Helpful running tips for beginners, and how I got started. Begin to prepare your body by using my suggestions and you will love the experience.
I have always enjoyed running. In my younger years, I didn’t run regularly or for distance. I simply loved to be outside, listening to my music and exercising. I never felt guilty if I didn’t want to run, nor did I ever care about technical terms such as splits and pace. Also, I didn’t think about running gear like sneakers.
Then, one day in mid-winter 2003, I ruptured my Achilles tendon while attending dance class during my studies as a graduate student.
I didn’t think I would ever run again. After all, it took me four years after surgery to dance again! Even after I began to dance again, I had considerable atrophy in my leg. Atrophy occurs when muscles, in this case my calf and leg muscles, shrink.
I believe, somewhere around year six post -surgery, I began to run. In my early thirties, I was a beginner once again.
First Days Running:
I was extremely cautious as my leg still had muscle weakness. I began to run on a treadmill for very short amounts of time. I would walk 5 minutes to warm-up and then began to run at a relatively slow pace for 7 minutes. After seven minutes, I walked for a minute. If I needed a longer break, I walked longer.
I wanted to return to running outdoors, so in conjunction with the short treadmill runs, I began to walk fast for a few miles outside. Walking outside prepared my body and legs for outdoor running. This post includes affiliate links for your convenience. You can read my disclosure here.
As I mention earlier, I never gave any thought to wearing good running sneakers. That changed after my injury! I guess you never know how important supportive and proper sneakers/footwear is until you have a foot injury. See my recommended products page.
I went to local running stores and tried on different brands of sneakers. The sales associates listened to my concerns and took a look at my running gait. I ended up buying my first pair of Asics. The sales associate helped me with the brands of sneakers that provided extra heal cushion and support for pronation. Pronation occurs when your foot rolls inward towards your big toe.
Helpful Inexpensive Running Gear:
I bought a fitness watch that monitored my heart rate. I think it’s important to know your heart rate while exercising, but more important that while you are running outside you know you are not reaching your max heart rate. Max Heart Rate is 90%. Below you can see that 85% is considered advanced. You will get to the higher percent gradually.
You should also have appropriate clothing for the season. Wearing proper athletic clothing will help absorb sweat to keep you dry. You may consider buying a water belt designed for runners comfort.
I typically drink water before and after my runs, but for some, you should take it with you. I do run during the hotter days, and I usually stop half way through my run to buy a drink. There is always a cute little pocket in my shorts for money and a key, so bring a few bucks with you.
Most people I train that begin to run again are impatient. The most common statement is “when I was (age) I could run (distance)” Well, my response: as we age our bodies change. Be patient and take it slowly. Your body will know when it’s time to do more.
Find A Buddy or Group:
When I started running again, I found a friend to run with me throughout the week. We practiced the 7/1 method, which is to run for 7 minutes and walk for 1 minute.
I found it helpful that my running friend was a runner and had the perfect personality for me. I had the tendency to push myself while she was laid back. She taught me how to enjoy the running experience.
Find The right Area to Run:
To this day, whether I run alone or with partners, I try to pick routes I love to run. I live in Rochester, NY, very close to Lake Ontario, so I have several starting points where I can run along side the water. Turning Point Park is my favorite. I always stop at the end of the pier to enjoy the beauty. I also have the habit of taking a selfie to share later on social media.
I use MapMyRun to save my runs, see my pace/splits, and share with friends via social media, like Twitter. I do it because I hope to motivate others, and I feel proud of myself for accomplishing the run.
Above all, be proud of yourself! It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to run a mile or how far you go in the beginning. Learn to love the experience and the other things will come later. Get started and drop me an email!