Important Tips for Beginner Runners
Running is one of the most achieving feelings in the world. It’s complicated, challenging, and a major outlet for stress. Sometimes I felt like my complications were with running itself. Over time, it has been a game changer for my life. When I am having a good, bad, or normal day - I have used running to celebrate or get my mind off things. It is surprising to say the least. If you are considering becoming a runner, it is not going to be easy but just know it can be a lifelong reward if you push yourself. I have learned a few things along the way, and have some important tips for any beginner runner out there:
Follow a Guided Plan
I can talk from experience - it can take a lot of structure to start running. I tried following different intervals workouts I found on Pinterest but none really stuck for me. Couch to 5K however, was a godsend. I didn’t start on the first few weeks because I had been running, I want to say I started on Week 3. If you space out the runs throughout the week, it is so doable! You just have to give yourself the time to do it. And let’s be real, at MAX starting out it's less than 30 minutes. You can do anything for 30 minutes.
You have to Strength Train
After I started running farther, I noticed I genuinely did not have the energy to run as long as I wanted. The best runs I have are when I am in a consistent routine of going to a mix of the classes I take at the gym, one of which is a strength training class that I try and take 1-2 times a week. If I can’t make my classes, I try and do squats, lunges, and planks just to have some type of strength and core workout.
Talk about being sore, especially if you are weight training, but it does not make your runs impossible. It charges you to run better. Initially, your pace may drop off but the stronger you become the easier your endurance runs will be! Long runs have a very high impact on your body, training all parts of your body will keep you safer.
Listen to Your Body
Sometimes your body will just reject a high impact workout. Personally, my full time job is not training for the olympics so if my body says no to me, I definitely won’t be killing myself to get a workout in. It’s all about balance and you really have to check in with how you are feeling.
Listening to your body is the most important thing, you have to give yourself a break. Maybe that looks like having a week of short runs or days off. I only really give these to myself when I feel tanked, but it is energizing and motivating for the next run. It’s always important to stretch, but this is something to continue doing while you are recovering. Yoga is a great form of active recovery. If you don’t go to a gym or studio that has yoga, I HIGHLY recommend you get the free version of Down Dog (it’ll change you).