I wrote this a while back for a fellow blogger and her website. Realized I never shared it on my own so here it is. Enjoy!
So you’ve been thinking of starting to run. Maybe you’ve cheered for that friend or loved one from the sidelines. Or maybe you’ve seen that 70+ year old runner out there getting it done and thought “hey I can do that“. Well it’s time to take those first steps and we are here to help you.
First and foremost make sure you are healthy enough to run. Please check with your doctor and get a complete physical before you begin any running or any exercise program. I am not a doctor nor can I give any health advice.
Check out some of the basic tips to help you get running comfortably and hopefully injury free:
- Go to a local running store and get fitted for the right shoes for YOU!
This one piece of advice is HUGE. Yes your friend may have the cutest shoes in town, but if they aren’t the right ones for you..well, than pretty shoes are not going to do much for you if you’re sitting on the sidelines due to injury. Most local running stores have very knowledgable staff that can fit you for the correct shoe for YOU. Yes there really is a difference between all those cute shoes and colors. You’ll want to find the best fit for you right from the start. Now I could get into things like gait and pronation, but lets just leave that to the pros at the running store shall we? Granted this may cost you a little more initially but believe me it’s worth it!! Find the right shoes for you NOW and LATER you can look for them cheaper when it comes time to replace them.
- Start off LOW and S L O W.
Let’s start with low. By this I mean start of with LOW mileage (or even yardage) Hey everybody has to start off somewhere. Never be embarrassed to start off a little at a time. You will be doing yourself a favor by 1) not frustrating yourself (which may make you want to quit after one day and 2) not hurting yourself. Running can be a thing of beauty but your not going to run a 5k overnight. You need to go at your pace. Speaking of pace start of S L O W. You will want to “Run Find your Happy Pace”. Finding your pace will help you stick with running. If that’s a 13+ min mile so be it! Seriously your still lapping everyone on the couch. 😉 Speed will come and eventually in time you can add speed work into your routine if you wish.
Think baby steps. Look into things like Couch to 5k programs (yup there’s an app for that C25K) or the Galloway Method which are great for beginners. The Galloway Method incorporates run/walk intervals and yes there’s an app for that too 🙂
- Remember it’s you against you
You need to get your head in the game. YOUR game. Not your buddies or that cute guy/girl you see running around the neighborhood or on the treadmill next to you. Each time you lace up your shoes and head out you’ve already taken a big step. Running is about improving yourself for yourself. I’m not going to lie there are going to be days that are hard but with each step you take your headed toward a better, fitter you!
- Get a good Sports Bra. OK this one is for the ladies
Just slightly, and I mean ever so slightly, is this less important than the right shoe. I don’t want to get too personal here so just trust me on this one the $10 walmart jog bra just isn’t going to make it for anyone over say an A cup. My favorites are Moving Comfort. Not sure what you need? Use the bra fitting room at Moving Comfort for great advice.
Do not go the all cotton sock route. Save the piggies! Wear socks made specifically for running. Your feet will thank you with less blisters and less sogginess 🙂 The more often you run, and the farther you go, the more important this becomes. I personally love Balega socks.
- Cross/Strength Training to Prevent Injury
As great as running is you should really cross train. And by cross train I mean anything from spinning to yoga and everything in between. Cross training will help prevent injury by training all your muscles not just your running ones.
- Stretch, stretch, stretch…and then stretch some more
The jury is still out about when the best time to stretch is. But the most agreed upon theme is never stretch cold muscles. Warm up 5 or more minutes before stretching. Then be sure to stretch after your run, do a good full body stretch.
Like life running should be fun, and I am a BIG fan of fun. I believe in bright colors, fun socks and crazy running outfits. But do what makes you feel good! Weather that’s a fun outfit or some motivating music.
- Need some extra motivation or a running partner?
Find a friend to start running with (preferably someone at your level). Or join a running group in your town like Moms Run This Town most have runners of all fitness levels and many meet up for weekly runs. Running with others is a great way to help you stay accountable while starting off you running journey.
Good luck, get out there, have fun and “Run Find your Happy Pace”