This is also called running at conversational pace.
This is the pace at which you could still maintain a conversation.
That's pretty slow. Don't go off too fast!
Well, running at different speeds stimulates different body systems.
Too much to get into at this point in time.
I'd bore you right off this page!
However, what is useful to know is that the body system mostly trained by easy running is your cardiovascular system. Basically your heart.
When you train your heart you make it stronger. That means that with every heart beat your heart will pump more blood around your body.
You will get more stamina / endurance doing this type of running and you will become overall a healthier person as your heart doesn't have to work that hard anymore to pump blood through your body.
Side benefits of this is that you will feel more relaxed, less stressed and it can even lead to better sleeping patterns.
But most importantly, running at a slower pace is just way more enjoyable when you are starting out! Running gets easier when you don't have to feel like your heart needs to be pumping out of your chest and your breathing is so tough that you feel like you might pass out...!
So, lots of benefits of doing easy running first and foremost!
How to Start Running Tip #2 - Is it OK to Take a Rest in Between?
Don't be embarassed if you can't keep on running the whole time.
Stop running and have a bit of a walk.
Yes, that's totally fine. You may not want to start running because you feel embarassed. You can't run that far and you don't want to be seen as the overweight person trying to run who can't.
However, this will, of course, lead to a vicious circle. Don't exercise. Get more overweight. Feel worse about yourself. Don't exercise. Get more overweight. Feel worse about yourself. Etc.
Break the circle by just starting to run. And after a little while you get tired. Then walk a bit. And when you feel like it again, run some more.
In fact, I think there are a lot of benefits on combining running and walking. There is less chance of getting injured and you are basically able to go much further than with running alone.
This site has got three beginner running programs that should get you started with running pretty easily. They all involve running and walking.
Instead of seeing it as a problem that you can't run that far, see it as an opportunity. You can still follow a structured running program as per the link above. And within 8, 10 or 12 weeks you'll be able to run 15, 20 or even 30 minutes non-stop.
Try these running programs out, they are there for you to use!
How to Start Running Tip #3 - Which Distance Should I Run?
Take it easy and build up slowly. It doesn't matter which distance you run, even if it is less than a minute when you start off. Whatever your starting situation is, just start there and build it up slowly over time.
A slow build-up is the key to a long injury-free running life!
A pretty useful method is to just add a minute or two to your exercise time every time you run. See how you cope. At some point it will be a bit too hard to do this.
Then, just stop increasing the distance for a few days, stay at the level you were at and after a week or so, try again to build it up a bit more.
It's really a matter of just taking baby steps. Don't fall victim to doing "too much too soon". This can get you injured. Or you can get overwhelmed after an initial few weeks of motivation. Take it easy, tiger...!
You may think this will never get you anywhere. But if you run three times a week, and every workout you add 1 or 2 minutes, then after 2-3 months you'll be doing a whole lot of running!
Check out the increasing mileage safely page for extra information about how to increase the time/distance you run.
How to Start Running Tip #4 - Which Running Shoes Should I Wear?
However, once you have decided that you are in it for the long haul, I'd really recommend you get some running shoes right for your feet. Yes, there are different types of running shoes for different type of feet!
Go to a specialised running shoe store. A good store gets you to run on a treadmill. They take a video of your feet and lower legs while running and watch how your feet land. Based on that they'll be able to recommend the appropriate shoes for your feet.
Having the right running shoes is pretty important and can help you prevent lots of running injuries. Next to doing "too much too soon", having the wrong running shoes is a major reason people experience injuries.
How to Start Running Tip #5 - Do I Need Special Running Apparel?
When you are just starting to run, you don't need to get a whole lot of fancy running attire.
Got shoes, socks, shorts/pants and a shirt?
Then you are ready to hit the road!
Decide to keep on running?
Then gradually acquire better running apparel.
For now, anything sporty you can get a hold of will do!
Obviously, there are certain advantages in getting special running apparel. It is much nicer to run in moisture wicking materials compared to cotton clothing for example.
Cotton has some negatives. It can easier lead to chafing and is just generally less comfortable to run in.
One of the first pieces of running apparel I'd definitely recommend you get is some running socks. When I first started running I had some issues like blisters and even a black toenail or two. However, after making the very small investment in a pair of running socks I have never had those problems anymore.
And of course, if you are female, a good running bra / sports bra will be essential.
How to Start Running Tip #6 - Any Useful Gear I Should Know About?
Doing a run/walk program? Then a free or cheap interval timer app on your phone that alerts you to the change-over between running and walking is pretty handy. There are pretty good apps out there as well that do GPS tracking and keep track of distance, average pace while running etc, etc. I used iSmoothrun for a while a long time ago. There are many others.
Once you get more into running and don't feel like carrying a phone while you run, you may want to get a GPS running watch. You may want to be able to track your heart rate. Or your power. Many, many options. I have been using different Garmin models for years and years, but I have heard good things about COROS as well. I am sure you will figure it out.
Running with power or heart rate can help a lot when you are starting out. It will help you do your runs at the right intensity and it gives you an objective gauge to measure your progress.
Look, I am a Dutchman. I physically hurt a little when I spend money. So, from that perspective, I say there is nothing wrong with starting out simple, low-key and low budget. When you get a bit further along in your running career, you'll determine when you are ready to start spending money on the fancy gadgets!
So, there you go. Hopefully this provides you with an answer to your most burning questions. As you see, you don't need a whole lot of special equipment, apparel or gear to start running. And you don't need all the fancy running gear immediately.
Just get out of that door and start an easy run. Do a bit of walking in between. Build it up slowly. And before you know it you'll be running like the wind!
Beginner Running Tips
Are you a beginning runner? Then this is your best starting point. Many tips and running programs on offer, dedicated to you.
Running for Weight Loss
Aiming to lose a few pounds? Get into the Running for Weight Loss section for tips and advice.
The Running Training section of the site has got the most articles. It is constantly getting updated with new tips and information. A must-visit if you are serious about improving your running performance.
5k Running Tips
The 5k is a great distance to run and train for. The great thing is that you can do it quite often and see big improvements.
10k Running Tips
The 10k is a real challenge. You need to run fast for an uncomfortably long time! Check out this section if you are strong of mind and legs!
Marathon Running Tips
The marathon is a massive challenge. Proper training is so important! Make sure to check out this section if you have got your mind set on the marathon!