For the beginner any new hobby, lifestyle or line of work can be intimidating. Running can be one of the most “scary” things a person can do to regain their fitness. After all the actual task of running is a solo activity. Running tends to expose your weakness and provides very little cover to hide behind. Running can be humbling, your either in shape or you’re not and after a few feet, yards or miles your level of fitness will be exposure. Finally running is the easiest form of exercise to get wrong…and end up injured.
So how does someone who desires to get fit begin on a running routine. This is one of the most popular questions from friends, co-workers and anyone looking to run.
10-Tips to Start You on The Right Running Path.
#10 Visit your doctor/health care provider. Ensure they give you the green light to begin any fitness routine.
#9 Invest in a good pair of shoes, AND get fitted by a running professional. We all love the flash of a colorful pair of shoes. We would all like to strut around in the latest Air Jordan’s…but your running shoes must fit your needs. A trained professional at your local running store has the knowledge, training and experience to help you find the right pair for your feet.
(Topo Athletic are my shoe of choice,
but the best shoe for you is the best shoe for you)
Some running stores that I have personal experience with:
In Wake Forest, NC see Run-N-Tri-Outfitters
In Richmond, VA see Lucky Road Running Store
In Newport News, VA see Point 2 Running Company
In Virginia Beach, VA see Running ETC.
AND In Las Vegas, NV see Red Rock Running Company
A good pair of shoes can make or break your running experience.
#8 Walk don’t run. As bad as you would like to start running, you wouldn’t take your Ferrari straight from the show room or out of storage and race it up to 100-miles per hour on the first outing. The same warm up approach needs to be applied to your body. I recommend starting your running career by walking first. This will allow your body to get used to the motion, regain some up-front fitness and settled into a more active life style.
The best way to start running is to walk first.
#7 Find a community. Running is a solo activity, face it no one can run the miles for you but you can run them with friends and like minded people. Your local running store or running club can find you a good group to link up with. I have found that runners are a great bunch of people, we love to share our experiences and enjoy lifting up others.
(It takes a community to do what we do…join one)
Reach out on the Social media side. Sure there is a lot wrong with the internet, be careful online, but I have met a lot of great people, and forged some long term relationships within the online running community.
There is power in numbers…a good group helps to motivate, inspire, hold accountable and make your run more enjoyable. Find your community.
#6 Set some goals and rewards. In running it’s okay to bride yourself. I set short term and long-term goals. If I complete my long run I get ice cream, if I do well in a race an extra day off…if I hit my monthly goals I get a new shirt, shorts or some piece of running gear I’ve had my eye on.
Provide a target to measure your success…how will you know how awesome you are without a measuring stick.
#5 Run for someone else. I have a friend who dedicates all her miles to a little boy named Aiden. I don’t know Aiden well, but I would guess he would give anything to be able to run…Once you run for someone else it enables you to view your ability as a gift, one that should not be wasted.
At Seven bridges marathon I ran for a little boy named Isaiah…changed my day.
(It’s about more….)
Run for those who wish they could.
#4 Take rest days. Once bitten by the running bug it’s easy to overdo it. Your body needs rest to recover and grow stronger. View rest days as an important part of the training plan.
Running and resting go hand in hand…take advantage of it.
#3 Seek out inspiration. Read race reports, visit blogs, subscribe to running magazines and read a book on the gene of running you enjoy most. There is inspiration in the victories of others. There is lessons to be learned in the struggles of others. There are goals to be set in the inspiration of others. In most sports, you can only sit on the couch or on the sidelines watching your favorite team or player. Running offers you the opportunity to retrace their literal footsteps as you venture over the very terrain they did.
Shameless plug for my books here.
Be inspired by others and then go follow them.
#2 Follow a plan. You can either hire a professional coach or follow your own plan, but either way learn from the experiences of others. There are many highly trained running coaches out there who would love to help you. You can locate a coach either thru your local running store, gym, or on-line. Most coaches have years of experience, have passed accreditation tests and have a desire to help you succeed. An outside perspective can help you reach your fitness goals.
If a coach is beyond your budget, or if you simply like blazing your own trail, download a proven plan as a baseline and adjust your training to your lifestyle and fitness goals.
Plan for your success and follow it, tweak it, BUT enjoy it.
#1 Enjoy the run. For some running is about racing, conquering difficult terrain, breaking new barriers and for others running is about the experience.
Smell the roses, witness the deer in the forest, enjoy the first rays of sunlight on the water front, feel the warmth of your soul on your skin, be scared to push your body, cry for the victory of others and live in the run!
Running can be a lifetime activity. Be sure you get off on the right foot.
Do you have tip to help the new runner? Drop it in the comments section below, Thank you!