Beginning Runner? We all have to start somewhere. I started out many times before I succeeded.
Here are ten things I wish someone had told me before I started running.
Beginning Runner Tip #1: Running on the Treadmill Versus Running Outdoors
Running on the treadmill is nothing like running outdoors. I heard this so many times, but my trainers failed to explain this so I just assumed that if I hated running on the treadmill I would hate running outdoors even more. Quite the contrary.
Running outdoors may start out harder than running on the treadmill, but once you get used to it, you won't ever want to run on a treadmill again. The two main problems with running on a treadmill is first, it's BORING and second, it's hard to maintain the proper pace because your pace is set for you on the treadmill.
Now sometimes running on a treadmill is the only option, so here are some pointers for running on a treadmill.
But don't make a habit of always running on a treadmill. Get out and experience the excitement of the great outdoors. You will thank yourself for this.
Beginning Runner Tip #2: Get Started by Setting an Acheivable Goal
When you're getting started don't think about running a marathon or running a half marathon or even a 10k. Just think about getting out there and getting started.
All you have to do to get started is put one foot in front of the other. You don't have to be fast. You don't have to have a lot of stamina when you're just starting out - you'll get there!
You don't have to be in tip-top shape. You just have to get out there and put one foot in front of the other and make it a block, then another block. If all you do the first time you go out there is run ten blocks, you've done better than I did my first time running outdoors.
The first time I ran outdoors, it was cold out. Everyone has their pet peeve when it comes to weather and mine is cold weather. I can run in heat, rain, whatever, but the cold just gets to me and makes it hard for me to breath. So I'm running in like 30 degree weather in February and I run a couple blocks and I'm wheezing and out of breath.
I came home thinking I could never do this and all ready to call it quits. But I didn't. I decided to try it again. The next time I ran a little slower and a little farther until by April I was ready to run a 4 mile race. Now mind you, that 4 mile race kicked my butt from here to Kalamazoo. But it was a start.
Before I knew it, one step at a time, one mile at a time, I was running the San Francisco marathon just 8 months after running those few breathless blocks.
So whatever your obstacle, don't worry, don't make any grandiose goals just yet. If it helps, picture yourself as the athlete you plan to be. But just get out there, start running and have fun.
For a beginning runner guide, check out this 8-week plan. It gives you a weekly plan for how to start running if you are brand new to the sport and not a very athletic person to begin with.
Beginning Runner Tip #3: Sign up for a Short Race
Signing up for a short race will give you something to look forward to, it will give you the opportunity to meet other runners like yourself and you will be amazed by how good it feels.
As my friend Wendy put on a t-shirt, "No matter what the clock says, it will be a great time!" In other words, you don't have to be fast or an elite runner or anything to get out there and do a short race.
I laugh now when I hear the fears and questions people raise when getting ready to run a short race, but I was there too. My first race, I was worried I wouldn't show up on time, wouldn't know where to go, wouldn't be able to run fast enough, would get stampeded or the finish line would be down by the time I got there, I would fart and stink up the whole course and a million other things.
But come to find out it was a blast. Some things were worse than I expected. The outhouses were disgusting! But most things were better. Even though it took me almost an hour to finish I wasn't the last one to finish. And I met a whole bunch of people who were just like me. Yeah some of them were really fast. But others were even slower than me. Mostly I met a bunch of wonderful people out there having a good time and encouraging me to get my run on.
The benefits way out-weigh any problem you might have in the beginning, so go for it. You'll have a great time, and next time you'll get to smile and knowingly give advice to some other clueless beginning runner.
Beginning Runner Tip #4: Start Slow
If you're out of breath, no big deal, you're probably just running too fast. Just slow down a little bit. You should be able to hold a conversation, not that you should, but you should be able to, while you're running. The speed will come later. For now, just take your time.
Take it easy, they'll be plenty time yet to compete in a race and show what you're made of, learn about marathon paces, qualify for the Boston marathon and all that good stuff.
Beginning Runner Tip #5: Get a Good Pair of Running Shoes
When I first started running something was always hurting, my knees, my ankles, my legs, my feet. Well come to find out that was because I didn't have a good pair of running shoes. learn how to buy running shoes.
Please, if you don't take any of my advice, at least do this before you start running. I can't say enough but it will save you a lot of aches, pains, injuries and it will lesson your thoughts of quitting.
Beginning Runner Tip #6: Stretch Stretch Stretch
It is good to stretch right before and right after your run. You can also stretch during your run if you feel a cramp coming on. And you should even set aside one day a week to just get in a good stretch and not do any other type of workout.
Beginning Runner Tip #7: Don't Run Every Day
Be sure to take a break from time to time. How's that for encouraging advice. Your first day and we are already talking about a vacation. Actually this advice will come in very handy later on, because you will find that you love running so much, it will be hard not to run. Running will give you inspiration, sanity, "you" time and so much more. So let's get started on the right foot and look at some other fun exercises to do on your days off from running.
Beginning Runner Tip #8: Run Walk Jog - It All Counts
If you have to stop and take a break from your run and walk that is ok. If you're pace is so slow, weight watchers counts it as jogging rather than running on the daily exercise points, it still counts. You are all runners! Everyone is a winner! ;-)
Beginning Runner Tip #9: Get a Running Buddy - Can Be Live or Virtual
On those early morning runs, when you'd rather just press the snooze button, it's great to have someone out there waiting for you, making you more likely to show up, but if you don't have that, no problem. A virtual running buddy can be just as motivating and you can help hold each other accountable.
How do you get a virtual running buddy? You can meet other running moms here.
Beginning Runner Tip #10: Motivation for the Beginning Runner or the Novice Runner Who Just Needs a Little Pick-Me-Up
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Lao-tzu, The Way of Lao-tzu, Chinese philosopher (604 BC - 531 BC)
So good luck and get going! ;-) If you need more motivation, click here.
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