Running tips for the beginner
Most new fitness enthusiasts often consider running as their first choice because of the low start-up cost. However, because running feels natural, it has led many new runners to prepare less. To become a better runner, there are physical and mental preparations you have to put in place even if you are new or have a little experience in running. The following running tips for beginners will help ensure your success and avoid injuries when you start.
Running tips for the beginner
Come to think of it, why would you stay committed to running when you have no good reason to do so? Why would you remain consistent in your rigorous training sessions if not to be an efficient runner and to enjoy the feel-good factor? Becoming an active runner does not come on a silver platter; it requires some effort and focus of your own.
Just like other fitness exercises, you need to set yourself a goal and keep you moving towards it.
Your goals should be SMART and help you stay focused. For instance, as a beginner, you can enroll for a 5km race and focus on completing the race without stopping or finish the race under a specific time. This will not only help in improving your running skills but also increases your experience and focus on achieving your goals. Note that your first experience might be rough, but you will get better with time.
Invest in the right running gear
Running is an inexpensive exercise – once you acquire the necessary gears, you are good to go. However, you have to get yourself the right kit for you to have the best running experience. Don’t pick up any running gear just because you like them or because they look good without considering their pros and cons. Invest in some specialist running underwear, tops, shorts, socks, and shoes. If you don’t know what to look for head into your local running shop and ask for some running tips on the right types of clothes
Note that 100% cotton materials tend to retain more moisture, and this causes irritation or blisters. Hence, moisture-wicking tops, shorts/tights, and socks made from breathable fabrics like Wrightsocks™ and Runderwear™ will do the job.
To select the best running shoe, visit your local specialist running shop to have your gait analyzed. This will help figure out your footstrike pattern to know if you overpronate or not. This will help you in selecting the right shoe for your foot type.
If you, however, love listening to a combination of music or podcasts as you run, then it is essential to choose, organize and update your playlists. This will help keep your spirit lifted and make you manage any discomfort while running.
Follow a Beginner training plan
One effective method of achieving success is to get yourself the right training plan and stay committed to it. It is essential to find a training plan that will take you through the proper running training to become more efficient and avoid injuries. You can find training plans to direct you in the right direction via a coach, a training app or through a website.
You may have to get yourself a reliable coach depending on your fitness or training goal. A reputable running coach will help you adjust the training around your lifestyle and teach you how to get faster. They also can help encourage you when you feel depressed and even add a dose of reality when you need to train more aggressively. Most running coaches can help you with related running tips and information to help make the transition to running easier.
Timing and tracking devices
Whether or not you are training on your own, you need to get yourself a tracking and timing device to monitor your progress. Nowadays, mobile phones are used as a tracking device because they come in handy but may feel awkward to carry while running. Mobile apps like MapMyRun and RunKeper can use your device’s GPS to automatically record your distance, pace, and routes.
Apart from your mobile phones, you can also use other devices like GPS watches, to manage your time and track your progress.
Alternate running with walking
As a brand new runner, there is no need for you to think you can run like a pro for 30 minutes or even more without stopping or resting along the way. You don’t have to push yourself above your limits, start small and gradually develop your ability. Listen to running tips from experienced runners will help you to begin to run the correct way.
Alternate your runs with walking when running a longer distance for the first time. You can take a minute of running and alternate it with a minute of walking till you complete the race or switch to short walk breaks each time you feel you need to. You can equally slow down your speed and run at a pace that feels comfortable.
Join a running group
One way to keep yourself inspired, motivated, accountable and committed is by joining a running group or having at least a running buddy. There will be times when you won’t feel like running, but knowing that a friend or your group would be waiting for you is enough to motivate you. You can learn from other runners what worked for them to help you figure out what would work best for you.
Fuel properly during a run
What you eat is just as important as your running gear. The right mix of carbohydrates, proteins and fat will provide you with the energy needed to fuel your race and aid recovery once you finish. You will quickly get tired by running on an empty stomach, so it is essential to fuel before running.
Digestion tends to stop or slow down when you run; this is why you have to figure out the meal or snacks that work best for you. Plan an ideal time to eat (preferably 1-2hours before running and within 15mins after racing).
Proper hydration is vital for an efficient run, choose your hydration drink carefully, based on the length of your workout, intensity or weather conditions. You can go for electrolytes and sports drinks to energize and hydrate while running longer distances. However, water is considered an ideal option for runners running less than 1 hour.
It is also essential to limit your alcohol intake as it affects hydration levels and recovery. You may also calculate your sweat rate to determine the quantity of hydration drink to carry along for your training or running exercise. You can equally use apps to track your hydration level and also to remind you to remain hydrated.
Warm-up before a race
You don’t have to perform rigorous stretches or exercise to get your body acclimated just before you run. Save all these for later since they may not help you prevent injury and might even impact your performance negatively when performed just before you run. Dynamic exercises like squats, form drills, lunges might be all you need.
Because you are already into a running exercise does not mean that you should neglect other workout exercises. There are lots of exercises you can perform to improve your form and running efficiency, even when you are injured. Exercise like yoga core strengthening exercises, yoga exercise for runner’s legs and moves for strength, agility, and speed can stretch and strengthen every part of your body and also help in injury prevention and improvement.
Pay attention to your body
Becoming an efficient runner does not only depend on strong legs, and, proper fueling but also on powerful senses and mental ability. Strong mental expertise and knowledge will not only help you stay focused but also to help you determine injuries and discomfort within your body. Listen to your body and figure out if you what you are experiencing is a regular workout-related muscle ache. Avoid running through pains, get the soreness treated and ensure your recovery before embarking on your next run.
Your resting days are part of your training. To become fitter, stronger and more efficient, you need to rest and recover from your previous workouts. Avoid being driven by too much ambition to the extent of skipping your resting days. Note that inadequate rest can make you feel tired, sore and sluggish. When you begin your running program, you can plan your training days to have at least a day of rest in between runs.