5 Tips for New Runners
As someone who loves to run, nothing makes me more excited than having a girlfriend come to me and tell me she wants to start running. My reaction always involves extreme enthusiasm and sometimes overwhelming yelps of joy while I mentally come up with training plans, races we can run together and all the running things I want to share with her. I thought I’d share a few of the things I tell new runner friends. If you are new to running, thinking about running or convinced you hate running but maybe you’ll try it out one day, I hope you find these tips helpful!
- Get a good pair of shoes. This is so, so important! Once you decide you’d like to start running, I implore you to go and visit a running store (Iike Pacers, Potomac River Running Company, Fleet Feet, etc.). They will watch you jog and recommend the proper type of shoe for you to run in. Running can be a bit tough on the body, so it really is important to make sure you are wearing shoes that will work for your feet. Many running stores also have running clubs, which can be helpful if you would like to run with others (which I highly recommend!). This leads us to tip number two.
- Find an accountability partner. Research says that it takes 21 days to create a new habit. If you are seeking to turn running into a habit that you do regularly (and of course you are!) , you should start by committing to a few (2/3/4 – your pick!) days of running each week. It can be challenging to keep running when you first start, and so that’s why I recommend an accountability partner. I can easily convince myself to skip my run but if I’m meeting someone, then I won’t bail. Try to schedule runs with a friend or join a running group – most cities have numerous free running groups with plenty of runs each week. I love running with others and being accountable to someone else is a great way to ensure you actually run!
- Mix it up! As I’ve learned as I’ve been training for my first ever marathon, just running all the time is not the best idea. As awesome as running is, it’s important for your body that you mix it up with some cross training a couple times a week. Swimming, walking, a Zumba class – all great options to mix it up. Try something new!
- Be patient. As I mentioned, it takes about three weeks to create a new habit, but it may take longer than that for you to really feel comfortable running. Don’t be discouraged if you aren’t running 8 minute miles your first week. The fact that you are out there is amazing enough. Try not to compare your beginning with someone else’s middle.
- Sign up for a race! Races are a fun way to motivate yourself to stick with running. The fall is prime racing season, so you should have no trouble finding a race that matches your preferred distance and budget. A 5k or a 10k are great first races – short enough that you can wrap your head around the distance, but long enough to feel accomplished!
Remember, whether you are a runner, a walker, a crawler or more into spectating sports, you are amazing just as you are.