Running Tips for Beginners - Six Beginner Running Tips to Kickstart Your RunningWhen you are starting to run, it might be a bit tricky. What I will try to do here is to provide you with a few running tips for beginners.
Because running is a fun hobby and is a great exercise if you want to keep fit or lose weight.
And although all of us know how to run, not all of us know how to do it properly.
For a beginning runner like you, now is the best time to learn the basics of how to run.
Running Tip for Beginners #1: About Warming-Up and Stretching
A good warm-up routine helps reduce the risk of injuries and can lead to a better performance. Warming up is best done via an easy jog or some aerobic cross-training activity like cycling or a brisk walk.
Many beginners think they need to do a lot of stretching before they start to run. However, stretching cold muscles can be harmful. You could stretch the muscles too much causing muscle pulls or strains.
There is very little evidence to suggest that stretching helps before a run. So do some easy running and then get into your main workout. What you can do is what is called a dynamic warm-up. I explain all about it on my running stretches page.
After your run, stretching can be a good way to cool down. It is important not to rush your cooling-down exercises.
Finish your run with some easy running or walking, then do your stretches.
As suggested before, check the running stretches page for information about which running stretches to do.
Running Tip for Beginners #2: Improve Your Endurance
It is normal for beginners like you to have low endurance and stamina when running. You'd often find yourself out of breath even with just a few minutes of running. This is really normal when you are starting out.
Some of it can have to do with breathing. Many beginning runners breathe irregularly.
Trying to take long, deep, regular breathes helps. However, this is only a small part of the puzzle, so don't worry too much about how and when and how long to breathe.
You can check out my Running Tips about Breathing page for more info.
A very important factor is pacing yourself. Nobody said that running needs to be done at top speed! Run at an easy pace, the pace you'd be able to talk to somebody.
I have had sedentary friends starting to run and I see their runs on Strava. And I can see that their runs are faster than most of my runs.
I almost always have to tell my beginner running friends to slow down. Take it easy. Try to enjoy your run more!
Yes, you may have lots of energy in the beginning of your workout but you DO NOT NEED to expel it all in the first half of your workout. This can cause you to quickly tire out. And that may lead to you cutting your workout short.
The best way to improve running performance is to run consistently and increase everything gradually. To be able to increase your endurance, it is best when you run a minimum of three times per week. More is good, but starting out with three, maybe four, runs per week is plenty to see good improvement.
Making progress on only two days a week becomes harder, so three times per week is a really a good minimum. And it still allows you to take a rest day after a day of running every time. After all, it's a new sport you are getting yourself into. Giving your muscles a break after a day of running is almost as important as the running itself!
Running Tip for Beginners #3: Focus on Increasing Your Time Spent Running, Not Decreasing It
Go up in distance and time, not down...
Beginner runners often aim to finish a certain distance in the shortest amount of time possible.
You might be the same.
You might have found a certain loop to run and now you are trying to cover it at a faster and faster pace each time.
First of all, you are getting a bit faster and fitter from this. Sure. But, it is not the best strategy.
You will want to focus on covering more mileage gradually.
A good strategy is to not even look at mileage, just go by time. If this week you are running 10 minutes per day, then next week run 12-15 minutes.
Then do 15-18 etc. Build up the time spent running slowly but surely. Use a gradual build-up, running easy at all times and you will improve your running performance rapidly.
Why? In the end, running is an endurance sport. You need to build up your stamina and that is best done through lots of easy running.
Running Tip for Beginners #4: Listen to your Body
When you run, you may experience muscle pains and of course, you are bound to get tired. This is normal. However, if you experience unusual pain in any parts of your body, especially in your chest area or if you feel dizzy, then you'd better take it easy.
Listening to your body is one of the toughest lessons runners need to learn. So many of us get injured. The stats are really crazy.
A recent Runner's World poll showed that in any given year 85% of runners have had to take more than 2-3 weeks off due to some kind of running injury.
That is insanely high!
The problem is almost always that we try to run through the pain. We are preparing for a race, just in the middle of a running program and get a bit of pain.
We want to ignore it, think about the race, and push on. A sure-fire recipe for disaster. When you have got little pains that seem out of the usual of normal muscle soreness, you need to look after them.
Usually a day or two of not running will help stop the pain. Then get back into it. Don't be a hero and ignore your pain. In the long-term it is bound to get you sidelined for longer. So, listen to your body.
A good page regarding listening to your body and focusing on a sensible build-up in your running is my increasing mileage safely page.
Running Tip for Beginners #5: Visit a Physician
If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, visit your physician before you start your running program. Examples are chronic fatigue, heart problems, breathing problems, obesity etc.
When you are unsure about your running abilities due to these conditions, it is much better to check with your doctor first. They can do a check-up, see if there are any warning signs and provide you with tailored advice.
Running Tip for Beginners #6: Start Your Running Journey with a Proven Running Program
Lastly, I hope I can convince you to give one of my running programs a try. Don't worry, it's free. It is a run-walk program that promises to get you to running 30 minutes non-stop in 12 weeks. I think it is one of the best beginner running programs out there. It has had lots and lots of users. There are plenty of people who never felt they were going to be able to get to 30 minutes of non-stop running. Until they did.
You can check it out here --> Beginners Running Program 3 - From 0 to 30 Minutes of Running in 12 Weeks
I hope these running tips for beginners help.
There are a whole lot more tips available across this site.
So.... definitely make sure to check out some of the other pages on this site, starting with the below recommendations!
Are you a beginning runner? Then this is your best starting point. Many tips and running programs on offer, dedicated to you.
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.
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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!
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