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6 Great Tips for Beginner Runners
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Summary: Here are some excellent ways to get you off to a good start as a runner.

Did you get really excited and sign up for a 5K only to realize you now have to run 3.1 miles? Maybe promised a friend you’d run with them, or want to add running into your life but don’t know how? Running is one of the simplest forms of exercise. We all know how to do it! But, surprisingly, it can be hard to just start running as a form of exercise without any guidelines. Here are some of my best tips for anyone who is a beginner runner.

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  1. Use a Plan. There are so many great resources out there to give you a scheduled plan to help you start running. Doing too much too quickly might cause injuries, but you also might not realize what you’re capable of. Following a running plan will help you increase gradually and stick to a schedule. One of my favorite resources is Hal Higdon’s website or the Couch to 5K program.
  1. Get a running buddy. Running with a friend or running group keeps you accountable. Knowing that someone is waiting for you or expecting you to show up is a lot more motivation than just dragging yourself out of bed and running alone. It’s also helpful because you have someone to talk with to help pass the time and keep you distracted.
  1. Get fitted for shoes. I know, mind blowing, right? There are specialty shoe stores just for running shoes where they will not only measure your foot, but also watch you walk, have you run on a treadmill, and even record images of your running to see how your gait can be best balanced and helped by a shoe. Getting the wrong shoe can actually cause you injury, so it’s worth the investment.
  1. Don’t worry about walking breaks. Some of us let our pride get in the way and feel ashamed if we have to stop and walk, but don’t! There are many, many marathoners who take walking breaks, so it’s not something that just beginners do. If stopping to walk for a minute is what gets you to run further, then do it!
  1. Add in cross-training. Most running injuries are caused by a muscle imbalance. Adding strength training into your routine is so important to strengthen leg, glute, back and core muscles to keep your body standing in good posture and keep your legs equally strong and injury-free.
  1. Keep a training log. Often when we workout, we don’t actually write down anything about what we’ve done, but doing so can help us see how far we’ve come. It’s also a great tool to see that you’ve plateaued and could probably push yourself a little harder during your next workout. For running, my two favorite tools to make this easier are Map My Run and Daily Mile.



 

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