6 Important Tips for Brand New Runners

Running has become the “cool” thing to do. But if you’re just starting out, it can also be a drag. Here are a few tips to help you kick it into gear.

Do you want to be happy and fit? It may seem too good to be true, but running can actually enhance your mood while also boosting your health. Studies have long shown that exercise can relieve stress. But running, unlike other some other activities, costs little, doesn’t require a gym and quickly impacts your physical fitness.

It all sounds quite advantageous, but you need to be aware of some basics before lacing up and heading out. Hitting the pavement without preparing yourself could lead to pains and injuries that can leave you bitterly stuck on the couch. If you’re a brand new runner, here are the key tips you need to know:

#1 Invest in Good Shoes


Before anything else, you should find a set of sneakers that fits and adequately supports your foot. Buying the right pair of shoes can help you to avoid injuries and run longer distances. Also remember that running in worn out shoes is just as detrimental as running in ill-fitting or poorly supportive ones. Avoid shoes that have been run down to nothing, or ones with holes and tears.

If you’re just starting out as a runner, you could benefit from stopping in at a specialty store to be fitted for the right shoes. They may run up a price tag, but good shoes are a worthy investment. Be sure to replace your shoes after about 300-400 miles.

#2 Practice Good Form

Although not all runners assume a perfect posture, there is a correct running form when it comes down to it. As you’re starting out, try to adopt this stance. You might as well get your body used to good form. Plus, running with the correct posture can help you to avoid pains and injuries.

Your body should be in a straight, upright position. Your head, neck and back should neatly align. Keep your arms at 90-degree angles, with your elbows at your sides and hands down at your waist.

Assuming this position will help avoid physical discomforts and also assist with your oxygen flow. Getting enough air in your lungs is very important while running, so stand up straight and breathe through your nose and out your mouth.

#3 Build Distance Gradually

Woman runner outside jogging at morning with Dubai urban scene in background

It’s very important to take your running career in stride. Being enthusiastic is awesome, but starting off with ten-mile runs can significantly widen your chance of obtaining injuries.

To be safe, pain-free and capable of reaching your goals, don’t bump up your distance by more than 10 percent each week. This will ensure you’re not taking on too much too soon.

Keep in mind that it is totally normal and acceptable to incorporate walking breaks into your running regime. You should be concerned with distance rather than time.

As you get further into your running career, your walking breaks should be shortened accordingly. This will help you to build endurance to help with longer runs in the future.

#4 Eating Healthy is Key

Whether you are running to prepare for a marathon or just to improve your health, eating the right foods is important. You can never outrun bad eating habits. Instead of fueling up on carbs, you should eat oats, beans, barley and whole-grain cereals.

Keep your diet high in proteins so your muscles can recover from the daily strain of running. Select healthier cuts of meat or you could try soy proteins like tofu and soy milk to get your protein intake. Salmon is also a great source of protein and nutrients.

There’s a variety of foods that can help you get in tip-top shape. You can even relieve sore muscles by eating oranges.

#5 Run Consistently

beautiful blonde woman running along the riverside

Once you start running, staying on track is key. Taking sporadic runs will not build your endurance. It will only subject you to more injuries. Developing a schedule could be helpful. Schedule or not, just make sure you’re putting aside time – even if it’s just a few minutes – to get out and moving consistently.

#6 Remember Your Rest Days

Rest days are just as much a part of your running schedule as the ones with lots of movement. Put aside at least one or two days each week for rest and recovery – especially if you have an injury. You should be giving your body some time off.

Incorporating other exercises into your routine is another excellent way to strengthen other parts of your body and to better avoid injuries. Pool exercises are a great way to maintain endurance and build lung capacity while also giving your knees a breather. Biking and weight lifting will also serve as great alternative workouts.

Now that you’ve soaked up the basics, you should be ready to embark on your running career. The beginning stages may (and probably will) come with some pain and suffering as your body gets acclimated. Keep on trucking, and you’ll see a world of benefits down the road!

About the author

Ali Lawrence

More ambitious than Julius Caesar and less predictable than a game of poker, Ali Lawrence is a globetrotter that writes for a living. When not on the road, she enjoys cooking healthy meals, playing tennis and painting.

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