Starting a new hobby can be overwhelming. It’s easy to feel frustrated and unsure when you are faced with a lot of information about a subject your just starting to learn. Running is no different! Although running seems like a simple hobby to take part in, its very easy to fall down the rabbit hole of training plans, running gear and fitness studies with a few ‘how to get started running’ google searches.
I know that I felt overwhelmed when I got started. I mean, did I really need to know my target aerobic heart rate right off the bat? How about learning what a fartlek was? Eventually, yes those things might become important, but when I was first getting started? Probably not!
If running is a hobby you want to start, and it’s a great one to consider for so many reasons – then hopefully this article will help you out!
How to Get Started Running – Some Tips for Beginners!
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Keep it Simple to Start
There’s plenty of time to pour over running form video’s and research the best shoes for the arches of your feet. When your first getting started you can either spend a week on your couch trying to figure out the best way to start or you can lace up and get out there!
I highly suggest just getting out there. The amount of running you will be doing for the first couple of weeks is going to be minimal. Building your stamina takes time and you might as well be working on that while researching your next steps. Just go out and run!
Don’t Expect Miracles
We all have dreams of being that runner. You know who I’m talking about! That happy smiling person cruising around the neighborhood with a big smile on their face.
I’m not going to lie. You’re not going to be that person right off the bat. Someday? If you stick with it yes, but right away? No. When you first start running there are going to be periods of ugly breathing and sore legs. It’s not going to pretty. But it’s temporary and you’ll feel good about doing something that’s good for your long-term health.
Stick with It
All those people who say they ‘hate running’ have likely tried it in past but never stuck with it long enough to get past the initial discomfort. Everyone hates running when they first start out, how can you not hate gasping for air and aching muscles?
However! If you can push past the initial pain you will be rewarded with an activity that gives back so much more then you can ever imagine. Starting any activity is hard, running is no different. To enjoy running you have to get fit enough to do so. This means you have to run! You have to keep running even if you hate it to start with because eventually, you will come to love it.
Then you will be that runner.
Don’t Overdo it
Running is something we have all done since we were kids. Because of that, I think a lot of people just assume it’s easy. As kids, we also had a tendency to run fast, all the time. We played tag and we raced our friends. Maybe it’s our childhood experiences or maybe it’s just because we are really motivated to get started but a lot of runners start out doing too much too fast.
When your learning how to get started running going slowly is the key. No one expects you to go out and run 5 miles. It’s probably not a good idea to try and do a 10-minute mile either. There are numerous methods and training plans that have been developed for beginner runners. Programs such as couch to 5k are popular with some people but can ramp up too fast for others. Interval training is also popular – and the method I used.
No matter which program you decide on it’s important to take the proper precautions when you start adding distance and speed.
Play Mental Games with Yourself & Set a Goal
When I started running I began by running for 30 seconds and then walking for 4 minutes and 30 seconds. I repeated this 6 times for a week and then began to increase the running time and lower the walking time. I told myself I could do anything for 30 seconds and I was right, increasing that time by 5 seconds every week didn’t seem too much of a stretch.
Mentally that was easier to swallow and achieve then setting an initial goal based on distance. When I got to the point where I could run for 5 minutes at a time I switched to distance based goals but used the same trick. I ran a half mile the first week and then added 1/10 every run until I was going a mile. If you can run for a half mile then running .60 miles isn’t much of a stretch!
This is the time to start looking ahead and picking a goal to work towards. My first goal was simply to run 1 mile. My second goal was to run a 5k. Having a goal to work towards definitely helps keep me motivated!
Now is the Time to start looking for Gear & Researching
By now it’s likely you have figured out if running is going to be something you’ll love. You’re probably starting to research various running workout’s (and they don’t seem quite as overwhelming anymore!) and running more often.
You might be starting to gain running confidence and realize that this is something you can do! Now you should look for high-quality running shoes and other fitness gear. You should also come up with a running plan so that you can reach the goals you have set for yourself. Your running plan should include consistent running, rest days and a slow increase in distance. You can start doing a speed workout once every other week but your main goal right now should be on building your stamina.
Just Keep Running
Running is a sport with a slow build-up. sometimes it can feel like your not improving fast enough but you are! It takes time to build muscle and stamina.
The key to improvement when it comes to running is consistency. Keep running and keep pushing your limits but listen to your body, consider adding strength training or yoga to your routine to help keep injuries at bay – but above all else – enjoy your runs.