Beginners Running Tips

Running Tips for Beginners: Part I

When starting a new exercise program, often the most difficult part is going for that very first run.  The experience you have, whether you finish the run and feel accomplished or finish the run and feel beaten down, will affect your motivation for subsequent running endeavors.  When starting out, make the most of each workout and improve your motivation to continue running by following the simple tips listed below.

Get Proper Running Shoes
A good fitting pair of running shoes can be the difference between a pain-free run and any number of ailments, including shin splints, heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, and lower back pain.  To determine which pair of shoes is right for you, visit your local running store and ask for a fitting.  The store personnel will evaluate your running stride and help you find the best shoe for your body that will maximize comfort and minimize the risk of injury.

Have a Plan
Once you find a good running shoe, develop a plan for running.  Many free apps and websites exist to help new runners tackle any goal, whether that is to complete a 2k run without walking or to finish a marathon.  For some beginners, a run-walk method may be best, while other new runners may be able to complete 2-4 miles without stopping.  Do a little bit of research and ask yourself what type of program may be best for your personal motivations.  Not only will having a set plan improve your daily motivation to complete your runs, but it will also help you organize your exercise routine, ensuring success.

Join a Group
Find a nearby running group, either through a local running store or workout facility, to hold you accountable to your exercise routine and also as a way to provide motivation and support.  The running community is a very open one, willing to accept as many new members as possible.  Seasoned runners are always willing to share strategies for how to avoid injury and stay motivated, and also provide insight into nutrition, running routes, hydration and gear.  

Set Goals
Once you have completed a few runs, set personal goals.  Some runners find that having weekly goals such as to run a certain number of kilometers per week can be very helpful.  Other runners like to set long-term goals, such as working towards completing a 5k or a marathon, while some simply choose “have fun” or “make new friends” as their running motivation.  Whatever the goal may be, new runners can find a lot of meaning and inspiration for their runs when working towards a defined aim. 

Find Ways to Embrace Discomfort
Many people choose to discontinue running because they find they do not enjoy the discomfort that comes with a new running program.  By finding ways to embrace the discomfort, either by setting a mantra (such as “pain is weakness leaving the body”) or reframing any negative thoughts into positive ones (i.e. instead of saying “this hurts” saying “I am lucky to be able to feel pain”), runners can get through the “growing pains” associated with running until the exercise becomes more comfortable. 

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