This time of year, many are considering taking on a new hobby: Running. I have spent decades as a runner and work with running issues almost daily. I am going to put a few of my thoughts and observations out today in the hope that I can help you to achieve your goal of becoming a runner.
For those beginning to run, the key is consistency. Walk before you run. Never discount the health and training benefits of walking. Can you go out and effortlessly walk two miles? No soreness after, no creaky knees, no whiny hips, no blistered feet? If the answer is no, obviously you must achieve this first.
Now you are ready to begin. (I am going on the assumption that you will be running outdoors, using common sense for safety.) Here are 8 running tips for beginners:
Don’t discount shoes and socks because these are really the only investments that you need to make. Get fitted. That is worth saying again—Get fitted professionally. There are many considerations that new runners don’t think about. One of the most common problems I see on my table is low back pain due to a sacroiliac joint imbalance, and often this can be easily avoided by wearing the proper footwear. And ladies, the same goes for a running bra: Get fitted professionally. This is one of the BEST running tips for beginners.
Morning or evening?
Go for consistency here. Plan a route for training to use as your metric, a two-mile loop is ideal. It is important to always measure improvement, as it is a terrific motivator.
Start by walking.
Walk your loop, and each time that you go out, start to add in a little bit more running. Remember, running is not defined by the speed, it is simply, “to move swiftly on foot so that both feet are not on the ground during each.” In other words, start slow, speed will come.
Keep a log.
This is a great tool for you, and is helpful to pinpoint any problems that may arise. AS far as running tips for beginners go, this is critical. You can’t manage what you don’t measure.
Get a massage often!
This helps to keep you loose and to avoid injury.
Do not obsess over form.
There are many “expert” opinions on form, but I recommend just starting where you are, because your body will tell you what changes you need to make. I can also see where you need to make changes from your time on the table. Remember, this is a process, and you will learn as you go.
No speed work.
Contrary to many beginning programs, you should not do any speed work as a beginner. What you need now is time on your feet; again, speed will come.
Remember the goal.
Lastly, keep in mind that the goal should be to incorporate running as a lifestyle. There is no hurry. Take your time and enjoy the process and progress.
The key to a running lifestyle is to enjoy the journey. Find joy in the daily grind, the simple mile here and there, ultimately adding up to many, many miles over the course of your healthy lifetime. If you’re curious how we can help with your energy levels and endurance, schedule your appointment with one of our specialists today!