By deciding to start running, you have decided to make an investment in yourself. Soon you will start noticing the many mental and physical health benefits that accompany your new-found hobby. But it's important not to jump into running too quickly. Trying to do too much, too fast is a recipe for injury and will make it more likely that you will quit running before you really get started. Here is our beginners guide to running.
Invest time and money in gear: Running in the wrong shoes is a primary cause of injury. Make a trip to a specialty running store for your first pair of running shoes. When you're there, the running specialists will watch you run so they can suggest exactly what you need. In addition, consider buying bamboo athlete gear. It offers the same moisture-wicking benefits as its polyester counterpart, but has the great benefits of being all natural.
Run and walk: If you have never run more than a few hundred yards before, you won’t suddenly be able to power through 5K. Know this. Accept this. Do a run/walk routine to get you started. There are several great (free) phone apps to help. However, you can also try a simple run/walk ratio. Start slow: walk for 2 minutes, run for 30 seconds, and repeat until you've hit your target distance or time. If you need a longer rest, then walk for 3 minutes. Do what feels good to you, but push yourself by running for 30 seconds to one minute at a time. It's best to start slow in the beginning and work your way up.
Set small goals: Having big goals is important. If you want to run a marathon, that's great. But that shouldn't be your focal point right now. Set a more manageable goal, such as running for 5 minutes straight. You have plenty of time to work up to a big goal, but you'll never get there without smaller incentivizing goals along the way.
Find some buddies: Even though running is generally thought of as a solo sport, it can actually be very social when you run with a friend or a group. Ask your local running store if they have group runs for beginners. Many stores around the country offer these kinds of groups for people of all abilities. They will be led by coaches who will motivate you and as an added bonus, you'll make some new friends along the way.
Questions, comments, or concerns? Please feel free to contact us here for support on your journey to better health.
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