Good morning everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful Wednesday yesterday, and are ready for a thrilling Thursday. Just felt like the morning needed a little bit of alliteration, ya know?
This morning’s post is absolutely timely for me. I realized that, since I am basically starting over with my running after a few-month hiatus, I might as well share my tips for beginning runners! Because no matter whether you have been a runner forever and have simply taken a break, or if you are lacing up those sneakers for the first time, starting at the beginning can be tough.
That’s why they call is square one, right? But square one doesn’t have to be terrible. You just need a little guidance to start heading towards squares two, three and four!
1. Start slowly. This seems like common sense, right? Wrong. It’s actually one of the toughest tips to follow. Once you start knocking out quarter miles, half miles, etc, it’s hard to not want to keep going! But doing too much too soon can lead to injury, burnout and the end of your budding running career. This (ironically) is one of those places where it is better to be the tortoise and not the hare.
2. Don’t be afraid to walk. Most beginning running plans actually have walking breaks built into them! Walking for a minute or two can reenergize you, give your body a little break and allow you to actually run for longer. Totally counterintuitive, but it works.
3. Get the right gear. No, I’m not just saying this because I love a good shopping trip. In this case, having the right clothes (good socks, moisture-wicking clothes – no cotton!) and the right shoes can keep you dry and happy. And injury-free. You don’t have to spend a fortune either – Target and TJ Maxx have some great workout clothes (and shoes) that don’t cost an arm and a leg! Save those arms and legs for your running
4. Pick a plan. And a goal. Maybe this is my Type-A-ness rearing its ugly head. But I know that the reason I stuck with my running when I started last fall is because I was following a plan. Couch to 5k is a good for beginners, and so are some of Hal Higdon’s plans. I also know that I stuck to my plan even more because I had a goal in mind – to run a half-marathon! Nothing motivates you more than plunking down that credit card for a little chunk of change months in advance…
and one of my favorite (yet strange) tips?
5. Tell people. Tell everyone you know, in fact – maybe do it via a blog? Hey, it worked for me Because I had so many people, both in person and online, encouraging me and supporting me and checking in and HOLDING ME ACCOUNTABLE there is no way that I could stop running. I had too much to prove!
So there you have it. Just a few things that helped me when I started out last fall. It seems crazy to me now that I could be giving advice on running – all this from a little girl who vowed never to run again once field hockey and lacrosse ended? Yeah, I’ve come a long way.
Do you have any more tips to add? For beginners, or even more experienced runners?