If you asked fifty expert runners if they know more after years of experience than they did when they first started out, you’d find fifty people with plenty of advice to give you. As you start out on your journey follow these six running tips for beginners to start off like a pro.
1. Don’t Skimp on Shoes
There are incredible benefits to running but there’s also the risk of injury. The best way to prevent injury is by having the right shoes. When it comes to running, it’s not quite as simple as just ordering a pair of shoes online.
Instead, you should visit your local running store. Find a shop with a knowledgeable staff that can measure not just your foot but your gait. This will give them your foot strike pattern, which means they’ll be able to recommend the right shoes for your particular foot type.
2. Look for a Running Buddy
Running with a friend or group may feel intimidating at first but experts agree that it can help increase motivation, inspiration, commitment, and accountability. No matter how dedicated you are, you’ll have times when you don’t want to run. Knowing you have a group to let down can prevent that.
According to Cindra Kamphoff, a sports psychology consultant, running in a group creates positive peer pressure. It works on a subconscious level and the evidence proves that when runners go out in groups they’re likely to run faster and longer.
3. Be Realistic About Your Progress
Two things are true about being a beginning runner: at first, it will be difficult but it will get better sooner than you think. You should go into your new exercise program with the understanding that as you acclimate to your new routine, you may feel more tired and wiped out than before you started.
This is a temporary problem. For most runners, it takes only about a month for their bodies to lose that feeling of being wiped out. At this point, they not only stop feeling exhausted after a run they start to feel exhilarated.
4. Focus on Distance – Not Time
Many people put a hyper focus on how fast they can run when in reality beginning runners should focus on how far they run. Don’t time yourself – measure your distance. There are many apps and fitness trackers out there to help you track your runs.
5. Keep Your Body in Shape by Cross-Training
Your body needs to be in balance. Runners who utilize other exercise options will see their running performance improve much more quickly than those who only run. The key is focusing on exercises that build up strength and endurance – both of which will help improve your running.
6. Make it Fun
If you dread running you won’t keep at it very long, no matter how committed you feel today. Load up your music player with rocking new music or reward yourself with a special (healthy) treat after your run.