If you’re a new runner, completing that first mile can seem daunting. How do other people you see gliding down the road make it look so easy? We’re here to help with some running tips for beginners to get you started. Before you know it, you’ll be lacing up your running shoes regularly and getting through a mile easily.
Take it one step at a time. Great runners didn’t get there overnight, so don’t expect to be blazing through a mile after just a day or two. Be patient with yourself, and you’ll be enjoying mile after mile with a little time and effort.
One of my favorite things about running is that it doesn’t require a lot of equipment. You need a good pair of shoes, comfortable socks that wick away sweat, and weather-appropriate clothes. Visit a local running store and talk to an expert who can fit you in shoes that work for you and watch you run in them.
In the winter, wear leggings and light layers you can take off as you warm up. In warmer weather, opt for shorts with a built-in liner for comfort and a light t-shirt or tank top.
Don’t plan to just walk out the door and burst into a jog. You need to warm up your muscles to get them ready to move and prevent injury. It doesn’t have to take long–just don’t avoid it. Check out Coach Holly’s video about the right way to warm up for a run.
If you’ve never run before, it will take a few weeks before you can run a mile without stopping–and that’s ok. Start out by running for a minute and then walking for a minute or two. Listen to your body and see how it feels. Gradually increase the amount of time you run and decrease the amount of time walking as your body feels ready.
When you’re first starting out, you don’t need to be running every day. You risk burning out, so you need rest days and light activity days. On rest days, you can do a little strength training like yoga or pilates to keep your muscles limber and foster muscle strength. You can also do low impact cross-training like swimming, walking on a treadmill, or cycling on days you don’t run.
As a beginner runner, think about why you want to run in the first place? You might be focused on weight loss or have the ultimate goal to complete a half marathon. Running isn’t easy–especially at first, so keep your end goal at the top of your mind when things get tough. You can even consider getting a running coach to help you develop a training plan, improve your running form and keep you motivated.
Some people don’t like to listen to anything while they run, but I am personally not one of them! I’ve always enjoyed listening to music to help pass the time and keep me motivated on a run. Make a playlist of your favorite songs just for running or search for popular running playlists on an app like Spotify. Some runners also enjoy listening to podcasts while running–it’s up to you!
Nutrition is a huge part of how good you’ll feel while running. Focus on a balanced diet filled with whole grains, lean protein, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables. Remember, you don’t have a license to eat whatever you want or carb load because you started exercising, especially if you want to lose weight. Consider using an app like MyFitnessPal to monitor your diet.
Many beginner runners find it easier to get started running–and stick with it if they have a running buddy or join a running group. Search Facebook groups or Meetups in your community to find a group of new runners. It will also help keep you accountable when you know someone is expecting you to show up for a run!
Structure is important. There’s no shortage of running plans you can look up online, but following one designed by experts is helpful. At The Run Experience, we offer We offer flexible programs that you can align with your schedule and fitness level, with guided, follow-along workouts. What are you waiting for? Sign up for a free trial today.
Cooling down after each workout is just as important and warming up beforehand. It doesn’t take a lot of effort, but it helps keep you injury-free and reduces soreness so you’re ready for your next run. Check out Coach Holly’s video about the proper way to cool down.
Follow these tips to get started on running your first mile and working your way towards longer runs–maybe even getting ready for your first 5k. Finally, don’t forget to download our new mobile app for access to expert coaching advice, daily video workouts, injury prevention tips, and complete training programs that will help motivate and inspire your running on a regular basis.