Advice for New Runners
You can probably remember the person who helped you when you first started running. Now you’re the runner, and people ask you for advice. Here are the 7 things we think every new runner should know. What would you add to the list?
Don’t expect to go from being a non-runner to running miles straight away. Be kind to yourself, and manage your expectations. Run/walk is just fine for now. In fact, it will help your body adapt without excess impact. And even a very short distance is better than nothing. Your fitness and strength will adapt quickly. You’ll be running further than you ever thought possible in no time!
Consistency Is Key
Don’t worry about finding loads of time to run. Short amounts of time, more often, is the best approach. Even if you can only run 2 or 3 times per week, keep at it. Consistency over the weeks is more important than over ambitious or erratic. 2-3 blocks of 20-30 minutes per week is plenty for starters.
Beginner runners often don’t know how fast they “should” be running. A good guide for beginners is the talk-test. Could you hold a conversation whilst running? That’s ideal. Your effort levels shouldn’t be so low that you could talk non-stop, but they shouldn’t be so high that you couldn’t even get a single word out. Imagine you are running with someone: could you hold a back-and-forth conversation? That’s a good goal for beginners.
Shoes & Bra
The two things every female runner needs is a good pair of running shoes and a proper sports bra. Before you get started, get good advice from a running store (or, ideally, a shoe store and a bra manufacturer). You can always take their advice and shop online later. But get good advice at the beginning.
Dress For Comfort
New runners shouldn’t have to spend loads on running kit. Just make sure your running kit will keep you dry in bad weather, cool in hot weather, and warm in cold weather. Layers are useful. And reflective, high vis, or bright colours are a must.
Nourish Your Body
Running is a great weight loss tool, but don’t use it as a weapon to punish your body. Eat to fuel your activity, and eat to recover from running. Learn about good, healthy nutrition and a balanced diet. If you have weight to lose, it will come off with a regular running schedule and a sustainable diet.
Beginners will be taking plenty of rest days. Stretching, foam rolling, yoga, Epsom salt baths, plenty of water (on running days and rest days), early nights and good quality sleep.
Next time you hear “You run, don’t you? How do I get started?”, be armed with great advice. Some of this will be obvious to you as runners, but will be really valuable information to beginners.