Introduction to Running
If you’ve made the decision to start to run, whether it’s for general health and wellbeing, to gain fitness, or to try and rid yourself of some unwanted weight, you’re bound to have lots of questions. When you’re completely new to the world of running, everything from running gear to running technique can be baffling, which is why we thought it would be beneficial to create a guide full of running tips for beginners.
Our goal is to help you start to run safely and teach you the general fitness basics, from warming up to the sort of progress you should expect to make. So, lace up your running shoes and learn how to start running in the right way.
- Set a realistic goal
- Start with the run–walk method
- Invest in the right gear
- Don’t get discouraged
- Progress slowly
Forming a new habit can be hard, particularly when it’s one that’s physically demanding. That’s why it’s essential that you set an achievable goal to motivate yourself to get going. Vowing to run five days a week if you’ve not run before is setting yourself up to fail. Instead, set short-term goals that you can meet. For example, running twice a week for the first month is an excellent starting point. At the end of the month, you can then set a new goal that reflects your progress to date.
This is probably the most important of all our running tips for beginners. If you want to avoid a nasty injury, your workout should start long before you’re out pounding the pavement. Too many new runners skip this crucial stage entirely, which dramatically increases their risk of common injuries such as runner’s knee, hamstring issues, shin splints and stress fractures.
A good warm-up will help to stretch the muscles, boost your blood flow, kick start your aerobic system and make it easier to get going and keep going. A basic running warm-up should include toe touches, lunges, jumping jacks and brisk walking. Read our ultimate running warm-up to find out more.
If you’re taking your first steps in the world of running, it’s unrealistic to assume that you’ll be able to jump off the couch and run for 20 minutes non-stop. Just like any form of physical activity, you have to take baby steps, starting slowly and building up gradually. Initially, aim to run for two or three minutes, then walk for one minute to get your breath back and recover. If that’s not comfortable, find a run–walk ratio that works for you. For example, if you need to walk for three minutes and run for just one, that’s absolutely fine too.
If you’re just starting to run, you shouldn’t necessarily spend a small fortune on running equipment. However, you would be wise to invest in a few essentials. A good pair of lightweight running shoes that provides plenty of stability and support is a must, as is running clothing that will keep you cool, dry and comfortable, whatever the weather.
When you first start to run, it’s very easy to become discouraged with your progress. Part of that discouragement stems from not setting realistic goals in the first place, but in the early days, running feels very physically demanding. The reality is that on some days you’ll feel fantastic, while on others it’ll seem like you’re running through glue. On those difficult days, it’s important that you focus on why you’re running in the first place. Whatever your motivation is, keep it at the forefront of your mind and just keep going. It does get easier!
Don’t run before you can walk. Injuries are very common when people start to run for the first time, and believe it or not, many of those injuries are the result of overuse. Even as a beginner, there will be days when you feel great and want to push yourself harder than you ever have before. However, pushing yourself too hard before your body is strong enough to handle the stresses and strains of running is a sure-fire way to get injured. Initially, your goal should be to have fun. Once you’ve been running a couple of times a week consistently, you can then start to increase the distance and pace.
Everything you need to get started
If you’ve made the decision to start to run, our high-quality running gear will keep you dry, comfortable and supported every step of the way. Take a look at our range of men’s and women’s running shoes , running clothing and running accessories and place your order online.