As with any sport, starting out new has you guessing the dos, don’ts and key tips that can make the start an easy one. Thankfully, running is pretty straight forward, but by taking into consideration our list of tips for new runners, you’ll not only get a good start into running but you’ll also avoid some problems which you’d only find out further down the line.
Get the Right Shoes for Running
Wearing the right shoes can make a huge difference, not only for your comfort but for your performance and especially in terms of injury prevention. Read this great article on benefits of minimalist shoes to see why choosing these types of shoes are the way forward. Additionally, running in old worn out shoes is not a good idea – replace your shoes every 450-650km.
Warm-Up and Stretch
Warming up and stretching properly should form part of your running routine each and every time. Understanding the difference between the two is just as important. Make sure you spend plenty time warming up the correct muscle groups and joints – it primes your body and nervous system for your upcoming run. Failing to do this risks injury and it also limits comfort and performance on the run. Adding a cool down and some stretching after a run is a great way to aid recovery and to improve mobility long term.
Take It Easy
Don’t push yourself too far too soon. Increase your distances gradually and track your progress. Increase your mileage by 10% each week, but not by more than that. It’s acceptable to use the run, walk, run approach, where you run and then walk and then run throughout the run. As you progress your running decrease the distance and time that you walk and use it as a form of interval training so you can push yourself during the run portion.
Form really is everything. Knowing how to run properly develops greater efficiency, helping you perform better while doing so more relaxed. Proper form also limits your chances of injury, which means more time running and less time recovering from something completely avoidable. Click the link above to read more on how to run with greater form.
Learn how to breathe in through your nose and mouth. You don’t need to only breathe in through your nose and out of your mouth. Make sure you breathe in and out of both so you get enough oxygen for your muscles and to avoid getting stitches, etc. It’s not complex to understand that running without enough oxygen in your system is not going to end well.
Avoid Common Mistakes
There are numerous running mistakes which even seasoned runners make. They’re easy to do unwittingly. Things like not fuelling up properly, running with an over-stride, starting too fast, and so many more common running mistakes; read this article on common running mistakes and avoid them sooner rather than later.
Make sure you are well hydrated before going on any run, especially on a hot day and for longer runs. Being properly hydrated can mean the different between a good and bad run, you could avoid heatstroke, headaches, cramps and so much more. Hydration starts way before your run, even days before, so make sure you get it right and enjoy your run safely.
Also read this feature on understand running terms so that you’re not standing there confused while other runners talk the lingo.