10 Tips for Beginner Runners
New Year, New You? Spring has sprung? Just want to change your lifestyle?
Whatever your reason, by deciding to begin running you have joined thousands of people who have chosen running to help them be fitter, healthier and get more out of life. Running is a great choice because everyone has the ability to give running a go, regardless of where they live or work. Running also has some of the lowest ‘start-up’ costs among sports and can be done without organised venues, arenas, costly subscriptions or team memberships. In fact, more and more people are turning to running as a means of increasing their activity levels and getting fit. In the UK, Sport England estimates that running numbers have increased by over a third since 2005 and in the USA, Running USA statistics show an increase in race finishers of over 80% in just over a decade.
As a beginner runner you are probably armed with a goal, or at least good intentions. This will definitely get you started, and propel you through the first few weeks and months. However, many beginner runners find themselves losing focus, momentum or passion for their new sport, despite the enthusiasm they first started with. This isn’t a sign of failure or some sort of signal that running ‘just doesn’t suit them’. This loss in momentum is normally just because most new runners aren’t prepared for the physical and mental demands they’re about to put their bodies through, or the time investment needed. However, running is like most things in life – the best things take time and hard work.
A quick disclaimer before we get into it – the advice provided on this website is just that. Advice. It is provided from an ‘experienced’ runner (I’m neither elite or a coach) to another beginner runner, based upon my own learning and experiences. It is not a prescription and any advice will need to be reviewed by you in relation to your own goals and health context.
Before Your First Steps:
Almost everyone can take up running, but there are some people who should not run because of underlying health problems like cardiovascular diseases, skeletal issues or muscular damage/impairments. Before starting out, it’s a good idea to ensure that you are not in a risk category. If you have been away from exercise for a while, are overweight or suffer from health complications make sure you discuss your plans with your doctor and get their approval to commence. Some important things to remember:
- If at any time during your exercise you feel pain in your chest or down your arms, STOP RUNNING and get medical attention
- The same goes for any ‘unusual’ shortage of breath. Being short of breath will happen at times as a beginner runner but if you notice a sudden or ‘unusual’ shortness of breath this could be indicative of a bigger issue, so STOP RUNNING and get medical attention
- If you feel sudden pain in your joints or muscles while running this could be indicative of a strain. Stop running and assess if you can walk without pain. If it’s painful to walk, don’t be tempted to ‘run through the pain’ – call a friend or a cab to get you home.
It’s time to Get Going and Get Running!
Now you’re ready to Get Going and Get Running, I’ve put together 10 hints and tips for beginner runners that will assist you to get going, and help you keep your momentum and enthusiasm up once you’re there.
Happy running everyone!
Get Going, Get Running!