The best way to start running is, to begin running short distances, every other day. This will allow your body to recover after each run. Pace your runs so that you can control your breathing. You will gradually be able to increase the distance of your runs.
Let me explain further…
Running can be very daunting for any beginner. Finding a place to start with elements like running technique, run pacing, and knowing what type of running workouts to get started with, can be tricky.
There’s just so much conflicting information available online and in various running magazines.
Running for Beginners – Five Essential Tips for Getting Started
Here are some of my favourite tips for new runners:
1: Get Started with Run-Walk Workouts
When we learn how to start running we all want to be able to run faster, for longer.
The reality is though, that we have to build our running gradually, and prepare our bodies for the progressive training load that comes with the miles to come in the next few months.
To put it in a clichéd way, we need to learn to walk before we can run!
However, if we combine both running and walking, we get a fantastic running workout for beginners. Run-walk sessions are a tried, tested, and much-loved type of session for runners worldwide.
Lot’s of beginner runners associate walking with failure…
Please, please, be kind to yourself as a new runner, and walk when you want/need to walk! Over time, you’ll be able to run for longer and longer. Trust me!
Here is our FREE run-walk programme: Download the Training Plan [PDF]
This free training plan gives you the opportunity to build up over a series of weeks, increase your mental and physical tolerance to the demands of running.
2: Listen to Your Body as You Start Running
Let’s face it, running can be very tough on your body. So, give your body the respect it deserves, and listen to what it’s telling you.
If you feel a running injury potentially brewing, then rest for a day, take it easy.
Injuries like shin splints are particularly common in beginner runners, so if you feel shin pain beginning to present itself, be sure to take some rest from running. A few days rest from running now, is much better than a few weeks further down the line!
When it comes to running technique; it is so important to get the foundations of your running correct so you don’t form bad habits, which could lead to injury in the long-term. Here’s an article with lots of tips to help you achieve proper running technique.
Here are some rules of thumb for listening to your body as a new runner:
- If you’re aching the day after a run, take another 24 hours rest. Your body will thank you for it later!
- Don’t exercise on sore muscles or joints. This could be your body telling you to hold back from the running a little longer. So if you feel too sore to run, take another day off. You won’t lose fitness and you’ll run better for it next time.
- Any pain that appears to be getting worse, needs to be checked out and properly assessed by a physiotherapist to avoid a long-term injury.
- If you’re aching on one side more than the other and it’s only a slight pain I would still recommend seeing a physio, just to catch a potential injury early and stop it getting worse further down the line.
3: Running Shoes for Beginners
New runners should focus on comfort when it comes to selecting running shoes, over any other selection criteria. Running shoes for beginners should provide the right amount of structure for the runner’s individual foot biomechanics.
Believe it or not, I’ve seen beginner runners training all sorts of questionable footwear choices… even flip-flops!
If you’re new to running – even if you don’t see yourself as a “proper” runner yet – invest in some proper running shoes.
Most new runners give up due to injury. It’s so frustrating to see. With a good pair of well-fitted running shoes, the chance of you getting injured is reduced.
When it comes to running shoe selection, this video may help you in guidance: Prescribing Running Shoes
Get yourself down to your local running shop and try on a range of different running shoes. Comfort is the most important aspect of buying any running shoe.
You’re going to be running a lot of mileage in your new running shoes, so of course, you need to be comfortable!
If a shoe feels even slightly uncomfortable when you are trying them on in the store; don’t even waste your time with them. The smallest amount of discomfort will almost certainly increase when you’re outside or on the treadmill running for real.
4: Running Technique for Beginners
As a new runner, you might think that running with good technique is all about how well you can run when you’re fresh, at the start of a run. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth!
It’s far more important to focus on your running form as you begin to get fatigued towards the end of a run.
Your running technique will inevitably change as you get more tired, so it’s important to focus on your running posture and running cadence in particular towards the end of your run.
Keep a mental checklist of what you are going to think about when you start to feel fatigued, to help you maintain proper running form.
There are three specific areas to think about when we talk about running with good posture:
- Run Tall
- Keep Your Head Up & Look Forwards. Check out this blog post for more on this: Head Position Affects Running Posture: How’s Yours?
- Hold Your Hips High. Drawing-in the belly button helps with this, think about running over the ground rather than into the ground
5: Get Fit to Start Running
It always pays dividends in the long term, to incorporate some strength training into your running regime. Whether that comes in the form of weekly circuits or pilates classes, or something less formal. Be sure to make time to work on exercises that strengthen your major muscle groups used in running.
There are a number of benefits of including strength training workouts into your running regime.
- You’ll Run Faster. Because your overall strength will increase and you will be more efficient at using the oxygen in your body.
- You’ll Run Stronger. As you get into more depth with your strength training you’ll find that during longer or tougher runs you will be able to hold your form just that little bit longer.
- Body Composition. You will burn more body fat as a result of strength training.
Here is a link to our FREE 30 Day Challenge.
This free training plan is perfect for beginner runners looking to avoid injury by building strength and mobility in all the important areas to compliment your running programme.
Also, feel free to join our Facebook group to get ongoing advice and running tips for beginners.
I hope you’ve found these running tips for beginners helpful! Best of luck in your journey as a new runner.
However you decide to start running, the most important thing is to make sure you enjoy your running!
Be patient with it… Running fitness takes time to build. Your body needs time to adapt to this new form of exercise.
Take it slowly, listen to your body, and you won’t believe what you’re able to achieve.
Happy running!Last updated on March 2nd, 2021.
Amazing article! Along with all the tips that you shared, it is very important to consider your core body strength. Being a running coach, I’ve seen most of the runners unnecessarily stretch their body and go for a long run… They forget the rule of starting small & then gradually increasing the pace. One should keep this in mind while training for running.