Running is one of the most sought-after activities among fitness enthusiasts. The lack of any equipment and the requirement of the bare minimum of great running shoes provides the activity the hype it enjoys today. It might look and seem so simple but the right understanding of the running routine, gears, and postures are extremely important for peak performance and injury prevention.
So if you are a beginner runner and don’t know where to start, do not fret. Everything you need from safety precautions to nutrition tips is all explained in this beginner’s guide to running. You may want to bookmark this page and revisit every time you need to brush up on the basics.
Let’s start with the benefits of running. Understanding ‘why’ you want to run is extremely important to keep the activity going.
- For overall physical, social, emotional well-being
- It is cost-effective as there is no requirement for any fancy types of equipment
- It could aid weight loss
- Efficient aerobic exercise for Cardiovascular health
- Increases endurance and metabolism
- It’s a great stress reliever
What are the different types of running?
As a beginner, you might find this bewildering that there are many different types of running that you could choose from. Experienced runners always are flexible and choose from multiple formats to align with their goals.
1. Road running
This is one of the most popular forms of running. It is as simple as it is termed. Running on roads, pavements just outside enjoying the lush nature with a great pair of shoes and right posture.
2. Running on the treadmill
This option is especially viable when you have a bad weather forecast but still, wish to run. The other major advantage of running on the treadmill includes the ease on the joints which is always better if you are a newbie runner. With multiple options for change in intensity, pace one can simulate an outdoor run.
3. Running Races
This is for all those people who love and enjoy a good adrenaline rush that competitive runs bring. Setting up personal goals and attaining them by running marathons, ultra marathons are sure to let running become your favourite sport.
Now that we have discussed the different running formats for you to choose from, let us delve into the necessary etiquette and prep required before your first run. This step may seem unnecessary but is very significant to truly enjoy running and most importantly prevent any potential injuries.
Etiquette and safety tips for beginner runners
1. Seek Medical advice
You might have had a very sedentary lifestyle up until this moment, so it is a smart thing to get advice and clearance from the doctor before you start the running schedule. Running is an intense aerobic exercise that pumps up the cardiovascular system, so you need to consider and adopt every safety precaution beforehand.
2. Investing in the right running gears
The running shoes are often the most undermined concept among the new runners. All the experienced runners would swear by the fact that the running shoes are the most important unit in a runner’s life. The pressure that falls on your feet while you run has to be minimised and visiting a specialty running store and getting the right shoe fit is the key to avoiding any injury and enjoying the run.
3. Plan the run strategically
For the new runners, there is always the question of endurance and the key is to slowly and steadily build it up. The infamous run/walk method might help you with this. It is so important to lift the immense pressure on your feet while running by alternating cycles of running and walking. This will boost up your endurance and also prevent potential injury and strain.
4. Keep a manageable pace
It is highly likely for new runners to overdo the first run of their life. Even though it might feel amazing at the said moment, there is a high chance that your body will be achy the next morning. This might put you back from running. So the general rule of thumb is to maintain a comfortable pace and intensity and build up your body for more intense runs. It is time to make your runs manageable to stick with the schedule.
5. Maintain proper form
Running might seem like a no-brainer but to run in the right posture is the real task. Always make sure to maintain a neutral spine by not leaning back or forward too much. The head is to be kept upright with the back elongated and this will help you to have a great run with no further muscle pulls. The next significant thing to look into is your foot strike. It is how your foot hits the pavement while you run. Running coaches from all over the world recommend landing on the middle of the feet with no particular inclination towards toes or heels for the prevention of injury and pain.
6. Right nutrition and hydration
This goes without saying that the key to having a good run and schedule is to take care of your body accordingly. For runners, there is the need to maintain the right energy to burn off while doing the activity. Losing a lot of fluids through sweat is very common and hence the component of hydration becomes significant. Having lighter portions of carbs before a run could provide you with enough energy for the run. Consuming water or electrolytes while running will recharge the body of the lost water.
So there you have it, a beginner’s guide to tread through the first run of your life. Be sure to follow all the steps and check with yourself and your comfort zone. There is no competition when you initially start, all that matters is you keep at it and get better by each passing day. Alright, enough chit-chat, get your running shoes on and the water bottle, you are all ready to set your foot forward.