Want to start running? Starting something new can be very intimidating and running is often tops on the list. Even those who have taken a hiatus due to injury or burn out can have trouble getting started again. With the potential for injury, getting a physician’s clearance before beginning a run/walk or running program is incredibly important. After being cleared, here are some tips for getting your running program started.
Support. Make sure you have the right shoes and use a specialized running store to find them. Properly fitting and supportive shoes will prevent injury and help keep you pain free. For women, a properly fitting and appropriately supportive sports bra is just as important as good shoes. Don’t be afraid to try a few different options to find the one you like best.
Before and After. Warming up is a key element to getting in a good workout, so spending five to ten minutes raising your heart rate and getting muscles ready to work will help reduce your risk of injury and aid you in achieving better results. Just as warming up is important, cooling down after your session with five to ten minutes of stretching will ease post run soreness and tightness.
Comfort. One element of having a successful start is staying in your comfort zone. Don’t push yourself too hard, too fast or you risk burning out, being injured or not enjoying your new activity. Stressing out about how fast you run when you are a beginner will have the same effect. Concentrate on building endurance, and being proud of yourself for starting a new activity, before being concerned with how fast you run each mile.
Find a buddy to run with. You don’t need to run with a friend every time you head out, but once a week running with a friend can be a great motivator. There are lots of programs available on the internet you and a friend can work on together. It’s always a great idea to find a coach or join a group of other beginner runners in your area, which is a great way to find the perfect running buddy.
Race. You don’t have to be ready to race, but getting out and experiencing one is a great way to set goals and stay motivated. The race shouldn’t be about winning your age group, or even running the entire way, it’s about being in an electric atmosphere where a bunch of strangers cheer for you.