This year, it’s Just Run.
We are kicking off 2018 with tips for the new runner.
I’ve been running consistently and seriously for about 10 years. Prior to that, I really didn’t absolutely LOVE running. I’d go out for a few miles a couple times a week and be happy with that. It never felt easy. It never felt fun. I never hit that sweet spot of where I actually enjoyed it or craved a run.
It was a few years later, after my kids were born, that I caught the running bug and it stuck. With trial and error, I learned a lot over the years, just like every runner does.
Here are 7 things that really helped me when I was just starting out.
If you are going to do one thing before you decide to invest time in becoming a runner, I highly recommend you get fitted for proper running shoes. Go to a reputable running shoe store where there’s an expert who can watch you run and recommend the right shoe for you. Try a bunch of different shoes on. It makes a difference!
Do run/walk intervals
A lot of new runners give up on running because they feel like they are absolutely dying trying to run 3 miles from the beginning. Incorporating run/walk intervals is a great way to condition your lungs and muscles for eventually being able to run 1 mile, 2 miles, 3 miles and so on, without walk breaks. A great way to start is with 5 minutes of walking, 1 minute of running intervals.
Join a running group
I still remember when I went to my first group run years ago. I didn’t know anyone and it was intimidating. I swear I think everyone was wearing a Boston Marathon jacket! But then a runner introduced themselves. And then another. When we started to run, there were so many different paces that there was always someone to run with. I met so many awesome people that day (I still run with some of them!) that I couldn’t wait to go back again. Since then, I’ve joined in many group runs. Sometimes the pace was slower than I usually run. Sometimes it was just right. Sometimes it was faster. But it was all good!
Running puts a lot of strain on your body. Give your body a break and incorporate a variety of workouts in your weekly workout mix. Walking, swimming and cycling are great ways to cross train. Cardio equipment like the Arc Trainer, Elliptical and Stepmill are also good alternatives that can help build up your cardiovascular system. Of course, strength training is key too. Basic exercises like squats, lunges, bridges, planks, and clam shells are fantastic for building strength in the key muscles need for a strong runner.
Don’t get fixated on numbers
Don’t worry about your pace or what the speed says on the treadmill. Just because so and so runs x:xx pace, doesn’t mean that you should run that pace. Don’t fall into the comparison trap! Every BODY is different and responds differently to running. Doing too much, too soon is a good way to end up with an injury.
It takes time for things to gel in running. Muscles will ache that you never knew existed! I wish I had an exact date to tell you when it will feel good because it will eventually. I can’t even remember when I fell in love with running. It just happened naturally because I was consistent about getting out there to run and gave it time.
The whole point of running is that it’s enjoyable. If it’s not enjoyable (most of the time), maybe you aren’t destined to be a runner. That’s ok! Not everyone is. Forcing it won’t be any fun. And you should have fun because life is too short!
Here’s more new runner tips from experienced runners who have been a new runner before! Click on the link or picture to check out what tips they have.