Running is an excellent form of exercise. Not only is it great for the body, but it can also do wonders for the mind. If you’re new to running or runners, take a look at our beginner’s guide that has 8 tips to help get you started to avoid any injuries.
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1. Start With a Coach
Beginner runners are always looking to strap on their shoes and head out onto the road. Before you go anywhere, it’s highly recommended that you sign up to work with a coach. An online running coach can help develop a personalized plan for your running goals. They can also help you to prevent mistakes that will put you out of commission within your first week.
2. Buy The Right Shoes
Just because Nike has cool shoes doesn’t make them the best for running. Every type of shoe is specifically designed for different types of athletic activity. Running shoes are made with the purpose of alleviating impact on your knees. When you go to the store to try some on, talk with one of the experts there to help you.
3. Motivate Yourself
It’s one thing to plan to run. It’s another thing to actually start running. In order for you to get yourself out there, you have to find ways to motivate yourself. Create a running schedule that coincides with your daily routine. Set your running clothes and shoes by your bed before you go to sleep. This way, you won’t be able to get out of bed without stepping on or over them.
Leave motivational notes on your bathroom mirror to remind you of why you want to start running in the first place. Remember, no one is going to take those first steps for you. You have to do them yourself.
4. Drink Plenty of Water Before and After
Staying hydrated is essential for any runner. Water is used to help regulate our body temperatures. If you’re running and start to sweat, that’s how your body cools itself down. If you are dehydrated, it won’t be able to release those toxins and waste through sweat and instead will reserve them. Hydrating also helps energize our cells and keeps us from cramping up after we run.
5. Active Warmups
Active warmups are great for new runners. This means doing a small workout before your big workout. Your warmup is a chance for the oxygen and blood flow in your body to increase. This allows your muscles and joints to become ready for a more intense run afterward. Start with a set of jumping jacks or a light free-weight exercise.
6. Stretch After Your Run
There are countless times when runners could’ve avoided injuries if they had just taken a few extra minutes after their run to stretch. We get it. You’re exhausted after finally taking the plunge to start running. You want to take a shower or even rest on the floor. Count stretching as a part of the workout itself, though.
7. Don’t Forget to Take Rest Days
Rest days are equally as important as your training days. It’s easy once you start a running routine to go every single day. You don’t want to miss out on one morning run because you’re afraid you might stop altogether. On the contrary, your muscles and joints need time to heal and repair themselves. This can only be done when taking adequate rest days.
Your rest days could be a great opportunity to strength train or do another type of workout that doesn’t focus on cardio or specifically your leg muscles.
8. Keep a Training Log
If you are still finding it difficult to get motivated or hold yourself accountable, consider keeping a training log. Sometimes it can be easier to feel motivated when you see progress being made. Having a tangible log of your running details can be incredibly helpful towards meeting your overall goals. Imagine how far you’ll have come once you start running today!