Getting started with running: A guide for beginners
Running is one of the most popular forms of physical exercise, having a positive effect on both our physical and mental health. Getting started with running isn’t difficult and doesn’t require years of experience; understanding the fundamentals involved can quickly and significantly impact your performance.
Whether you plan to run at the gym or explore new parts of your hometown, we take a look at some of the most important steps and advice for novices. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to running marathons in record time!
Start slow and gradually build your intensity
With any form of exercise, it’s important to start with a manageable pace and distance, even if you are returning after a break. Once you start to feel comfortable and that you’re not exerting yourself, gradually increase the intensity and the duration.
If you need to walk or stop for a break, allow your body to do so. Injuring yourself will only postpone your journey and set you back. Over time, you’ll start to see your body adapt and become more resilient.
Invest in appropriate footwear
You can’t just wear any type of shoe for running, these must be suited to the sport, otherwise, you’ll find yourself in discomfort or worse. Consult with a professional to find a pair that matches your gait and running style.
It’s also important to wear a suitable pair of socks alongside your running shoes. The fit and feel of these can make a real difference, reducing your risk of injury. Opt for a technical running sock that is designed with additional arch support and extra padding across the heel and the ball of the foot.
Utilise the right equipment
Use modern running technology to your advantage by monitoring your health and tracking your runs. Things like fitness trackers and smartphone apps are great ways of seeing how well you’re progressing and enable you to set goals for the future.
Another beneficial piece of technology for runners is a pair of headphones. Beyond keeping you entertained, running alongside music can improve and maintain your motivation and pace. Just note that these headphones must be stable enough to stay on your head, such as a pair of wireless Beats headphones or earbuds that are specially designed for workouts.
Pay attention to technique and form
Aim to learn and practice proper running form in order to reduce the chance of injuries and improve efficiency. One of the main things to keep in mind is that you should always look ahead toward the ground. Try not to learn forward as this can place strain on the neck and shoulders; instead, hold it so that your ears fall over the middle of your shoulders.
You should also keep your hands relaxed at waist level, bending your arms at a 90-degree angle. Holding your arms near your chest can result in tension or make you feel more tired. In addition, you’ll want to limit your head movement, avoiding bouncing up and down too much. This way, you waste less energy and reduce the shock you have to absorb when landing.