When you are first starting out as a runner, it’s helpful to know some of the best practices of more experienced runners. Whether it is knowing the right type of running gear to buy, or simply how to stay motivated ahead of your first race, the following tips for beginner runners will help guide you.
Tip #1: Stretch both before and after a run
Most people know that it’s important to stretch before a run, especially if you have not been physically active for a long time. Stretching helps to minimize the risk that you will experience any type of injury during your run and improves overall flexibility. But did you know that it’s also important to stretch after a run? Stretching helps to restore muscles to their original size, and also speeds up the recovery process. Experienced runners advise making stretching part of your cool-down process.
Tip #2: Wear the right shoes
If you are a casual runner, it might be tempting to go out for a run wearing whatever pair of sneakers you happen to have around the house. However, there’s a big difference between a “sneaker” and a “running shoe.” A “running shoe” has special cushioning and stability support that is specifically designed to protect your foot. Moreover, you can go one step further – you can also buy a running shoe that compensates for the specific type of movement (such as overpronation or supination) that your foot makes when it strikes a surface.
Tip #3: Start off with a run/walk combo
There’s nothing wrong with building up your pace and stamina by combining both running and walking into the same workout. For example, you might run for 2K and then walk for a few minutes, and then run another 2K. Your goal should be to build up enough strength and endurance to turn every workout into a run.
Tip #4: Stay motivated by running with others
There’s always something you can learn from more experienced runners, and that’s one great benefit of finding a group of local runners. Plus, the benefits extend beyond just learning and education – it’s also a lot more motivating when you are running with others. Especially if you are training for an upcoming race, knowing that you are going out for a run with others also training for the same race can be a huge motivational boost.
Tip #5: Don’t forget about other forms of exercise
There is significant benefit in complementing your running with other forms of exercise. In other words, just because you have committed to running several times a week doesn’t mean that you should forget about other forms of exercise, such as strength training, yoga or swimming. In many ways, it depends on your overall fitness and wellness goals. But it is common to combine the toning and endurance of running with the muscle building of strength training.
And, finally, one more bonus tip – don’t forget about the importance of sleep. Sleep is what helps you recover more quickly and avoid injury due to muscle inflammation. So make sure that you are giving your body plenty of sleep as you develop your running regimen. By doing so, you will help to ensure that you will meet all of your future running goals.