Running is a great form of exercise, but for people who have never tried it, it can also be one of the most intimidating workout options. On the other hand, it’s also a great way to get fit, which is why it’s important to have some support as you get started.
The wrong approach can easily leave you feeling more discouraged than excited, and that’s the opposite of what you want to achieve.
Start With Your Shoes
There are two common mistakes that new runners make when it comes to their shoes. First, many novice runners wear shoes that are slightly too small or that otherwise don’t fit properly. That’s because, when you’re wearing shoes for casual activities, it’s okay if the fit isn’t perfect, but when you’re running, especially over long distances, improperly fitted shoes can cause injuries, bruised toenails, and other problems. If you visit a shoe store that specializes in running shoes, they can help you select a properly fitting pair.
The second major mistake that new runners make regarding their shoes is that they wear them for too long. Just because your shoes don’t have obvious holes, that doesn’t mean they’re still road-worthy. Rather, the rule of thumb for running shoes is that they should be replaced every 300 to 500 miles – and you’ll hit that mark sooner than you think.
Slow And Steady
There are many different types of running, from marathons and trail running to sprinting and other short races. When you’re first getting started, though, it’s important that you don’t try to go too fast or too far. Start with short distances, take walking breaks if you need to, and make sure to build rest days into your schedule. If you want to workout on “rest” days, choose a different type of exercise; core workouts can be particularly beneficial for runners.
Track Your Progress
Especially if you’re running on the streets in your neighborhood or on trails in the woods, it can be hard to determine how far you’re going or how fast you’re running, and as a beginner, you might not even know whether those values are “good” or not. Luckily, there are lots of tools that can help you make sense of these metrics. In addition to programs that can help you map your running path, a personal trainer can help you set appropriate goals and track your progress, workout by workout.
See The Big Picture
Many people think that running is only about how far or how fast you can run, but that’s a limiting way of looking at this activity. In fact, these objective measures can keep you from enjoying the big picture benefits of running. Running can improve your mood and help you manage stress more effectively, while also helping you build strength and endurance that will serve you in other parts of your life. Even if you never run in a single race or never become a fast runner, you’ll undoubtedly discover some of these other benefits.
Running is a great form of exercise because you can approach it in many different ways. You can run on a track or in the woods, run with friends or alone, or run in your neighborhood or while on vacation. Best of all, though, running is an exercise that will help you keep moving for life – and the sooner you start, the more years you’ll have to reap the benefits.