Running is a simple, low to no-cost way to start moving, get outdoors, and ultimately live a healthier life.
As with most things, getting started is the hardest part. With that, we've rounded up our top beginner running tips to get you over that initial hurdle and have you lacing up in no time!
Footwear for Running - With an abundance of footwear options available on the market, we recommend consulting experts at your local running store. Staff will usually be trained to help you find the best shoes (considering your foot dimensions, where you put your weight in your step, and your choice of activity)
Cross-training Shoes - If you will also be doing sports, group fitness classes, or activities where you will also be moving side to side, you may want to consider a cross-trainer shoe
Clothing - Plan to layer your clothing. Depending on the weather and climate you live in, you may want to remove an outer layer like a sweater or long sleeve top as your heart rate and body temperature rise during your run.
Season & Temperature
As a beginner, it’s best to avoid extremes. Check out the weather forecast to plan your first run on a pleasantly warm or slightly cool day. The more comfortable you are, the more likely you will be to stick with it!
THE DAY OF YOUR RUN
Remember: we all need to start somewhere. Don’t be afraid of being a beginner! Drop the belief that you need to be “good” at running t0 enjoy it, what others may be thinking, and go for it! What matters most is that you are moving, having fun, and showing up for yourself
Honour your body where it is now. Keep your pace slow! Confidence is super important, be proud to go at a pace that works for you. You shouldn’t be huffing and puffing. Run slow enough so that you can comfortably carry on a conversation.
At a minimum, roughly decide where you are going to run so you can plan your way back, should you get fatigued
For set distanced goals, consider using Google Maps or other digital mapping tools to pre-plan your route
There a lot of smartphone apps that can help you pre-map or track your route as you go. It’s a great motivation tool and you can even track your progress. We have heard excellent things about Run Keeper and often use Map My Run!
As a new runner, a great method to start with is alternating between walking and jogging, using “10/1”. You can start 1 minute running with a 10-second rest, working up to 10 minutes running for every 1 minute of walking.
If you're looking for a more gradual approach transitioning from walking, start with 5/1, with 5 minutes of walking then 1 minute of jogging.
Use a stopwatch or your timer on your cell phone
If you are new to cardio exercise, start first with walking for several weeks or months until your fitness level improves such that you can briskly walk continuously for about 35-45 minutes.
Recreation Path or Road
If you’re not on a sidewalk or path, you should be running against traffic. You can see what’s ahead of you and also drivers expect you to be coming towards them
Safety, Protection & Visibility
Especially as a female, avoid heavily wooded or deserted areas
If you’re running alone, it’s a good idea to have a mobile phone in case of an emergency and stay alert of where you are if anyone needs to come to get you.
Carry your health card, just in case
Wear reflective clothing and bright, light colours so people can see you (especially at night)
To stay hydrated on the go, consider rocking a backpack or fanny pack with a built-in waterbottle holder
Depending on your preference, you may find it annoying to carry a water bottle on your run. Make sure to drink water beforehand (but watch how much and when so you don’t need a washroom break midway!)
Don't forget to replenish! Drink lots of water (and stretch) once you finish your run
Ready for the next level?
Once you’ve established a cardio base, signing up for an event is a great motivation to stay on track and empowering goal to accomplish.
You can also challenge yourself by:
Gradually adding more distance, or
Work and train to cover the same distance in less time
Cross-training for better performance
We are big believers in cross-training to help improve your running performance! In Team Fit Body we are sure to include:
Cardio exercises (that aren't running!)
Sport-specific resistance training and stretching can help your performance. Many personal trainers can build an exercise program specific to your sport. You can also benefit from yoga classes to release tight muscles. Some yoga teachers will offer private yoga classes, and you can ask for someone with experience running.
Try to keep these few things above in mind each run. We hope it helps you have the best experience possible!
If you’re looking to start a running program for healthy weight management or to get healthier, book a consultation with Andrea to discuss how Team Fit Body, virtual personal training, and other healthy habits can help you get there!
Disclaimer: Remember, always be sure to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program.