Thinking of taking up running? The perfect time is now!
If you've been thinking of taking up running but are overwhelmed about where to start and how to get going, then this article is perfect for you!
Spring is a great season to give running a go for a first-timer. The snow is gone, the weather is mild and the outdoor trails and parks are bustling with an exciting energy.
There's no better time to get out there and get running! We have put together seven helpful tips for you to make taking up running as easy and fun as possible.
Running Essentials for Beginners: ease and suitable equipment
1. Stop thinking, start running!
It's tiring, it's time-consuming, and it might hurt – you can come up with quite a few reasons why running taking up running is a bad idea. But there are even more reasons why running is a great idea! Deep down you know that running will be beneficial, so the only thing between you and starting is yourself. It doesn’t matter whether you manage to run for several kilometers right away or have to take your first break after just 100 meters. The only thing that matters is that you give it a try, and stat somewhere.
2. Walking is permitted!
Don’t worry if you feel yourself needing to take a break after just a little while. It’s perfectly normal and you will see that over time, you will build up stamina and will be able to run longer each time without a break.
As a beginner, a good option may be to alternate between short walking breaks and running periods, for example, 4 periods consisting of 5 minutes of running, followed by three-minute walking breaks. Over time you can gradually extend the running periods and shorten the walking breaks. What’s important, especially when beginning: if you don’t feel well, do not force yourself to keep running. Listen to your body and go at whatever pace feels good to you!
3. Gear Up!
You need very little equipment to take up running (this is another good reason for getting started!), however, there are a few important items you should invest in.
Running shoes: they are the most important item, and quite literally the foundation for a regular running routine. You will soon notice the big difference between basic trainers and good running shoes. The special cushioning properties of a running shoe provide relief for your joints, and they also make running far more comfortable. This is important: please visit a specialist retailer to buy your shoes, ideally a store dedicated to running equipment. Here you’ll be able to try on the shoes and to even take a little test run. This will allow an experienced sales assistant to provide great advice and see which shoe matches your running style.
Pro Tip: For the ideal running foundation outfit your shoes with insoles specifically designed for running!
Bauerfeind Sports Run Performance Insoles support the course of movement and increase comfort in running shoes. The flexible insole core supports and guides the foot from below ensuring longer pain-free performance.
Running clothes: it may be sunny and rather warm in spring already, however, temperatures can still differ significantly over the course of the day, especially between March and April. When taking up running, an important tip to remember when getting dressed is layering! A good example would be pairing a breathable running shirt and a lightweight running jacket that can keep out the wind and can be quickly opened and taken off if needed. Lightweight running trousers are also a good idea. Typically you want to go for sweat-wicking and breathable fabrics when choosing running clothes. Cotton should be avoided is possible as it is prone to absorbing sweat, and can lead to painful chafing of your skin.
Running compression and supports: as a running beginner, just like in most other sports, you are at a higher risk of slips, falls, or injury while you are practicing your technique. As your muscles and joints are getting used to a new type of strain, you may experience some discomfort and pain in the first few weeks. Sports compression sleeves, socks, and supports designed for running can help protect your muscles and stabilize your joints!
Targeted medical compression applied, for example, to your calves or thighs with Compression Sleeves, help prevent muscle soreness and speeds up your muscles’ recovery post-run! Sports supports and braces stabilize your joints and provide added protection against twists, sprains, and other ligament injuries.
This is important for running novices: increase the strain slowly, and don’t forget to hydrate
4. Take small steps towards success!
This advice will become very important once you have been on a couple of runs and have started to develop a routine: increase the extent of your training slowly. Even if you are feeling good and fit enough to tackle longer distances: your bones, muscles, and tendons need time to get used to the increased strain. To prevent injuries, increase your pace and distance gradually in order to acclimate your body!
5. Breaks are important!
The previous rule also applies when it comes to the time you allow between your runs: take things slowly. When you first take up running, you are bound to experience muscle soreness. This is a sign that your body is still in the recovery phase. Allow your body this time to recover and take enough time to relax.
6. Hydration, hydration, hydration!
This is not news: it is important to stay hydrated. It’s particularly true when you take up an endurance sport such as running. Make sure to establish a “drinking routine” right from the start. This means: you should ideally have one or two small glasses of water before your run, as well as afterward to make sure that lost fluids are replaced as quickly as possible. Water helps your muscles recover, and it cools down your body when it has “run hot”.
7. Keep going!
Take small steps to increase your training sessions, and take sufficient breaks, but make sure you keep up the routine. Enter two or three fixed running days in your calendar, or find friends or a running group to help you stay motivated. After just a few weeks, you will most likely be eager to get out there and run. This is why spring is the perfect time to take up running. Most importantly, have fun!