Wondering how to start running?
You're curious why thousands of people pay to not win a race, or perhaps you're looking for a new hobby or habit to spend more time outside.
Though I've played sports my whole life, I used to think distance running was silly. But my first race was dedicated to a family member, so I ran a half marathon. Not satisfied with a "half" of anything, I ran a marathon. I didn't think I ran that fast enough... so I ran a second.
In my training, I learned a ton about myself, my body, discipline, and what running is really about. You don't have to be out for hours for the same lessons that apply to your life and business!
Prioritizing your running goals makes health choices simpler- eating better, more sleep, not staying out all night, and hydration all take care of themselves when you can feel the effects on your runs.
So whether you're casually starting up, running your first 5k, or a dedicated runner looking to share the joy, here are 6 tips for how to start running!
Running sets the habits that take your business to the next level
Most importantly, don't come out blazing fast like your favorite superstars, or how you used to back in the day. You don't want to pull anything your first time out. Start with a brisk walk 30 minutes, 3 times per day. Then gradually increase the amount you run, 2 minutes walking between every 1 minute running. Aim for a pace where you could hold a conversation.
Remember, it's best to consult your healthcare provider before starting a new exercise routine.
Pick a race
After around 3 walk/runs, picking a race will get you focused and committed to your training. DO IT! There's something about having a set date and paying that reminds you that you should really prepare the best you can. I recommend starting at a local 5k; it's not too hard, and if it comes down to it, you can walk the whole thing.
Read more: Start Exercise if You Hate Exercise: 3 Tips
Warm up and stretch
Getting your muscles and joints loose keeps you out of injury trouble. Slow down or stop if you're in pain- usually, this is a signal that something bad is happening. If something feels tight, take a moment to stretch it out.
Upgrade your shoes
Don't underestimate the value of well-fitted running shoes on your training, resilience, and motivation. Buying the right shoe reduces your risk of injury, reminds you of your commitment, and you feel good when you lace up!
The most expensive shoe is often not the one that suits you best. If you're new, I recommend going to a running shoe store that will advise which shoes best fit your running mechanics. Support small business with a locally owned shop or visit a mall store like Fit2Run.
Pay attention to how you feel right after your run
Fit for Freelance is about feeling great and working better. I'm de-emphasizing long term health benefits like decreased risk of diabetes and weight loss, etc., and focusing on how you feel today.
Michelle Segar's research on Rebranding Exercise found, "Despite equally valuing Healthy-Aging, Quality-of-Life, and Current-Health goals, participants with Quality-of-Life goals reported participating in more exercise than those with Current-Health and Healthy-Aging goals."
Running safety tips
- Be visible- wear lights, or reflective/bright clothes
- If on the road, run facing traffic (this is the opposite for biking)
For a good beginning runner training program and more tips, check out How to start running today: a beginner's guide.