Beginner Running Tips

Below are some beginner running tips to help you successfully start and stay running. Any change in our daily routine will usually be met with resistance. So please don’t feel bad if that ‘little voice in your head’ is trying to shutdown your new running program. Slow and gradual implementation will lead to long-term success!

  1. Be flexible:
    Life can get pretty hectic, and the last thing that your running program should be is a point of stress. Therefore, allow yourself to take a day off when you need to something more important, but have a back-up plan. For example, if you skipped your evening run to see your kid’s little league game, consider going for a morning jog or doing some calisthenics before bed.
  2. Explore a new path:
    If the track or neighborhood loop is getting old, try a change of scenery. Running along a river, in a park, or somewhere new can invigorate your mind and body, as well as provide some scenery stimulation to keep your mind off your sore legs!
  3. Build rest into your schedule:
    Rest is just as important of an element as exercise in your fitness plan. Make sure you give yourself a day off to allow your body to rebuild. I find that my best workouts are after times that I took 1-2 days off in a row when I’m feeling burned out.
  4. Join a running club:
    There are too many benefits of positive peer pressure to not take advantage of this phenomenon. I’m not sure why, but we’re less likely to skip appointments with others than we are to skip solo workouts. A running group can be as informal as a few neighborhood or work friends, to a more formal club that has sub-groups to cover a variety of running levels.
  5. Mix-up your Training Plan:
    Make sure your training plan is not too heavily focused on one thing. No matter what level of runner you are, your training plan should include 4 essential elements: endurance, speed, rest, cross-training. Endurance should be the gradual increase of your long run. Speed can be anything from intervals at a track to tempo runs mixed into your normal run. Rest is a critical element, as mentioned above. Cross-training can be a bike ride, jumping rope, using a piece of gym, equipment, weight training, or some other exercising that’s not running.
  6. Sign up for a race:
    By committing yourself to a future race, you’ve solidified your goal with a date on your calendar. You’ll be more likely to stay focused on your goal, as while the real benefits of running are from training…not the race - it’s the races that promote goal-setting and keep us striving for more.
  7. Forgive yourself:
    Over-ambitious goals usually lead to frustration and giving up on our fitness plan. If you miss a goal or milestone, let it go, and focus on the next opportunity to get it. I have a year-old race flier hanging in my locker with my goal time (in HUGE numbers). Under it (in much smaller numbers) is my actual time – much slower than my goal! I recently achieved my goal…a year after the fact…better late then never! Don’t fret over missed goals…stay focused on the improvement and keep at it!
  8. Hopefully these beginner running tips will give you some ideas to make running an enjoyable activity in your life for years to come. Please let me know if you have any adddtional beginner running tips from you're own experiences..I'd be happy to add other good tips. Whatever you do - keep it interesting & fun for YOU! Happy Running!!

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