Best Running Tips for Beginner Runners.
Welcome! In this article we’re sharing 6 simple running tips for beginners. In other words things I wish I knew about running before I started to run. We all have different reasons for running it’s safe to say that most people start running to improve their fitness.
It may be the only activity you do for fitness or it could be a component of a fitness program you follow. Whatever your reasons are running has so many benefits which we will get into very quickly.
Running is one of those exercises that at the same time sounds ridiculously simple, and challenging for everyone at the same time. This is especially true if you are running for the first time out.
I’ve been running off and on for couple of years now and only in the past couple of months I feel like I have finally found the key to a successful run. If you’re a new runner, before lacing up your running shoes and hitting the ground, take a couple of minutes and check out these really essential running tips for beginners.
Even if you have been running for some time now you may still find a couple nuggets that will help improve your running and overall running experience.
#1. Running Gear
First, let’s talk about gear. Truth is, gear is subjective and it could take a little bit of experimenting to figure out what works best for you, including that equipment I’m about to talk about. That being said, the two pieces of the gear that I wish I had from the very beginning are:
a) a good pair of running shoes and b) my flip belt.
How to find the best running shoes?
Shoes, like feet, just like everyone, comes in all different shapes and sizes. Some are built for a high arch, some are built for hiking trails, some are built to mimic or imitate the bare foot. You name it, there is a variation of running shoes for each and everyone of us. Hence shoes that work for me may not work for you and vice versa.
But that said, a couple of things are worth bearing in mind if you’re going to be picking up a pair of shoes and running in it. Can you wiggle your toes? You should be able to do this. Is your foot tight enough or snug? It should be but not too tight.
Do you have over pronation or under pronation when you run? If you’re not sure how your feet actually move when you run, I highly recommend going to a store that specializes in running, you know any specialty shop near you for get fitted for a pair.
It would or may cost a little more money but they can stick you on a treadmill and actually record how you run. Then they can recommend a pair of running shoes that is personalized for you and your feet.
Alternatively, if going to a running shoe store isn’t something that is possible, you may want look online for a running shoes personalization finder. This will help you figure out what shoe can work best for you. Although not affiliated but I find RoadRunnerSports personalized shoe finder to be the best. Check it out.
I do recommend you get a flipbelt. You can thank me later.
Let’s talk about the flipbelt. Before I got this thing, I would fight to find a place for all the things that I wear when I run. Admittedly, I don’t really wear a lot, but things like my keys, my ID and phone are things I do like keeping with me even when I run.
Armbands were often too small for my Galaxy S7 edge, far too expensive and usually didn’t even have a place for my keys.
Training clothes very often don’t come with bags or pocket so got very familiar with the sensation foreign objects filled below is my sports bra. If you’re a female beginner runner I do not recommend you do this because… ouch!
And even if you’ve been running for sometime and have been pushing these items (i.e. your phone and keys) into your sports, you know how uncomfortable it can be, not to mention it’s not healthy.
After that a little research, I came across the flipbelt, which I ordered almost immediately. It is a belt that you wear when you exercise or you’re on the go like running and you want to keep these key items such your phone, cards, cash and others with you as you run.
It has tight pouches all the way through it. The bags are big enough for my phone to hold, tight enough my ID and other cards in place, and it even a clasp for my keys as I run. They will not be pushing my body up as I run, even with my current 10 inch difference never between my waist and hips.
I have previously lost one of my stuff before getting the flipbelt (knock on wood). For reference, I ordered a small size in the Aqua color and I feel like it fits perfect for me. You can find the flipbelt from the link here or by going to places like Amazon to search for one.
And I swear this is not a flipbelt commercial, I only wish I got one earlier.
#2. Running Food
The second thing I wish I knew when I started running for the first time is actually about running food. It took me forever to find out what and when to eat before I went on a run. Should I have a big meal? Should I eat a snack? What should I eat? When should i eat etc.
These were the most pressing questions I had. The truth is how running gear, its kind of subjective. For me personally, I find that there are two things that are really, really good for me. The first is a short, fasted run first what in the morning.
When I run without eating anything, I usually can’t go for a very long time and it generally has to be right when I get out of bed and fully awake, otherwise I get extremely lightheaded and nauseous. But a fasted run in the early morning, I actually have quite a bit of energy and it makes me feel extremely productive and ready to take in the day.
The second thing I found that works really well for me when it comes to running food is having a light, carb-rich snack somewhere between 30 and 60 minutes before a run.
Usually for me this means one banana or an apple or something of that variety. I found that having this light snack to power me through the running gives me good amount of energy, but it doesn’t make me feel sick or heavy like a big meal.
#3. Running Apps
Here’s the third of the running tips for beginners. The third thing I wish I knew when I was started running for the first time, what apps to use. As a beginner, all the apps that are available for you to use really can be truly overwhelming and it’s difficult to find out what exactly which one you will be actually end up with on your phone.
For me personally, there are three applications I use often that I wish I had from the beginning of my running. Remember I’m an android user, and these applications could be different on iOS and /or be better or worse on one platform compared to another.
Here’s are the three running apps I use and why I have three of them.
The first is called Runtastic. Truth is Runtastic is one of the millions tracking applications that tell you your pace, will give you a map of where you went or where you’ve gone, gives you audio cues of how many miles or kilometers you’ve done, how many calorie consumption you’ve used up, and so on and so on forth.
I really enjoy the simple easy-to-understand interface and I never had any bugs or problems with it this particular application. I have had those things happen often with other tracking apps.
The second app I use to track my running is Couch to 5K. As the name might reveal to you, it’s perfect for complete beginner runners. If you want to start running and have absolutely no running background, this app is for you.
This app essentially guides you through intervals of jogging and walking and slowly build up stamina over the course of a few weeks. It’s very easy to use, a lot easy to understand and it’s a godsend if you are just starting out.
The third is Zombies, Run! Zombies, Run! is a unique app this is basically an interactive podcast that you can listen to as you run and how you’re running. The premise behind it is that there’s a zombie apocalypse that taking place. You are one of the runners for a little community that’s trying to stay protected from the horde. You have to collect virtual items for the community as you run.
Basically you run away from zombies. It is an entertaining application that is transforming running in a real game that you are trying to win that instead of a chore you must do.
#4 & 5. Pace and Motivation
Yes I know I was giving you six running tips for beginners but the last two tips are kind of inseparable really. So I’ve mushed them into one but they are still two.
The last two things I wish I knew before running was pace and motivation. You see these two go hand in hand. When you start running for the first time, it’s very tempting to start running as fast as you can.
You start running at an above-average pace, especially if you are not familiar with what is your own personal, average pace is. However, after one couple of blocks, if you run too fast you will find that your lungs feel burning, your heart is racing in an uncomfortable way, and it feels impossible to catch your breath.
Then you will slow down, stop, try breathe and feel so frustrated with yourself and defeated because you may have thought that you’re stronger than that. This might lead you to quit altogether.
If I could go back and tell myself one thing when I started, it would be to slow down. To take note of how fast you move when you are brisk walking on foot, how easy it is to have a conversation. Increase your pace very slowly at the lightest of jogs and get comfortable with your body at that pace, freely
Instead of trying to go at lightning speed, try to focus on how far you can go instead.
The hardest part about running isn’t even your leg giving out or the sweat pour down your face or your earbud popping out in the middle of it all. It’s your body telling you to stop and that it is too hard.
My trick to do this is to tell myself, “Oh, I’ll just take a break at the end of this song.” And then when the song ends, I’ll say to myself, “Oh, I can make it up to that light pole ahead.” Then when I finally get to the light pole, I would say “oh let’s get to the corner of that block first and then we’ll have a break.”
The truth is, my body always tells me I can’t do it. And every time I try to do my best to tell it that it is wrong. Sometimes it doesn’t work, and that’s fine too. At the end of the day when I finish a run, no matter far how I went or how the whole experience goes for that run, I feel proud of me because at least I proved that I could get up and move.
At the end of the day, running, for me is the embodiment of me telling my body who is in charge and that I won’t stop until I say so.
#6. Running Frequency
How often should you run as a beginner? How often did I run in the beginning?
When I started I had to find a clear balance between running and resting. This way I allowed my body enough time to recover, rebuild and become stronger. So you should have a plan for resting. You will not be able to go running everyday; at least it’s not recommended.
I ran three to four days a week in the beginning. Then after I was comfortable and my body had adjusted to my pace moved to 5 days weekly, mostly Monday to Friday. I don’t do cross training with other types of workouts. However, one of the common running tips for beginners is to add other workouts on days when you aren’t out running.
These could be biking, swimming, weight training or other types of activities. It’s recommended to run 3-4 times a week and then add an extra day after you’re comfortable. Then allow at least one day when you will not be doing anything activity at all. Just rest.
Failure to rest could be counter productive because your muscles haven’t time to rest and recover.
So those are six running tips for beginners. Running is great both for staying healthy generally and maintaining a good body weight. You also get to enjoy the outside scenery if you’re lucky to live or find a great natural environment.
Start off with these beginner runner tips, find your own groove and create your own experience. If you have any questions, comments or recommendations that we could add to this article, be free to share them in the comments section below.