7 tips for beginner runners
If you’re just starting out running, it can be a bit overwhelming to get to grips with the amount of information out there on the web. For beginners especially, you probably just want to get out there and start running, but there are some things you should take into consideration starting out. So, if you’d like to get a rundown of the best tips for the beginner runner, look no further.
1. Get the right running shoes for you
The most common mistake that beginner runners make is that they start out without shoes that suit their foot type, stride, and surface. There are a few important questions to consider before you purchase your shoes – what kind of surface are you running on, pavement or grass? How often are you going to run? What’s your budget?
Although it seems confusing, you can cater perfectly for your needs by heading to a speciality running outfitters, who can provide the right shoes for your foot type and running style.
2. Don’t overdo it
A widespread misconception with first time runners is that they have to try and reach their absolute limit from the get-go. Sprinting right from the outset isn’t only going to exhaust you – it vastly increases the risk of injury.
The key to maintaining your fitness motivation is to start with what you are comfortable with and work your way up from there. In fact, first timers are best alternating walking and jogging until they build up stamina and fitness. It’s all about your personal preference, so don’t go thinking you have to speed along your route like Usain Bolt.
3. Make sure to warm up and cool down
A good warm up can work wonders, especially when you are just starting out. It’s an ideal way to avoid strain on your muscles and get your heart rate going before you start your run proper. So, start off your routine with a brisk walk before you do anything else, preferably for 5 minutes and then gradually move into jogging.
Equally important is how you go about cooling down after you’ve finished your route – stop too abruptly, and it’s almost guaranteed you’re going to suffer stiff muscles and even cramps. The cool down also allows your heart rate and blood pressure to drop gradually, rounding out your fitness regime in the best way possible.
4. Invest in some decent running gear
Like your shoes, it’s important that your clothing is actually suited to a fitness regime based around running. It’s good to invest in a running outfit that consists mostly of technical fabric. In comparison to 100% cotton clothing, technical fabric is very breathable and doesn’t tend to retain sweat nearly as much. A good set of running shorts, tops and socks consisting of this fabric can give you the comfort you need for your running routine.
5. Stay hydrated
Hydration is massively important, especially when you’re just starting out. Drinking 20 oz. about two hours before you run is vital for your hydration. Drinking water during your run should also be a priority, but don’t overdo it, especially if you are running for more than twenty minutes at a time.
Eventually, once you’re running for more than 45 minutes, you’ll want to switch from water to a sports drink – this will allow you to replace the electrolytes which maintain the proper water balance in the body.
6. Stretch before and after your run
Stretching is an essential part of any runner’s training program, and beginners are no exception. Before your run, make sure to perform some dynamic stretches before to loosen up your leg muscles. A few sets of leg swings and walking lunges are perfect for warming up your legs with the full range of motion. After your run, static stretches like standing quad and calf stretches will round out your cool down while keeping your major muscle groups healthy.
7. Set your own goals
Clichéd as it might be, running is all about what you want to get out of it. So whether you’d like to pursue running a 5k, or just want to stay in shape, feel free to set your own personal goals.