We all have to be a beginner at some point, right? Starting new at something can be incredibly humbling, sometimes scary, and most of the time overwhelming. But, when it comes to starting a new fitness hobby like running there are a few tips you can use to make the “beginning” process a little easier. Today, I want to share 10 tips to help take the edge off as you jump into the running world, and I hope you end up loving it just as much as I do! These are all things that I wish I would’ve known whenever I started, that I’ve now learned along the way of my 10+ years as a so called “runner”.
Focus on running the minutes, not the miles. You absolutely CANNOT start off on day 1 of your running journey with 26.2 miles. In fact, most everyone starts off with running less than a mile! Remember, we are ALL beginners somewhere along the way and becoming a runner is no different! Try not to focus on logging miles at first. Try to fill your workouts with accomplishing running for so many minutes and you’ll gradually build up to reach that mile distance. It will only go up from there!
Ex. Run for 1 minute, walk 1 minute, repeat for 20 minutes.
Don’t get caught up in the comparison game. It doesn’t do anyone any good (AT ALL!) to compare your beginner progress to someone’s 10000th run. I promise that runner that you’re comparing yourself to, was in the very same spot that you’re in right this minute. They’ve put in the work just like you’re going to do and you’ll get to where YOU want to be in no time! If you’re willing to work for it, you’ll get it–promise! Set those goals and get to work!
Keep a journal of your progress. After each workout, write down how it went. This way, a few weeks in you can look back at your first week and see just how far you’ve come! Running has a way of teaching you that every single day is totally different and when you least expect it you can surprise yourself in the best of ways! Progress journals are extremely good motivators too when you’re having trouble getting out the door for that next run!
Prepare yourself beforehand for the not-so-good running days. There are going to be days when you feel like you have cement blocks tied to your feet. Then, there will be days when you feel like you’ve somehow adopted wheels for legs! It happens to the best of us! It’s just one of the many lessons running will teach you! And, remember–those tough runs will always make you see the good days in a whole new light. When those bad runs happen, brush it off and know that most likely that next run you go out on will probably be 10x better than the last one!
Make sure to keep things interesting! Mix up your running workouts with other types of workouts too! If you just run and run and run every day all day for your workout, you’re going to burn out quickly! But, find a few different cross training workouts you enjoy to keep in your workout routine! I like to add in yoga, walking, and some weight training each week to keep things constantly changing! Plus, this keeps my muscles guessing too which is always a benefit to running!
Change up your running route. This goes without saying that if you run the same mile day in, day out–it’s going to get old! Try going to new parks or different neighborhoods to change up your scenery! It can be so fun to experience new places by running around it! It’s one of my favorite things to do on vacation too because there’s always something that I haven’t seen when I go out of town and bring my running shoes with me! If you’re a treadmill runner, change up your tv shows that you watch, or listen to new podcasts on each run! Just do whatever you can to keep it constantly changing so you don’t get bored out of your mind!
Get good shoes! Hello running stores and shiny new shoes! This is probably my favorite tip of them all! There’s nothing better than the feeling of brand new running shoes on those first few runs! Shoes are the name of the game when it comes to running and it makes all the difference when you find the ones that fit and support your body best!
Find your rhythm and relax! Everyone’s running rhythm is different! This is just the same as everyone’s pace is different! Once you get into your new routine of running, you’ll find what pace what works best for you and where you feel most comfortable. Then, you can try pushing the envelope and gaining speed after so long! Remember to relax too! Try not to tense up and stress yourself out on your run! Focus on deep breathing and filling your stomach up with your air intake instead of your chest. You’ll also find a good breathing rhythm that works best for you and gives you the most oxygen. I like to inhale two short breaths through my nose, and then a long exhale. It works best for my foot pace and helps me feel like I really am getting in enough air to keep me going. Like I said, it’s different for everyone but this is what method works best for me! (And I have had my fair share of struggles with breathing so I’m right there with ya’!)
It’s suppose to be fun and something you enjoy doing so try to take it as it comes and go with the flow as much as you can in the beginning! It’s the best way to smoothly ease into your new hobby!
Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate! Water is my best friend all day every day! If I can tell you anything, it’s that you will quickly learn what it feels like to be dehydrated on a run and what it feels like to not be. I can ALWAYS tell when I haven’t been drinking enough water and I head out for a run. It’s like a mile in, my stomach is in knots and I’m pretty miserable the entire time. Try to set a goal of getting in half of your body weight in ounces each day with your water intake. This should meet most of your hydration needs and should get you to feeling plenty hydrated on your runs! Of course, adjust this as needed depending on the time of year and the amount of sweat you’ll be releasing in your workout!
Have fun with it! This is supposed to be something you enjoy, so don’t get stressed or worry if you’re not doing “as good” as you think you should in the beginning! If after so long, you still can’t seem to find a real joy in it–give a different workout a try! No one expects you to love running right off the bat though either because of course it’s hard! But, trust me when I say it does get better! Not always easier, but definitely better! Don’t give up, but definitely listen to your body and find what works best for you! Running can be SO much fun and teach you some of your best life lessons alongside some of the best people in the world! 🙂 Just give it a shot and find the good in it, and I’m willing to bet you’ll fall in love with it just as much as I have!
Questions for YOU:
If you are a runner, what’s your best tip for beginners?
If you don’t enjoy running, what is it that you don’t like about it most?
What is the hobby that helps you relieve stress?