No regular person enjoys running, as a person who has been running for a while, I can say that I do not like it. I started running during quarantine as a way to deal with the world around me. In the beginning, I could hardly run two miles. Now I can easily run six miles. One thing I do like about running is the way it makes me feel afterward, and how much stronger I get from it. But getting into running is hard, especially if you have to do it on your own. It is difficult to motivate yourself, find running clothes, look for a running route, create healthy habitats, and work it into your schedule. In this article, I will give you tips on how to start running.
Tip 1: Dress Appropriately
When going for a run, it is important to feel comfortable. Getting the right running shoes is the most important thing. If your running shoes do not support your feet, then you could get blisters and shin splints. Some good running shoes that I like are from Brooks, Saucony, and Nike. I have had running shoes from all of these brands and found them comfortable and supportive. For running clothes, I like to shop at Nike because I feel the prices are pretty reasonable and the clothes are comfortable. I also shop in the sale sections of Athleta and Lululemon.
Tip 2: Track your runs
Another tip I have for getting into running is tracking your runs. This might seem like a hassle, but it is motivating to look back on how much you have improved over weeks and months. I have a Garmin Forerunner 45 smartwatch, which I use to track my runs. It is pretty expensive, but it works great for me because it means I do not need to bring my phone on runs and can track other activities like hiking and biking, too. If you don’t want to invest in a watch, then you can track your running using an app on your phone. Some apps that have worked for me are the Strava running app and Nike running app.
Tip 3: Motivate yourself
Getting yourself to wake up every morning and go for a run is hard. There is no way to wake up with the energy to go for a run daily, but my mindset is to think of how the run will make me feel. After a run, I feel happier and more energetic. When I am having rough days deciding if I should go for a run, I ask myself the question, “am I just too lazy? Or do I not feel good?” If I am just too lazy, I try to push myself to run. If I do not feel good, I take a day off. Rest days are important to build healthy habitats, we do not always have to push ourselves super hard every day. Once I am running, I either listen to a motivating running podcast or running music, anything that will distract you from running is usually good. The main point about mindset is to not beat yourself up about running. Getting better is gradual, and rest days are important to get better.
Tip 4: Where to run
I am very particular about where to run. I like to run around loops because it is more interesting than running back and forth. I also do not like running on a treadmill because I find it boring, but if you like to control your exact speed and distance then you might enjoy that. I think that running outside is more fun because you are running anyway, so you might as well run in a beautiful place. Some running routes that I like in Boston are running around the Charles River or the Jamaica Pond. But I think that any park that you like would work for running.
Tip 5: Stretching Before and After running
Stretching before and after running is important so we can get better at running healthily. Before running, it is important to warm up your muscles so that when you start running your muscles are not in shock from going from cold to having to warm up super fast. I like to use a yoga youtube video to warm up. This also helps me mentally prepare for my run. When cooling down after a run I like to walk for five minutes and then do some more yoga. Make sure to not sit down immediately after running because then your muscles will not properly recover, and they will be sore the next day.
Tip 6: What to eat before and after a run
Before my runs, I like to eat a piece of fruit and drink a glass of water. This works for me because these two things do not make my stomach hurt when I am running. After my run, I like to eat breakfast because I usually run in the early morning. It is important to drink lots of water after running to properly refuel your body. Here is a guide by professionals on what to eat and what to not eat before and after your runs.
Tip 7: How to work running into your schedule
Working running into one’s schedule is hard but necessary to make running a habit. One thing that I found helpful was putting it in your schedule, like a doctor’s appointment. This means that you have put time aside to do it, and in that time you will do it. Another thing that I found helpful is to do it early in the morning. I know it’s painful to wake up earlier than usual, but it is helpful to get your run out of the way in the morning. This also means that you will always have time to run if you wake up earlier because the only thing you are supposed to be doing in the early morning is sleeping.
Tip 8: How to Build your Endurance
Once you are running it can be difficult to continue. What I have learned is, don’t try to go from zero to 100. Start with running one mile and slowly build up over weeks. When you are running, remember to breathe. I try to breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth. This pattern reminds me to focus on my breathing. If you get a side ache, it is from not getting enough oxygen through to your muscles. What I do is walk and put my arms above my head, this stretches the muscle and helps ease the pain. Another issue you can come across when running is shin splints, this could be because your running shoes are worn out or you are adding miles to the amount you normally run too fast. If this happens try to get new running shoes or take a few days off running. To summarize, things to focus on when running are remembering to breathe, take breaks, and do not push yourself too hard.
Running is a great sport to get your heart racing. It can also be meditative, and I recommend it to people who wake up in bad moods or feel like they just sit around all day. I have discovered how beneficial running can be to my physical health and also my mental health. I hope that you have now learned how to become a better runner and know how to build great habitats. The most important thing to take away from what I have said is to just try it. Put on running shoes and go for a run, even if it is short or you only do it once in a while. If you need a more direct running plan with an exact goal you can go here. Running is difficult and sometimes it can be hard to see improvement, but the meaningful thing is that you are getting exercise.