Top tips for new runners

According to social media, a lot of people have started running for their government allocated exercise of the day. It’s a great way to get cardio in, but my friends and I keep having the same conversation: it’s so hard. Going from someone who never runs to ‘a runner’ is never a smooth transition. When you start, you feel too self conscious, you keep having to stop to catch your breath, or you’re never motivated to go out for a run in the first place. So, I went to the fountain of running wisdom: my mother, a four time marathon runner. She did one for each kid she had. I asked her for her top tips for new runners, and this is what she sent me…

“Running is bittersweet. Even after you get over the initial shock and high of being able to do it, there will always be good runs and bad runs. However, there will rarely be a day that you regret going for a run!

Plan to hydrate

Hydrate while running as well as throughout the day. If you’re thirsty while running, your body is probably telling you that you need more water immediately. But, you’ll be less thirsty while running if you’ve been keeping hydrated throughout the day, or the night before.

Be kind and patient with yourself

You need to build distance. Running farther than you’re conditioned for may result in injury (and discouragement). Depending on your current fitness condition, learning to run may not feel great at first. Trust in the process. It may take some time, but know that you can do this and will be thankful you did. Check out these runner’s stories to inspire you:

Find a beginner plan

But choose one that fits your schedule and lifestyle. Couch to 5km not working for you? Sometimes carefully combining one or more plans is the best course of action. You can schedule weekly mileage based on 2 or 3 suggested plans and know that you’re working to safely increase mileage while also meeting your scheduling needs. Running websites are also a great place to get advice for sustaining your training. Here’s are some examples of a good 5km training plan:

Always end with a runner’s high

Some days this means slowing down towards the end of your run to cool down and enjoy a slow paced finish. Other days, you’ll feel the need for speed and end with a sprint. If you’re feeling sluggish mid run, cut it short so that you still end on a good note.

Know your body and listen to it

If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. In other words, if you feel an injury coming on, take a short break and revisit shorter distances for a while. The more important thing is that you’re getting out, and keeping your schedule consistent.

Don’t forget about strength training

To enhance running success include some strength training in your routine. See these websites for tips on exercises that help your body adjust to running while maintaining overall fitness health. You’ll learn to not underestimate upper body and core strength! If you feel like you can’t get out of the house for a run today, try doing these instead. Here are some good strength training exercises for runners:

First things first, buy good shooes

Set yourself up for success and plan to commit to the running journey by spending $$ on a good pair of shoes. Get sized and fitted for correct shoes. At a running store, professionals can give you the best chance at success with appropriate shoes for your size and gait. Be weary of starting to run with an old pair of sneakers, as you don’t want to start this journey with immediate injury.  

Wear appropriate gear. 

A pair of good running pants, sports bra, technical shirt makes a difference in running enjoyment. Also, don’t underestimate good socks. Avoid cotton-anything for running! Look for materials that breath and are “sweat wicking” and don’t weigh you down. You don’t need top of the line brand names (check out Gap sport, Old Navy, M&S). And, it’s fun to build towards “reward yourself” pieces now and again.

Nothing’s more important than your playlist

Include some of your favourite titles to get your feet moving to the beat. Are we running or are we dancing? Be wary of filling your playlist with fast paced beats, use your playlist to create a pace for yourself. This means including slower paced songs to keep you from going too fast too early in the run.

Running buddies are the best buddies

It would be optimal if you had a running mate. Sometimes ½ the battle to committing to a routine is having someone there to do it with you. Check out run clubs like at (Running Room, Lululemon?) where you can connect with like-minded people.

Ready for a deep dive? There’s a lot to learn about running!

Her final tip: Run your way to a bookstore and check out these titles for inspiration and valuable insight into the runner’s world.

  • Born to Run, Christopher McDougall
  • Eat & Run, Scott Jurek
  • What Makes Olga Run?, Bruce Grierson
  • Pose Method of Running, John Robson

Safe to say, my mom went a bit crazy with the running tips. My #1 top tip is to learn how to breathe properly. In through your nose, out through your mouth. If it’s not helping you catch your breath, that’s a good indicator that you need to slow down. Personally, I love how many people are getting into running! It’s helped me get going too. If you have any running tips, you can leave them in the comment section below.

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