How to start running: A beginners guide

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Beginners guide to effective running

No matter how fit you think you are, this simple guide will help you to be a runner in simple steps.

As simple as running may sound or be, it definitely isn’t as easy as it sounds. Especially when you are a starter.‘You have to start where you are, not where you think you should be,’ says running coach and exercise physiologist Janet Hamilton.

Running is one of the best ways to improve fitness levels and even create new relationships with other runners. Beginning a new running culture doesn’t really have to be a hard thing to do all it takes is a comfortable pair of shoes and the willingness to move and continue moving, all at your own pace.

Running also has a low bar of entry—you don’t need any fancy equipment, it’s relatively inexpensive, and you can do it almost anywhere. It’s also an activity that spans ages; it’s never too late to start running. Many people who have take up the sport do so in their 50s, 60s, and even 70s.

Here are some of the reasons you should run:

  • It’s one of the most efficient ways to achieve aerobic fitness.
  • Running can be a smart strategy for weight loss.
  • Running is an excellent stress reliever.
  • You can run by yourself for peace and solitude or with others for social interaction.
  • You release endorphins when running and may even experience a runner’s high.
  • You achieve better overall health with improvements such as higher lung capacity, increased metabolism, lower total cholesterol levels, increased energy, and decreased risk of osteoporosis.

Types

While running seems like a fairly straightforward sport, there are different types of running that you might want to explore. Most runners engage in one or more of the following types of running.

Road running – It includes running on paved roads, paths, and sidewalks.

Treadmill running – A great alternative to running outside is treadmill running.But this type of running is also (usually) easier than outdoor running and can be gentler on your joints.

Racing – Some runners enjoy the thrill and competition of participating in road races. Racing events vary in distance from 5Ks to half or full marathons.

So how do you start?

Get motivated

‘Once it’s a habit, exercise feels easier and doesn’t take as much willpower when you don’t feel like it,’ says Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit.

Proper running form

Proper running form can help you become a more efficient runner. You can learn to conserve energy, improve your pace, run longer distances, and reduce your risk of injury by paying attention to and tweaking different elements of your running mechanics.

Just move

Before your first run, get in the regular exercise habit by walking. You can also use a stationary bike or elliptical trainer, but walking is an excellent foundation for running and holds the convenience.

Running guide

Nutrition and Hydration

You’ll learn quickly that eating right and staying hydrated can make or break your runs.

Proper hydration

You lose water through sweat, whether it’s cold or hot out, so you need to drink before, during, and after your runs. When running, you should pay attention to your thirst level and drink when you feel thirsty.

Here are some specific tips for longer runs or races:

  • Start hydrating several days before a long run or race. You can hydrate with plain water; you don’t have to drink sports drinks.
  • An hour before you start your run, try to drink about 16 ounces of water or other non-caffeinated fluid. Stop drinking at that point, so that you can void extra fluids and prevent having to stop to go to the bathroomduring your run.