Tips for New Runners
If you are a new runner, it’s quite easy to be overwhelmed by all the available information. Here are a few simple tips that will help to get you started on your journey to becoming a runner:
Invest in a Good Pair of Running Shoes
A good pair of running shoes is instrumental in ensuring a comfortable experience and preventing injuries. Don’t buy them online. Instead, visit a store that specializes in running shoes, and get the experts there to help you to pick the right running shoes for your foot type and running style.
Learn the Importance of Proper Body Form
Learn the basics of proper upper body form, as improper upper body form can cause pain in your neck, shoulders, arms, and back. Your posture should be straight and erect. Your arms should be at at waist level, and the arms should be at a 90-degree angle, with the elbows at your sides. Keep your head up, back straight, and shoulders level. Following these basic rules will save you a lot of agony. Do keep learning more about body posture as you go along.
Warm Up and Cool Down Properly
Warming up before running is important because it signals to your body that it will need to start working soon. The warm-up also helps to minimize stress on your heart when you start running by raising your heart-rate gradually. Start with a brisk walk and gradually increase your speed. Similarly, gradually reduce your speed afterwards, and jog easily for a few minutes. Cooling-down this way helps your heart-rate and blood pressure to reduce gradually.
Focus on Improving Your Endurance Gradually
As a beginner runner, you probably don’t have the endurance to run for extended periods of time. You can gradually improve your endurance with a run/walk technique. That involves running for a short duration and then walking till you can run again. As you go on, you should focus on reducing your walking time. The run/walk technique is so effective that many runners choose to continue using it even after their endurance level goes up significantly.
Pace is not Important
As a thumb-rule, beginner runners should run at a pace that allows them to breathe easily enough to carry on a conversation. When you are just beginning, the number of miles you cover per hour is not important at all. If you ever find yourself gasping for air, slow down. Religiously following this rule will help prevent injuries caused by overtraining. Once you’ve built up your endurance and strength, you can start focusing on your pace.
There’s this misconception among some new runners that they should breathe in only through their nose. In reality, you should breath in through both your nose and mouth to ensure that you’re supplying your muscles with enough oxygen while running. Improper breathing can lead to side stitches and a reduction in endurance. So make sure that you breathe properly.
Take it Easy
Sometimes, new runners get too enthusiastic and increase their mileage prematurely. In most cases, that leads to unnecessary injuries. Follow a proper beginner training schedule, and don’t increase your weekly mileage goals by more than ten percent each week. By taking the time to gradually build up your endurance and strength, you’ll save yourself a lot of frustration and pain.