7 Must-Follow Tips for New Runners

posted: 04/04/16
by: Amanda Mushro
young woman running

When the weather is nice, the last place you want to be is at the gym. The perfect way to shed those extra winter pounds and enjoy some fresh air is to start running. And even if you don't love running, or aren't in great shape, there are ways to incorporate this fitness habit into your routine. But before you dust off those old sneakers and hit the pavement, there's a few things to keep in mind.

Go Shopping

Before you hit the road or treadmill, you need to hit the stores first. Yes, online shopping makes our lives so much easier, but running experts agree that the right shoe with the right fit is essential to running success and preventing injuries. So don't go for a shoe that looks cute, but let the experts at a running store help you find exactly what you need. Do, however, go for cute when it comes to your running clothes. The better you feel, the more likely you are to stick to a routine.

Buddy Up

If you're new to running or you're coming back from a long hiatus, running with a friend or running group can help get you into a running groove. While a lot of your running will be on your own, finding a running buddy or running group will help push you further, give you accountability on days you don't feel like lacing up your shoes, and chatting while you run helps pass the time and the miles.

Easy Does It

If your first few weeks of running seem like a lot more walking than real running, you're doing it right. Try walking/running intervals of five minutes walking and a minute running. As you start gaining strength and endurance, you can you can add longer intervals of running.

Just don't expect every run to be perfect. There are some days that you'll feel like you could jog for an hour and other days when just a few minutes seems like you're running a marathon. That's just part of running, and

Log It

Log your distance each week so you can see your progress. You can log the miles manually or use an app on your smartphone.

Distract Yourself

Your workout will be much easier if you create a great new running playlist or download a few podcasts to listen to while you pound the pavement.

Set a Goal

To keep yourself motivated, set small and attainable goals for each week like a number of miles or a certain pace. Be sure to set a major goal to keep you going like signing up for a local 5K race.

Don't Stretch Pre-Run

When we were growing up, stretching pre- and post-exercise was encouraged. Though flexibility is important, recent research shows that stretching pre-run may actually hinder your performance. You're better off with a "dynamic warmup" that includes butt kicks and high knees. Post-run, unless you have an injury, stretching isn't necessary, but if you like stretching, it shouldn't do much harm. And if suffer from tight muscles, a foam roller may be your new best friend.