When you first start pounding the pavement, you’ll find pitfalls and better ways to run. It’s easier to start out with some tips for beginner runners from someone who already experienced them or learned to avoid the pitfalls from other runners. For instance, everyone is super hyped when they first start running, but that can be a pitfall. It makes you feel invincible and you’ll probably want to run the whole way. Break your running up into sections at first, running some of the way and walking part of the way. Don’t push yourself unrealistically.
Give your body recovery time.
Take a day off between runs to let your body mend and get adjusted to the new task. Let your body get your muscles ready for the next run or you could be facing injury. You’ll feel better and enjoy the run more with a little rest in between them. Running too frequently leaves you prone to overuse injuries that put an end to your running for a while.
Make sure you have good shoes.
Go to a store that specializes in running shoes or has a knowledgeable staff. Normally, you’ll find this in well established Mom & Pop stores, not big chains. Use one that offers a gait analysis to ensure you get shoes that will be best suited to you, whether your gait is overpronated, underpronated or neutral. They’ll also help you to find the best type of shoe for the type of surface where you run, whether it’s on wooded trails, the beach or the pavement.
Time your snack.
Eat at least an hour and a half before you go out to run. Don’t make it heavy, but about two to three hundred calories with mostly complex carbs and a little protein. If you eat too close to running, you face the potential of stomach problems and not eating anything or with a longer period before the run can leave you feeling exhausted and out of energy quickly. Have a snack ready for after the run, too.
- Don’t forget to hydrate. Don’t drink a lot right before the run or you’ll find yourself hunting frantically for a bathroom. Two hours and twenty ounces of water is a good combination. Take a bottle of water along, especially if it’s a hot day.
- You can use HIIT—high intensity interval training—when you’re running. It’s blasting away at top speed for a minute or two, then powering down to moderate or slow speed for twice that long. It burns more calories and gets you fit faster.
- Always warm up your muscles with dynamic stretching before you run and do some stretch and hold exercises after you’re finished.
- Include cross training in your exercise program. You need more than just running to have your body totally conditioned. It also breaks up the monotony of only doing a daily run.