Three Things To Know Before You Start To Run
- Visit a local running store to buy a pair of shoes that fits and supports you.
- Build your volume very slowly. Most injuries can be prevented by building your mileage slowly.
- Have a goal that you can do with friends.
Start running with a new pair of shoes and a little commitment
To start running, you need a pair of decent running shoes, 60 to 90 minutes a week, and a goal.
Probably the best part about running is its simplicity.
Even in the cold weather, the only thing you really need that you might not already have is a pair of shoes that fit you and provide the support you need.
It’s something nearly everyone can do and only takes a minimum commitment to start running.
If you can get out three days a week, you’re making a solid start building your fitness.
Start running during the short days of winter
It’s nearly winter in Wisconsin right now, and the days are short.
We don’t have any snow in Milwaukee, so it’s still good to start running outside.
Running, snowshoeing, skiing, and cycling, especially outside, have been shown to improve symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, which many of us start feeling about now.
“Exercise and light therapy were associated with similar and significant reductions in depression severity and an increased rate of oxygen consumption relative to an untreated control group, suggesting that normalization of daily energy expenditure may underlie the efficacy of both treatments.”
Running indoors on a treadmill is also a good way to get started, even if it’s a little more boring.
Start running by starting to run
How long should a beginner start running?
If you are a complete beginner, start running slowly.
Consider a plan that involves both walking and running.
For example, for the first week, walk 20 to 30 minutes on two or three days.
Then, on three days, run a minute, walk a minute, and slowly build up the run time.
Rest one day a week, and consider doing some strength training either at home or at the gym.
You can also find an outside course where you run for a bit, then do pushups, planks, or some other kind of exercise.
Gradually, you’ll be able to increase the amount of time you’re running instead of walking!
Give yourself permission, though, to go easy on yourself.
You’ll need time to get fit.
You’ll avoid most of the common injuries when you start running by building up your fitness slowly.
It’s a big part of the process to set some goals, usually to finish a race or complete some adventure.
If you have a goal, any goal, you’re more likely to stick with your training after you start running.
And it helps even more if you have a friend or companion who has the same goal.
That way, you can encourage each other, especially when your motivation is lagging.
Joining a club like the Badgerland Striders is a great way to meet people, learn what to do, and have a lot of fun along the way.
Better goals after you start running regularly
Here, I talked a lot about process goals and how these are better for your long-term growth and development.
For example, a better goal would be to develop consistency in your training.
Start with doing the run/ walk three days a week.
Then set the goal of running the whole time for those three days.
Finally, start increasing the amount of time that you’re running.
Several other goals might be:
- Simply finish a race.
- Find a 5k or a short trail run.
- Start weekly interval sessions and improve each week.
Now that you’re a runner
Once you’ve been running several days a week, you’ve probably noticed some changes in your body.
Maybe you’ve lost some weight, and maybe you feel fitter.
Give yourself some time.
Especially if you’ve been sedentary, change takes time.
You probably want to do some weight training if your goal is to be faster.
If your goal is to lose some weight, strength training will speed that process along.
Regular yoga classes as well are good for your joints.
Track your workouts on a smartwatch or an old-fashioned timer and sheet of paper.
It’s good to see progress in both distance and time.
Making running a habit
The keys to becoming a lifelong and injury-free runner are
- Make running a habit of at least three days a week
- Build up your running time slowly. The best way to avoid injury is to build your stamina, strength, and endurance slowly.
- Set modest goals.
- Find a running community by looking for clubs, posting on social media. Running friends will get you out on those days you aren’t feeling it.
- Know that you never have to “love” running. Accept that it’s a regular mental and physical challenge that is good for you, and go from there.
Weigh the benefits when you don’t feel like it
There will be days when you’ve started to run regularly when you don’t want to go out.
Consider the situation: are you really, really tired or sick?
Somedays, I come home from training people at the studio, the last thing I want to do is run or ride.
But I also know that I’ll feel a lot better afterward.
And I know if I don’t get out, I’ll feel worse the next day.
Not sure? Lace up your shoes and get out for 10 minutes.
If you still feel like crap after 10, run home.
If you’re sick, hacking up a lung, or have a cold, it’s probably a good idea to take the day off.
Your body needs the energy to fight off the cold and keep your immunity strong.
How can a beginner start running?
Running does not need to be a significant undertaking.
You don’t need to start training for a marathon.
We all have reasons for why we run: general fitness, weight control or loss, challenge, friendship. Those are all good whys.
Keep your whys in mind when you hit a bad stretch in a run or feel like you’re not getting any better.
Every day is a chance to challenge yourself with a run.
Accept the challenge.
Get out the door.
Still Curious About What You Can Achieve?
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