When you decide to start running you have got a lot of questions on your mind. How do I start running? What should I wear? Is it okay if I walk occasionally?
In this article I will provide you with an overview of a few important beginner running tips.
Beginner Running Tip 1 : It is never too late to start running. It does not matter how old you are, exercise is good for you. It has been proven in many scientific studies that regular exercise provides you with many benefits such as more energy, less chance of getting heart disease and cancer, better sleeping patterns and this list is far from over!
Beginner Running Tip 2 : Start with a run / walk program
I always recommend beginning runners to start with a running program that consists of both running and walking. As a starter you will, initially, not be able to run far. And if you did you would expose yourself to a high risk of running injuries and health problems. You need to really start slowly and build up that stamina and those running muscles. You can make fantastic progress in a short amount of time and the chances that you will actually enjoy the running and keep on doing it are much higher.
Beginner Running Tip 3 : Keep a running log
A running log you put the basic information about the exercise you have done. So how far did you run, how long did it take, what type of running did you do (e.g. run/walk, easy run, interval), etc. You could also enter additional information like your average heart rate during the run, how you felt, what the weather was, etc.
You keep a running log for a few good reasons. One of those is that it definitely provides extra motivation when you see your mileage increase week on week. Another one is that it provides a chance to look back later and find out why a certain race did not go as planned, why you got injured etc. A log is a valuable tool for beginning and more experienced runners.
Beginner Running Tip 4 : Tangible Goals
Start running with a goal in mind. This could be weight-loss related or performance related. For example, set yourself a goal of running 30 minutes non-stop in twelve weeks time. Or losing 5 kilos in 3 months. If you do not have tangible goals or reasons to keep running, it will be hard to keep on going when the going gets tough and the initial enthusiasm starts to fade. Believe me, it happens.
Beginner Running Tip 5 : Low Intensity
Many runners, beginning and more experienced, make the mistake of running too fast. They run a certain distance and measure their time each and every run. And they need to beat that time every time. This is not necessarily the smartest strategy. For starters, faster running is much more strenuous on your body and therefore you are much more likely to get injured.
Another reason is that, strangely enough, slower running will help you get faster much faster than faster running does. OK, read that sentence again and let it sink in. Easy running, the pace at which you are able to hold a conversation, should be the core of your running training. It will help you go longer and further over time, will help build your cardio-vascular system and it will help make you really strong. Once you have build up that strong base, then you can go fast over shorter distances as well.
Just imagine if you could run 10 miles easily, then how fast would you be able to do a one-miler? There is nothing as important as easy running.
These tips should really help to make sure your running career is off with a flying start. Happy running!