How To Get Started in Running
So you’re getting started as a runner – welcome to the club! Taking the first step and committing to a goal is wonderful, but in order to make sure you have a positive experience and don’t get injured, there are a number of things you can do to prepare.
1. Wear sweat-wicking materials
READ MORE: Why Cotton is Rotten
Technical apparel will wick sweat and moisture away, keeping the skin nice and dry. It reduces odours, as well as the likelihood of chafing, and will be more comfortable to run in.
2. Invest in proper running shoes
If you want to run out on the trails, you need trail shoes. If you want to run on the road, you need road shoes. Unfortunately, these are not interchangeable between surfaces because the treads of the shoes are very different, as is the construction.
As you wear your shoes, the cushion will compress and break down. Additionally, if you’ve had them for a few years, the cushion will have degraded and increase your risk of injury.
READ MORE: Signs you need to replace your shoes
Once you actually start putting mileage on a shoe, the manufacturers will suggest replacing the shoes every 800 kilometres. That number is dependent on the runner, sometimes meaning the shoes need to be replaced quite a bit earlier.
3. Don’t start off too fast
You don’t get started running by walking, but you will also wear yourself out if you try to run a six-minute mile out of the gate!
Aim to start at a slower pace, and keep building on it. If you’re a complete beginner, a good tempo to start at is one minute running, and one minute walking. As you get more comfortable, increase the number of minutes you run while decreasing the number of minutes you walk at a pace that works for you. (e.g. two minutes running-one minute walking, four minutes running-one minute walking, etc.) See our sample training schedule below.
Bear in mind that as you run, your heart rate will increase, as will your breathing. This is completely normal and you will need to breathe through your mouth and not your nose.
4. Practice proper hydration & nutrition
For shorter distances of 5km or even 10km, you typically won’t need to worry about nutrition or fueling during your run. However, make sure you stay hydrated.
READ MORE: Top Nutrition Tips for Runners
Carrying a small handheld bottle with you filled with either water or an electrolyte mix will ensure you are keeping your fluids and electrolytes at the proper levels.
5. Be social & have fun!
As the old saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun! If running alone seems boring to you, find a running buddy or join a run clinic, where you can meet people looking to go out for a run – just like you!
Ideally, you find some running buddies in a run clinic that are at a similar pace. Perhaps you can meet up during the week or weekends and do your homework runs together or explore some new trails together.
The running community is a welcoming, social group of people; the more the merrier!
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