When you're a running be, it can feel like there’s so much more that you need to know about before you actually start pounding the pavement. We’re breaking down some of the best running tips for beginners so you can lace up, get on the road, and go from beginner to pro in no time at all.
A good pair of running shoes is essential. According to John Honerkamp, a running coach who has trained hundreds of new runners to marathon and half marathon distances, great shoes and great layers are pretty much the only essential for starting a running regimen.
And yes, you’ll benefit from the technology and design of an actual pair of running shoes—they’re created to cushion and help you feel light and comfortable for however long you’re running.
Find strength in numbers. A foolproof way to make sure that you actually get out the door is joining a run group or committing to run with a friend.
Group runs, or just having someone keep you accountable, makes sure you have someone to go through the battles with.
“Group runs, or just having someone keep you accountable, makes sure you have someone to go through the battles with,” says Matt LoPiccolo, an assistant coach at the Zap Fitness Reebok Running Center in Blowing Rock, North Carolina.
If none of your friends are willing to go for a jog, consider texting someone that you just ran two miles, or downloading the Strava app and logging it there. Having that support and camaraderie can help keep you motivated and inspired.
Listen to your body to find your pace. Having a friend who runs sub-6 minute miles is great, but now probably isn’t the time to make that person your running buddy—or let them make you feel bad about how fast you can go. To find your comfortable pace, start by jogging one mile at a pace that has you breathing so you can still talk through it.
Once you’ve done that, if you still feel strong, you can push yourself to go a little bit faster for the next mile, but don’t dwell on the timing.
Keep it simple and start from where you’re starting,” says Honerkamp. “There’s no need to push yourself to go faster than you’re ready to go.
Have a goal—any goal! Whether you want to be able to run a mile without stopping, or dream of running a marathon someday, acknowledging what you’re working toward can help immensely as you commit to a regimen.
“Look at where you are now, and where you want to be,” says LoPiccolo. No matter what the goal is, consistency will be key, and it helps to visualize your plan and know how often you’ll be running and why.”
Keep it fun. Listen to a playlist of your favorite songs, save the podcast you can’t stop laughing at for your run, or use a treadmill session to catch up on your TV. Or just use it as the one time in your day when you’re not listening to voices, and try to keep things mindful and meditative.
The most important thing is that you enjoy the experience.
“If you approach running as a countdown until you’re done, you’ll never find joy in it,” says Honerkamp. “It might always be hard, but you shouldn’t dread it.”
Do you have tips for beginners new to running? Tweet them to us @Reebok!