Beginners running tips are meant for all runners. We know the #1 attraction for those who decide to run to keep fit is that nothing much is required. There’s no need of complicated equipment or pricey membership subscriptions to bother you. Simply run outside after putting on your sneakers and opening the door, of course.
Even though the runner’s excitement is great, you will begin to see a few unpleasant unexpected results: painful muscles, toenails turning black or plantar fasciitis, and other prevalent running-related injuries.
Adhering to these beginners running tips for those just starting is a guaranteed way to benefit maximally from every run. Even if you are an intermediate, the tips will still enhance your running, ensure body safety and in effect, turn running into a healthy practice which you can find pleasurable for years on end.
Beginners Running Tips: 9 Ways to Run Better
1. Do your warm-ups!
Armed with your favorite music, you are prepared to hit the ground running. Hold on! Have you done your warm-ups? Ignoring these before running can cause muscle pulls, injuries to a tendon or beginning at a pace that is too fast leaving you extremely tired and feeling burnt-out way ahead of your liking.
Warming up is essential to improve mobility in your hips and ankles and to maintain an upright posture. When muscles and tendons aren’t warmed up, they don’t work as well. Do not try static stretching as it is known to produce bad results.
As an alternative, you can select a routine which will cause your blood to flow, increase your heart rate, thereby allowing your muscles to gently get warmed up. Your joints will also open up at a slower pace.
Begin by walking briskly for some minutes and proceed to lightly jogging for a few more minutes. Additionally, include some energetic stretches and movements such as squats, jumping jacks or butt kicks to wind up.
2. Have a Goal and Run Without Fail
During certain instances, we only need to breathe in some fresh air from outside to get a clear head. However, as a guiding rule, having a goal (be it long-term or for a particular session) will propel you to enhance your running. For example, might you be preparing for a race or do you aspire to cover certain distances? Do you want to restrict yourself to interval running during this session and not running at a pace that is consistent? Are you planning to run during specific days in the week?
Keep in mind that as far as beginners running tips are concerned, attaining your goals is solely tied to being strict with them. Granted, getting a quality run may not be practical always just as you might not run for the entire period you have allocated. Being consistent in running is much more critical compared to being a champion all the time.
Be conscious that the goals set should be realistic and attainable, more so when you are still at the starting phase. Jumping from the couch straight into a full marathon in sixty days is overambitious and risky. But moving from the couch to 3 miles is feasible. Generally, I do not advocate for additional mileage or running volume of more than 10 percent in a given week.
3. Make Room for Burst Training
There is no need to run for hours on end for excellent results in your physique. Burst (aka interval) training is among the best running tips for burning fat and weight loss. It is a combination of short but highly intense bursts of physical exercise with recovery periods that are slow in a given exercise session. Here, you go for the optimum heart rate of 85 to 100 percent and not 50 to 70 percent as in the moderate exercising pace.
After your warm-ups, do a 20-second sprint, then follow it up with a 20-second jog. Repeat this pattern every 10 minutes for half an hour. Burst training is simple to customize to your ability. It utilizes your own maximum strength to achieve results. Perhaps your style of sprinting is a brisk walk; that’s excellent. Or maybe you can compete at wind speed around the track; that’s fine also. Only remember to continuously challenge yourself, regardless of your level.
4. Plan for Cross-Training
Much as running is beneficial to the body as well as the mind, let it not be the only exercise you practice. Blending in other kinds of workouts, or simply, cross-train and watch your muscles that are passive when running get strengthened.
Cross-training is useful in preventing injury – as you allow the muscles used in running to recuperate. This strategy keeps burnout and monotonous running at bay.
Schedule cross-training every other day when you are off running. Alternatively, incorporate it on the days you run short distances. Long-distance runners can practice cross training on their resting days as it fosters full recovery of the body.
If you still don’t know what to do, consider swimming. It is a fantastic cardio workout as your joints rest from the jog. It increases endurance and strength on the torso and other upper body parts. Or you can also cycle. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research study on including cycling in cross-training is proof of its value in maintaining aerobic performance more than solely running.
Do not leave out strength training since it will work on the underutilized muscles. The form of your body will be maintained and preserved from getting fatigued. Yoga in addition to Pilates is super workouts in improving flexibility, stretching and developing your core strength. Crossfit workouts are also recommended if you want to test yourself seriously.
5. Eating Correctly Before & After
You need to eat appropriately before running and afterward. You will not only have energy as you workout but your muscles will also recover well. Consume some food not less than an hour or two hours prior to running. Eat the next meal at least 20 to 45 minutes after the run.
Eating four parts of carbs to 1 of protein is a good ratio for long distance running or highly intense workouts. For example, sprouted whole grain bread with a nut butter spread or a quinoa stir-fry are excellent choices. Good fats are okay for endurance during long runs but should be avoided during the shorter highly intense running sessions as they block digestion with increased heart rate.
Two parts of carbs to one part of proteins is a good ration to guide your meal intake when on a moderate running level or intend to lose weight. Eat a fruit like a banana coupled with nuts not exceeding a handful. Spicy foods, high-fat foods, and foods with high fiber should be left out. Go by what suits you best.
6. Go for the Right Shoes
Beginners running tips has a lot to do with the comfort you derive from the shoes you wear during exercise. You will need to visit a running store to get the right shoe fittings with the advantage of trying them out before purchasing them. Regardless of the shape of your foot or any injuries you may have sustained prior to this time, there will always be a shoe for you.
When buying sneakers for running, opt for a size bigger than your normal one. You will appreciate the extra space when your feet swell as you run. Again, you can tell if your shoe is too small for you when you see your toenails blackening or breaking off frequently.
A shoe with moderate cushioning is best when you run on a track or grass to cover a short mileage. This will enable you to experience the earthing effect. Other surfaces like pavements should be avoided while wearing these shoes.
7. Beware of Surface Conditions
Since running is an intense sport, the surface on which you run is critical because this ultimately affects your tendons and joints. The grass is best to run on considering its softness and low impact but it also has irregular stretches which can be hazardous to your well being. If you are preparing for a race, practicing on a road is useful for your body to get used to it ahead of the D-day.
Treadmills have the proper surface for jogging, but they can get dreary. You can vary your run with interval training to keep you stimulated. Note that concrete surfaces are the worst to run on because of their hardness, you can still use them if that’s all you’ve got.
Of the surface options at your disposal, go by how your body reacts to them. A guiding rule would be to change-up surfaces as much as possible by say, doing an intense run on the treadmill during some mornings; some jogs on breathtaking trails; a few runs on the grass in the company of your dog; and a final jog on concrete in the middle of the week.
8. Pay Attention to What Your Body is Saying
I have already talked about the need to be aware of the response of your body. This is very critical because bodies speak, but you must do the listening part. When a part of the body hurts, don’t push yourself too far. Take a break and consult a doctor.
What suits others may not suit you. As one of the bonus running tips “do not compare your running encounters with others”. Your body must be happy first.
9. Do Your Stretches!
Nothing feels good like stretching muscles after a workout. Your focus should be on the hamstrings, glutes, IT bands (iliotibial bands), quads and feet.
Yoga plays a useful part here since a good number of yoga poses are geared towards easing tension. You can also use a foam roller after each jog to have your body parts massaged. In case you have Plantar Fasciitis rolling a tennis ball using the bottom of your feet will help.