So, you think you want to run. You’re looking into routes, shoes, and clothes. You’re excited about the idea of picking up something new. Running is a great way to disconnect from your stress, burn calories, and get daily movement in. Before you get started, here are a few things you should know about running:
Think about your shoes
A very important aspect of successful running is the type of shoes you wear. You’ll want to take your time to find the right pair of shoes that are specific for your needs. From the way you walk and run to the shape of your legs and even the weight you carry, there is a “science” behind the kinds of shoes that will work best for you.
Do some research and look into how should running shoes fit. A professional at a running store can also help you with this. Don’t just get a pair of shoes because they look nice; you’ll want to buy a pair that will protect you from pain and discomfort, as well as provide you with the comfort and support needed for long miles.
Start off by walking
You may have the hope that you’ll get out on the track and run a five-miler on your first day. Slow down, now. That’s not always possible and also not great for your body if you’re not used to running. Instead, get started with walking a few miles a day for the first couple of days.
Then, start picking up the pace with intervals of walking and running for the next few times you start running. When you start off slow, you not only build the foundation for success, but you also train your body for longevity in the sport. Make sure to use a playlist to help you with your training, as music can be a great way to pick up the pace.
Be patient with yourself
Becoming a great runner is just like any other kind of sport or physical activity: it takes time and patience. While you may want to start running fast on day one and hit long miles right away, it takes time to gain speed and stamina—however, it will come. So, all you need to do is show up every day and before you know it, you’ll be hitting those Strava PRs you’ve been dreaming of.
Don’t run every single day
Running every day of the week is going to wear you out like nothing else will. Don’t ruin something that could be a thing you look forward to. Additionally, if you’re training towards a goal, like a half-marathon or marathon, your body doesn’t only want rest and recovery—it demands it.
You won’t be able to achieve your goal of finishing a marathon without proper rest, so take a day or so off every week and get plenty of sleep. Also, if needed, consider adding more protein to your diet to give your body the fuel it needs for running often.
Plan for longer and shorter runs
Depending on why you’re running, you may want to follow a running program. Some people pick up running with the end goal of training for a marathon. Others simply want to have a specific activity to focus on that’s good for them. Either way, alternating between longer and shorter runs will be good for your overall endurance and stamina, both of which will serve you well, regardless of your end goal for running.
Time to run
Running can be rewarding in so many ways. From helping you with weight loss goals to helping you fight the effects of depression, running may be the perfect activity for you. Just make sure that you prepare with the right shoes and programs for your needs, and don’t forget to be patient.
Running regularly will soon pay off in the form of speed and stamina, as you take your time to train your body. Before you know it, you could be running marathons!