Tips for How to Stick with Running as a Beginner.
It’s almost the New Year.
Perhaps you’ve been contemplating starting something new. Maybe you’ve considered starting to run! I say go for it! You’ve got nothing to lose.
When you are a running beginner there are several things that I would do to help to keep you motivated, to keep your head in the game, and to feel good about what you are accomplishing!
- Get the gear. There is so much amazing running gear out there. As a beginner it is fun to have some new running clothes and gear to wear and use. You want to make sure that you are warm and happy when you are running and having some bright and colorful new gear to wear will do the trick. There are so many great blogs out there with recommendations of gear that you may need or want when you get started.
- Sign up for a race. Signing up for a race will give you a goal to work towards and there is nothing better to help you get excited about running than the energy at a race. There are so many different race choices these days many offering fun race bling or themed races such as an Ugly Sweater Run. You can also pick a trail race or a road race or even a relay race. There are also races of every distance so pick what sounds fun and get ready to go for it.
- Pick a training plan. If you are a beginner runner you may want to find a training plan to follow. There are so many great online resources and if you want you can even hire a running coach to help build a training plan for you.
- Find a running group or a friend to start running with you. Running is more fun in numbers. If you are new to running I suggest checking your local area for a running club. Many running clubs have informal meet ups on a weekly basis and runners run together based on ability level. Another idea would be to get a friend to start running with you. They can be a great accountability partner and also someone fun to run a race with.
- Track your running. Tracking your running will be a fun way to monitor your progress. This is also a great way to keep track of where you run and your mileage. There are many great ways to do this online such as STRAVA, Runkeeper, Map My Run, Garmin (You may want to think about purchasing a GARMIN GPS watch/tracker or other device–this is definitely fun new running gear!).
- Visit a running store. A running store or a store where the sales people are knowledgeable about running is the key to getting yourself the right pair of running shoes. So many beginners give up on running early because the shoes that they are running in aren’t the right ones which leads to discomfort and injury. It is important to get your foot measured and fitted for the shoe that is just right for you. There are so many models to choose from. It can be daunting trying to make a selection. Some of my favorite brands are Hoka One One (trail running), New Balance (road running) and Salomon (winter running). I like these brands for different reasons. None of these brands may be right for you. In a good running store the sales people may also watch you running on a treadmill to get an idea of your gait and foot-strike which will help in shoe selection. It also may be trial and error. The first pair of shoes you get may not be the right ones but don’t give up!
- Find some local running trails. When you are a beginning runner it can be fun to mix it up. Don’t always run on the road, find out if there are some easy trails near you. This can include a rail trail, wide paths or more technical single track trail. Make sure you have a map or that the trails are mapped so you don’t get lost!
- Celebrate your accomplishments. You are working hard! Make time to celebrate how far you’ve come with your running. Go out with friends and share a celebratory glass of wine.
- Don’t worry about your times. When you are new to running putting pressure on yourself to achieve certain time goals may not be the best way to get started. Enjoy your runs without tracking your times. Go to a race and run just to be there experiencing the race.
Now that you’ve read my best tips I’d love to hear some stories about how you got started running and the things that helped you the most to stick with it when you were running as a beginner.
What are your best tips for the beginning runner? What did you learn when you were new to running?