Ready To Run: Tips For Beginner Runners


You're off to the races (so to speak) and anxious to get outdoors and get running.  Before you do, take a moment to read these key tips to help make your running experience a more enjoyable one!

1. Start off slow
It's not a race...yet!  Just get going slowly at a comfortable pace that you can sustain for a few minutes or at least the duration of one of the songs on your playlist.

2.  Invest in a pair of good shoes
Please read our post about finding your best shoe HERE. The most important factors are going to a place where they are knowledgeable, and actually putting them on your feet and RUNNING in them before committing to purchasing them.

3.  Think time not distance
20 minutes is 20 minutes, regardless of how far you've gone.  Start with a feasible goal of time that you are willing to invest in running.  The distance you go isn't as important as the fact that you are actually moving for a scheduled amount of time.  My guess is, that as your lungs and legs improve, the distance you can go in the same allotted time with increase, and that way your are continually challenging yourself and growing.

4.  Check your form
Just because you own a good pair of shoes and have two good legs doesn't necessarily mean that you have the best form for running efficiently.  Things you should be thinking about for form are:

  • Look up and forward; if you are looking down you are likely leaning forward
  • Relax your jaw; keep your jaw relaxed to reduce tension in your neck
  • Drop your shoulders; ensure your shoulders are relaxed and dropped to avoid any tension in your upper body
  • Keep hands lightly cupped and close to your sides;  preserve your energy by keeping your hands loosely cupped and arms at your side pumping forward and NOT across your body
  • Keep your pelvis neutral; keep your posture upright and concentrate on keeping your tailbone in a neutral up and down position with less of a curve or sway to your lower back
  • Gait and foot strike; your stride and how your foot lands will be different than others and may adapt over time.  There isn't a "right" way, however there are some studies that suggest  a mid-foot strike is more beneficial overall compared to a heel-strike landing or running on the balls of your feet
5.  Buddy up
Running with a partner may be just the motivation you need to start or keep going.  It's great to another person to stay accountable to

6.  Head outdoors
If weather and your location permit, head outside rather than a treadmill.  The varied terrain will make your experience more interesting and there's something about breathing in fresh air and taking in your surroundings while running outdoors.  Bliss!

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