Running is something that I have had a massive love hate relationship throughout my whole life. I am not a natural long distance runner and have always found it much easier to do sprints myself.
However be that as it may long distance running has many health benefits for you, and is a great way of burning extra calories. So it’s something that needs to be embraced as opposed to neglecting and over the time that I have been running I have picked up many beginner running tips that have massively helped me when I’ve started running again.
They can make the biggest difference between you sticking to your running program or simply bailing out early as most people end up doing.
This is gonna be the hardest bit for almost any beginner to do. Running is an extremely hard sport to be able to do, it has a huge effect on your body, and is one of the most intensive cardiovascular things that we actually are able to do when exercising.
So just getting started is often seen as the biggest step,. Confidence can be superlow when you’re just starting out, here you always see tons of pros running at the park and they are always some of the best runners that are able to easily run miles and miles without actually breaking a sweat and is always in the back of your mind that they can be critical of you because you aren’t quite as fit as them.
However everyone has to start somewhere and they certainly didn’t run 10 miles without breaking a sweat in the beginning as well so you just need to get started and forget that they are judging you, more than likely they just aren’t and even if they are more fool them!!
So whether you choose to get started in public or start to train in the gym or just on a treadmill at home it doesn’t matter how you begin your running journey, you just need to get started. What we definitely recommend is slow and easy transition into running. Don’t start running marathons from the start. Build yourself up slowly and easily we asked give yourself enough time to get enough rest between workouts. If you are just starting out, 10 to 20 minutes is all you need a gentle pace as long as you are doing this 2 to 3 times a week.
Make yourself a little program as to where you want to be with your running, start gently and then after a few weeks start to add extra time to your running workout and then eventually when you start to feel your muscles building up you can then start to add extra days into your workout program as well.
There are tons of apps available on iOS and android which are awesome for tracking these kind of workouts and giving you programs that you are able to follow in the beginning of your running journey. Not all of them are as good as others however generally something to give you a little bit of guidance and aim towards is always a good thing. We don’t recommend you end up paying anything for these apps especially as you are a beginner!!
Don’t be afraid to walk/run.
There is no shame in it at all everyone’s been there at some point in their running career. When you first start out running even want to keep up with everyone else in the park as best you can however is just not attainable for a beginner runner to do it. You can end up with pains everywhere, blowing out of your lungs that you’ve never felt before and you can feel that you just can’t keep up the pace a much longer.
This is where the run walk method comes into its own. You want to be able to build yourself up gradually to be able to run for the whole duration, and one of the best ways to be able to do this is to simply run into you can’t and then walk and then as soon as you feel that your able again then you start running again.
It may seem simple but it may seem like in the beginning it’s a copout however it really isn’t it’s a great way to slowly build yourself up gradually to be able to run more proficiently in the future.
As a recognised program and one of the easiest ways to make sure that you don’t discourage yourself from future running workouts. It’s essentially a watered down version of HIIT training which is often seen as a very intense workout program that more pro athletes do.
Essentially in a HIIT training programme you run as much as you can as a sprint, then walk until you can undertake your next print. Generally in HIIT workouts however this is all timed and you are working out to absolute maximum in those sprints, so the run walk method is a very watered down version of this however the principles just the same. There is absolutely no shame in the run walk method at all.
Get proper shoes!!
This I think personally is pulling one of the most important tips for your running career. When you start to take running a little bit more seriously and start to hit it more than a couple of times a week you are gonna start to realise that it has a huge effect on your body and most importantly on your joints.
Running is a high-impact sport and the only thing between you and the road are your shoes. Running in vans is simply not gonna cut it when you are trying to take this seriously. You wouldn’t run a sports car on £10 tyres, now would you? That’s the long and short of it essentially.
Whilst I’m not recommending that if you are a beginner runner you go out and buy the most expensive running shoes possible, shoes tailored towards running are now more affordable than ever and just investing even a little bit will make all the difference on your contact to the road. Proper running shoes can massively help you from procuring injuries that are so easily avoidable such as bad ankles, shin splints, wrecked knees etc etc.
When you are running the impact travels up your legs quite severely and properly fitted running shoes with an adequate amount of cushioning can massively help prevent that impact from damaging bones and joints.
There are a whole hoax of different running shoes on the market today, not all of them expensive, not all of them as good as others however some of the main brands such as Nike, Adidas, Reebok, new balance etc are all gonna be fantastic compared to running in shoes that are just not tailored for sports. If you are starting to take running extremely seriously and going just beyond the beginner phase, then you can start to look at having your feet measured to be able to choose more expensive shoes that I definitely can support you in the way that you actually need to be supported.
Not all shoes are created equal and some of them support you in different ways. A lot of shops now will measure your feet for free to be able to give you some basic advice on the shoes that they hold in stock however this doesn’t always mean that you shoe that they recommend is the cheapest, so bear that in mind.
Warm up and Cool down!
Don’t go too fast! Slower is almost always better than jumping into the deep end. And whilst that is actually swimming analogy, it also works perfectly the running as well. If you go out for the first time and run 10 miles at a very very high pace (it would be an amazing feat if you actually could do this, and still be breathing at the end!!!!) then it is very unlikely that you actually can be able to maintain that for a period of time.
It’s extremely important to consider warming up correctly before you ever start going running. Even if you are going for a 10 minute walk around the block, it’s always good practice to start your warmup routine before you go running to make it a bit of a tradition in something you do every time you go out.
Warmup routines are much more than just stretching your legs it’s ensuring you get enough blood flow to your muscles and making sure you don’t injure yourself while you’re out there. It can mean that you end up working out to a much higher degree and also making sure that you don’t injure yourself in the future. It’s a great way of helping you gradually adjust yourself to running which if you have been stagnant for a long time is gonna be quite a shock to the system.
So that is why warm-ups is so essential to working out, next in line however is the cooldown. Almost as critical to working out as the warmup, the cooldown is your way of returning your heart rate to normal, and stretching your muscles so that they can return to normal after your run.
Work on your technique
The impact running will have on your body if you’ve not run before is gonna be catastrophic and is gonna mean that you are gonna resent running in the future because of the effect it has on your body. Running is extremely high impact, especially so if you are running on pavements and the road as well so if you go out and absolutely beast yourself like you are a pro runner then there is gonna be little chance of you not injuring yourself.
There is much more technique to running as well that perhaps you might have never considered before, if you are a particularly heavy footed runner then you really need to consider how hard you are pounding the pavement. Some people naturally run with great technique however if you are new to it then you may find that your technique isn’t great. There are tons of videos on YouTube that will show you the perfect running technique however it is extremely hard to be able to pick these up just from a video.
Often if you are looking to progress in your run in career and you think that your technique is awful then it’s best to go to a professional just to get them to get a measure of your technique and tell you exactly where to improve. For a lot of people running will come quite naturally however if this just isn’t you then it’s definitely worth getting some advice before you develop bad habits and end up injuring yourself further.
Don’t let slow progress discourage you!
Almost everyone had to start somewhere and running is just one of those exercise that takes a long time to be able to master and get down. Slow progress is actually the name of the game, if you want to be in the game a long time! Running is an extremely intensive exercise for you, not just on your cardiovascular system, but on almost every joint in your body as well. Slow progress is the best progress. If you are able to stick it out and take the time it takes to be able to become a good runner then you are gonna be able to the master in the long term and hopefully along the way not managed to injure yourself in the process.
A lot of people start running, get injured, and then decide that running perhaps not for them. But from the start they have approached in the wrong way and generally this is what almost everyone does because they just want to get fit and see the benefits of running as quick as possible.
However there is just not running and it’s not attainable, you need to be able to take the time that it takes to be able to build up all the extra muscles and the endurance that it takes to be a good long distance runner. The only way to do that is by taking the time and doing what needs to be done to be to build yourself up to that level of athleticism.