If you’re one of millions of people who have driven or walked past a runner and thought to yourself, “I really should get into running…” here’s a good place to start.
Running as an exercise has a pretty remarkable list of health benefits such as improved blood pressure and circulation, lower cholesterol, and improved mental health.
We’ve put together a list of helpful tips on how to start running for beginners so you can put your best foot forward.
Choose good shoes
Looking after your feet is running 101. Everyone’s foot shape, pressure levels, and sizes are completely different, so ditching out on the research for the right shoe for you could spell sore feet, injuries, and a level of discomfort that will dissuade your efforts. It’s best to get your shoes properly selected and fitted by a professional so you’re comfortable from the get-go.
Set yourself goals
When you’re starting out on your first runs, winging it without a goal or direction might lead to a lack of drive and possibly getting someone to drive and pick you up because you got lost. Set yourself a distance, time, or pace goal and work towards that to give you motivation. Once you’ve smashed that goal, set yourself a new one!
Dress the part
Alongside shoes, your running clothes should have equal attention paid to them. Ill-fitting or weather-inappropriate clothes could lead to chaffing, poor support, poor temperature regulation, and lots of awkward adjusting mid-run. Try on the clothes you intend to wear, and do a little practice run to make sure they stay where you need them to and feel comfortable.
Hydrate with water and fuel with food
Running can be a high-demand activity on your body, so taking care to make sure it’s well fuelled is essential for good performance and to avoid dehydration and exhaustion. Typically, try not to eat big, heavy meals before running and stick to light high-carb meals around 2 hours prior to a run instead. Make sure you refuel afterwards with lots of water and choose some good post-run snacks to satisfy your body.
Look after your body
If you’ve hit the ground running and are keen to keep up the momentum, just remember to give your body the rest and recuperation it needs to keep up with your demands. Before you start, see your health professional if you have any underlying health conditions that might be affected by running, and pay attention to how your body is feeling. Stop when you need to and give your body what it needs to perform at its best.