This article is full of 11 actionable running tips for beginners to transform their run game this year.
And let me say something straight.
This article is not just another generic “running tips for beginners” fluff post that we’ve all seen.
Every tip chosen is a proven strategy to will help you become the runner you want to be.
So if you are interested in improving your running game, this article is made for you. If you don’t have time to read it all, watch this simple video I made that sums it up:
Ok, enough chit-chat, let’s get to the tips.
Running Tips for Beginners #1
GO RUNNING TODAY
Sure, this might seem a little simplistic. But if you are searching tips for beginner runners online, it means you have the motivation right now. This motivation is not something to take lightly.
When I read the book: Power of Habit, I learned that when you start something, it has a powerful effect on your future decisions.
So don’t wait for the perfect time to start running(hint: it doesn’t exist). Don’t wait until you have better running clothes or shoes, or whatever else you might want. You can get those things as you go.
So get out there, trust me, you won’t regret it.
Running Tips for Beginners #2
AVOID BORED RUNNING
Want to know a secret? Running is boring sometimes. Pretty crazy right?
Here’s a better secret, every step you take to remove unpleasant feelings when you start running, increases the likelihood of you sticking with running longterm.
And guess what, music is perfect at taking your focus off running and onto something more enjoyable.
But that’s not all.
Studies show that music increases athletic performance, especially when you’re listening to something you like.
So here’s what you need to do.
Make a running playlist, and when you make it, it should check each one of these:
- Music that you like (obviously)
- The playlist is long enough to endure your runs (1 hour of more playtime)
- Personally: No songs with long intros
- Personally: Mix of slow and fast to keep me on my toes (sorry had too)
Ok, go make your playlist.
If you’re not into music, no worries!
Get some audiobooks or podcasts downloaded onto your phone to keep upbeat while you run, and not burning through your data
Now, let’s get to the next tip. Less is more.
Running Tips for Beginners #3
A common misconception that most runners make (me included) is that you have to run as long as possible to consider the workout to be a success.
This error holds a lot of people back from starting running. Thinking that they can’t run straight for 30 minutes, they might as well not even try.
Running, even for a couple minutes at a time, is still a great workout.
I recommend that new runners only run for a couple of minutes at a time, followed by 5 or so minutes of walking. This workout is a great starter session that you can repeat as desired.
Another great option is doing a couch to 5k plan.
These plans are designed for new runners and progress you through running by combining it with walking for different time intervals.
Ok, take away points.
If you are just starting out, only run for a couple of minutes at a time. I’d suggest using a walk/run program like the couch to 5k plan.
I like this one, but there are much more online that will work just fine.
Now, let’s move on to the next tip, having a memory bank of good runs.
Running Tips for Beginners #4
REMEMBER THE GOOD TIMES
Humans are kind of funny. We love what we do most, and this is true for running as well.
Likely for you, by knowing how this brain pathways work, you can hard wire your brain to convince yourself to go when you don’t want to.
Sound cool right? Here’s how.
Make mental notes of the good times you have after each run; you build up an archive of memories to use to your advantage on days you might not feel entirely up to it.
What does remembering the good times mean?
After each completed run, think about how good you feel, how your body feels to have worked and how you feel to you have done something productive.
Knowing that you’re to be one step closer to your goal of being fit will inspire you. It feels incredible to have earned that relaxing sit on your couch.
Use a notebook and write things down or check off each workout completed.
I use a free app called Strava that automatically shows me my past runs(spoiler that’s tip #11 as well).
Now that you have varied sources of good memories to look back on, use them!
On rainy days, or when it’s early, think about all that work that’s got you to this moment. It’ll drive you to keep going.
Now keep going to the next tip, how to deal with running stitches.
Running Tips for Beginners #5
The best way to deal with running stitches is never to get them. So the first tip I must say is how to avoid them.
Good old science tells us that two primary reasons cause running stitches.
- You’ve had not ideal nutrition
- Your body is not used to the training you are doing
Also, and probably most common, a combination of both is the culprit.
Prevent Problem 1: Nutrition
One simple rule that helps prevent running stitches is to limit the types of food and amount of water the 2 hours before your run.
So eat earlier than 2 hours, or if you missed that mark, eat only small amounts of easily digestible foods in that window.
An example is one banana or one slice of toast with peanut butter.
As for water, making sure you are hydrated two hours before your runs, then merely slip water as you count down the minutes before you go.
Prevent Problem 2: Over-stimulate from Training
This one is a little harder to pinpoint, but, a good rule is to follow a strategic running training plan that builds you up slowly.
A good training plan will minimize the risk of doing a workout you might not be ready for quite yet.
That’s it, and prevention goes a long way!
Now as you train more, you’ll learn to refine these general rules more to your needs, making them even more useful.
How to treat a stitch
So you followed the steps above and still got a stitch. Don’t panic, just do this.
If you are just starting out, just stop and walk for 1 minute. During the walk, breath. Belly breath to be more exact.
Belly breathing will allow more oxygen to get into your body per breath. And over a short period, the stitches will be gone. Here’s a quick video on how to belly breath properly.
Once the minutes up, reassess, if the stitches aren’t gone, just keep repeating the minute until they go away.
If they are gone, slowly start back up running. Ensure you go nice and smooth for the next few minutes to allow your body time to adapt again.
Running Tips for Beginners #6
ALWAYS START OFF SLOW
“Always start off slow” means as it sounds.
Your body needs time to warm-up before it can adequately produce the work required for running. That statement is true for new runners and veteran speedsters as well.
Ensure you do a little warm-up that is effective but doesn’t take too much time either. Short and easy-to-do warm-ups ensure you will never get too bored and start to skip it in the future.
- 5 minutes of walking (walk with a purpose) then;
- A small warm-up routine that includes at least walking lunges and leg swings.
Once both are complete, start your run. But make sure you start with the easy effort for the first few minutes too.
If you incorporate this into every one of your runs, you’ll be less sore, less injured, and better prepared for each run that you do.
Running Tips for Beginners #7
REST IS BEST
When I first started running, I didn’t value rest. This lack of respect for rest led to another common mindset, the more I ran, the better I’d be no matter what.
In reality, if you run all the time, you’ll overtrain and get hurt. Or if you lucky enough to stay injury free(extremely lucky) you’ll plateau after some time.
Install this thought. Rest is when you see the benefits of all your hard work. Seriously.
If you spend weeks on end smashing your body, over and over again, you’ll just continually break down your body.
But, if you implement recovery weeks and recovery days into your training, your body will use that time to repair, and grow stronger than ever.
Grow stronger than ever, isn’t that what we all want?
For beginner runners, rest might be even more important because your body is not used to the stress of running yet.
When you first start, run a maximum of days a week. Do cross-training on the other days if you want to exercise more.
On rest days, ensure you elevate your feet, sleep, and hydrate as much as possible to help with the recovery process.
These tips will prevent you from running too much. Ok, lets head to the next tip.
Running Tips for Beginners #8
The type of ground you choose to run on has a significant impact on your running. Ok, that was bad.
But seriously, it does.
I prefer to run on grass. It is soft and usually flat. But the negatives are sometimes it’s hard to find. If you are running on sidewalks that have strips of grass beside them, hit that green up! It will save those legs.
Second, I love the trails.
So groomed, hiking and gravel trails are helpful to reduce the impact too. The negative here is you got to watch out for uneven surfaces, twisting ankles, etc.
If you can’t run on these, no worries, just focus on light feet, running easy and taking quick steps and that will go along the way to prevent injuries.
Next tip, core.
Running Tips for Beginners #9
DO SOME CORE, EVEN A LITTLE
We’ve all heard that doing core exercise is good for us, that’s not new.
But what’s nice to know is how much you need to do to see benefits.
By doing a plank and side plank for up to a minute a couple of times a week, you’ll begin to tighten up the core. You’ll start to see improvements in your run game too, in the form of better stability and better power transfer through each leg stride.
So start to make a core workout habit by doing the prescribed workout above, then add more into the routine as you begin to look for more challenges in your fitness.
Running Tips for Beginners #10
ADD SOME FORM
Running form is essential. Many new runners find it difficult to implement it in their training, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
Don’t overcomplicate things. Focus on 2-3 things to work on as you run, max. Making just a few focus points is key to not getting overwhelmed and making progress in your form.
On your next run, as you go just think about these things; chest up, drive your elbows straight back, and keeping your feet light as you land.
This tips will be more than enough to get you running better, and enjoying your runs a little more.
Running Tips for Beginners #11
DOWNLOAD RUNTASTIC OR STRAVA
Free apps are nice. Useful free apps are even nicer.
I mention both because I don’t want to single wither one out because I honestly this both apps are useful.
But they both do the same thing.
They track your runs and give live info as you run like pace, distance, time, and elevation gain.
After tracking your run, they save it and give you a way of seeing your running history. You’ll see the weekly, monthly and yearly mileage so you can see your progress. The app will even record workout time and calories burned on each run.