HOW TO START RUNNING?
Running is one of the most popular ways to keep fit and stay mobile, so we have put together our ‘how to start running for beginners’ guide to motivate you to get out there and help you get the most from your routine. All the greatest runners started somewhere and we hope these helpful tips will give you the confidence to give it a go.
Before you start running, you should make sure you have a good quality pair of running shoes to ensure comfort and safety. Downloading the ASICS Runkeeper will also allow you to track your progress and boost your motivation.
HOW TO GET INTO RUNNING FOR BEGINNERS
SET UP A BEGINNER’S RUNNING SCHEDULE
Consistency is the key with all types of exercise to build results and increase fitness. Free up a regular slot in your schedule for running so you can get into a routine and stay motivated. Start small with one or two sessions per week. This can increase as your fitness and confidence grow, as can the length of your run. You can also use your beginner’s running schedule to plan the routes you are going to take.
SHOULD I BE TIMING MY RUNS?
As a beginner, you should focus on enjoying your running. Every run will feel different and it’s too early to start fixating on the clock. It’s more important to perfect a good running technique before worrying about time. Concentrate on building fitness and increasing the length of your runs gradually. Don’t be tempted to try pushing yourself too early as this may leave you strained and dampen your enthusiasm to go out again. The key to starting running for beginners is moderation, as running too fast or too frequently before your muscles are ready will greatly increase the risk of injury.
SHOULD I RUN IN THE MORNING OR THE EVENING?
As part of your beginner’s running schedule, you might choose morning or evening runs, or both, depending on your other commitments. Whatever you choose, there’s no difference in terms of the benefits you’ll receive. It all comes down to personal preference and fitting in running around the rest of your day. Find what works for you and stick to that routine.
If you are running in the evening, make sure you check out our LITE-SHOW collection, so you can be easily seen by others and keep yourself safe. If you’re running in the early mornings, layering up is the key to protecting yourself from cold and wet weather. Read more in our guide to layering up for unpredictable weather.
BEGINNER’S RUNNING WARM-UP
In order to avoid injury, it’s essential that you do a beginner’s running warm-up prior to each run. This is important for runners at every level, but particularly for those who are just starting out. You can warm up all your muscles in around five minutes. Begin with a walk or a slow jog to get the blood flowing. You can then add in a few dynamic stretches:
- Stand up straight and kick your heels up to your glutes
- Jump up and down bringing your knees up to your chest
- Place your feet and knees together and gently move up and down in a circular motion
- Make circular movements with your feet hip-width apart and place your hands on your pelvis
Dedicate more time to warming up and stretching if you’re running in the early morning or if it’s particularly cold outside.
Staying motivated is one of the biggest challenges when running as a beginner. Do not feel guilty if your motivation starts to dip. This is not uncommon and there are several ways to combat it. A music playlist that psyches you up or a great podcast that takes your mind off the run is a great way to regain your motivation and push you further. The longer you put off your run, the harder it will be to walk out of the door. It’s best just to get out there and go for it.
HOW DO I STAY CONNECTED?
Use the ASICS Runkeeper app to track your progress. It will show you the distance you have covered and the speed you reach on each run, as well as many other details. Monitoring your progress and your success can be extremely motivating and will give you a real sense of achievement.
HOW TO FUEL YOUR RUN
A very important but often overlooked part of running for beginners is the food you eat. Eating the right food before a run can have a huge impact on your performance. A fist-sized snack that is high in energy is ideal to consume around 30 minutes before setting off. Examples of ideal running foods are bananas or bagels, which slowly release energy throughout your exercise without leaving you too full.
HOW TO HYDRATE WHEN RUNNING
Water is just as important as food when it comes to running. Always take water with you on a run but ensure it is at room temperature and sip it rather than gulping it down in one go. If you run for 30 minutes or less, you may not need to take water with you but remember to stay hydrated before and after a run. Here’s more information about how best to stay hydrated when running.
HOW TO BREATHE WHEN RUNNING FOR BEGINNERS
Breathing is something we all take for granted until you start to run. Understanding how to breathe properly while running will not only boost your performance, but it can also reduce the likelihood of common injuries that can plague some runners.
Breathing in and out through your nose can limit your oxygen and prevent you from performing at your best, while breathing in and out through your mouth can have a hyperventilating effect. The key is to inhale and exhale using both your nose and your mouth at the same time. That will help to keep your breathing steady and maximise the amount of oxygen you take in while increasing the rate of carbon dioxide you expel./p>
It’s a good idea to practice breathing in through your nose and mouth at the same time before you go for a run. As we’re hardwired to breathe in and out through our noses, it can take some time to adjust.
DON’T FORGET TO COOL DOWN
Properly stretching and doing a good cool down is just as important as your warm-up. It will help your body recover more quickly and reduce the risk of injury. These are a few cool-down exercises for beginners:
- Stand with your back leg straight and bend your front leg at the knee, bringing your hip forward to stretch out your hip flexor. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat on both sides.
- Hold your foot with your hand and bring your foot up to your glutes. Repeat on both legs.
- Place your hands on your hips and bend forward at the pelvis. Put your right leg out in front and turn your toe up to stretch the hamstring area. Repeat on both legs.
Following these guidelines will help you to enjoy running as a beginner and improve your technique and your rate of progression. It’s important to be patient and keep motivating yourself throughout your training regime and take steps to avoid injuries, such as warming up and cooling down properly.