Congratulations on making the decision to start running! Starting is the hardest part and it can be easy to feel like throwing in the towel and finding another, hopefully less strenuous way to keep fit. But with a few easy tips, you can stay on track and start to improve your running technique and ability. Here are 4 simple tips for beginner runners from our team of Sydney podiatrists.
Invest In A Quality Running Shoe
Starting to run in old, worn, or badly fitted running shoes and expecting to succeed is highly unrealistic. Before you set one foot out the door, head to the shops and find your ideal match when it comes to running shoes.
You don’t have to get the latest model or spend a fortune on famous brand shoes, but you do need to try on a few pairs and find one that is your perfect fit. Most reputable shoe stores will have a selection of running shoes with different features.
Staff should be able to measure your feet, speak to you about the kind of running you’re planning on doing and help you find a great pair of beginner running shoes for the terrain you’re likely to be running on such as the road/footpaths, grass, or dirt tracks.
Find A Running Buddy
Everyone knows it’s easy to quit something if you’re only accountable to yourself. You’ll be more likely to find any old excuse to avoid going for that run if there is no one else going with you. So find yourself a running buddy and plan regular running times.
You don’t have to run every day, or for miles and miles, but if you’ve made a firm plan with a friend to meet and run at a certain time and place, you’re more likely to actually do it.
If you haven’t got any friends that are keen to run with you, there are plenty of free running groups that cater for all levels of running experience, from beginners to advanced runners. A quick search online in your local area will give you a myriad of options.
A highly underestimated tip, but keeping hydrated is absolutely crucial to your success when it comes to running. Avoid drinking a large amount of water immediately before your run as you could become uncomfortable or get a stitch and that’s never fun.
Rather make sure you drink regularly throughout the day to ensure you are ready for your run. As you run, you’ll be losing water as you sweat, so drinking enough water in the lead up to a run will ensure you’re replacing any that may be lost during the run.
Start With Interval Running
Interval running is a great way to start running when you’re a total beginner. There are several different interval running programs you can follow over a few weeks or months to build up your stamina but the principle is the same no matter which one you choose. Here’s a great interval training program for beginners from Nerd Fitness.
Start with running for a short distance or time and then walk. Alternate running and walking, and over time increase the distances that you run and decrease the distances that you walk. It is a great way to build up stamina and improve your running.
Don’t Forget To Warm Up & Cool Down
Something that many beginner runners forget is the importance of warming up before a run and cooling down afterwards. Even something as simple as a 5 minute walk before you start running can help your muscles to stretch and warm up. A few stretches or a walk at the end of your run can help prevent your muscles from tightening up and you being stiff the next day.
The key when it comes to running for beginners is to just do it – make the time and the effort to get out there and try to enjoy it. It’s not meant to be an effort, and by following our simple tips for beginner runners here, you too can be on your way to becoming an experienced runner in no time!
If you have any concerns about your foot health or how running may affect your feet, knees or legs, get in touch with our team of qualified and friendly podiatrists in Sydney. We’re happy to help treat any foot problems you may be concerned about so give us a call or book your appointment online now.