How To Start Running As A Beginner

Wednesday, May 18, 2022


If you've been following me on my social media over the last 6 months, you'll know that I've been running. And I figured it was about time for me to make a blog post about it for others that are thinking of getting into running whether it's just to challenge yourself or to help exercise more and live a healthier life. So if you want to start running...keep reading!

Before we get into it, let's just talk about the benefits of running. It's great cardio to work on your cardio fitness and your overall fitness. It's a great way to blow off steam too and the mental benefits of it are just amazing. I start my day off every single day with at least a 5 mile run. I do it sometimes when it's still dark out. My day starts with a nice cardio run which actually leaves me feeling energized and more positive the rest of the day. Running is great for those of you that wish to step it up from something like just walking, and it's totally fine if you're just doing it for fun. Just because you run, doesn't mean you need to sign up for races, etc.

So if you still want to start running, great! Here's what I'd advise you before you start.

Get the Right Gear

The first thing you need to do is make sure you have the right equipment and apparel. By equipment I mean things like:
-something to hold your phone or keys
-something to keep you visible (safety vest or headlamp/knuckle lights)
-something to play music if you plan to run with a soundtrack

For me, I use Knuckle Lights which I wear on my knuckles and they have lights on them to help me see what's ahead but also to let drivers know I'm there. I also wear a safety vest that reflects when light hits it so that there's no chance someone in a car won't see me.

Now when it comes to apparel - this is the most important part. You'll need to first find the right pair of running shoes for yourself and the way to do that is to go to an in person running store. They often have a device that measures and scans your feet and will give you a full run down of how you're built. Different shoes are good for different body types. For me, I have narrow heels so Mizuno shoes are my favorite brand and they tend to run tight in the heels, so it makes sense.

Running shoes should be replaced every 300-500 miles so make sure you keep track of how many miles you put on them and don't wear them out too much or you'll begin feeling pain when you run.

When it comes to the rest of what you wear, it's different for each person. You can do a simple google search on what to wear in certain temperatures. I am always hotter than other people so while some people bundle up in 3 or 4 layers in really cold weather, I may just do 2 or 3 layers. Here's my own personal chart:
Under 20 - Long pants, long sleeve shirt, sweater, jacket, gloves.
20-35 - Long pants, Long Sleeve Shirt, sweater, gloves
35-45 - Long Sleeve Shirt and long pants (no gloves unless it's windy)
50 or over - Short sleeve shirt or tank and shorts

Again, this will vary from person to person. Find what works for you.

It's also important to know that when you run in certain types of weather like when it's very very cold and windy out, you want to keep most of your skin covered so a scarf or neck gaiter can help.

How to Start
If you have never ever run before, you want to start very slow. I suggest walking for the first couple of weeks just to build up your leg muscles and just get yourself used to doing it. I started walking everyday in September and by the beginning of October I was starting to run.

Once you start running you want to do it in little bits. Maybe do your regular walk but for 1/4 mile run and then go back to walking. You'll find what works for you but don't overdo it! You should always stretch before and after a run and keep yourself hydrated, even in cold weather. I first started out doing intervals of running and by mid-October I was running almost my entire time.

Consistency is key so what I did was once I could run a mile without walking, I would run a mile every day for a couple weeks. This allowed my lungs to adjust and also my muscles. After a few weeks, I extended my distance to 1.5 miles. After a couple more weeks it went to 2 miles. I increased my distance by 1/2 a mile every couple weeks.

When you first start, you should also be mindful of your pace. In the beginning, make sure you start slow. Literally just go from speed walking, to a very slow jog where you can still technically talk or hold a conversation during it. I didn't try to go faster over time, I just kind of maintained an easy pace and over the months, my body would be better at it so I would run faster. Now that I know what it feels like to push myself or to keep a steady pace, I choose to only go for speed 1-2 times a week. This way I'm still able to run everyday because I'm not being too hard on my body.

Listen to your body. If you're sore, take a break. Go slower on your next few runs. It takes time but if you keep consistently working on it, you'll get better and faster and be able to go further.
You may also want to consider working out with your partner or spouse so you can encourage one another and stick with it. It’s also safer if you are out running with someone else instead of alone, especially on trails and other areas that may not be as crowded. Put safety first by being aware of your surroundings and crossing to the other side if you see a dog because you never know if they may bite or attack. In the case that your running partner is the victim of a dog attack and you experience a tragedy, you can always Contact Wrongful Death Lawyer for guidance and next steps.  
I'm not going to pretend I'm an expert, because I'm not. I do it for fun and for fitness and not to win races or become a pro. There's plenty of running terms I don't know and I often ask runner friends to explain things. That's totally okay. Embrace the running community around you.

I highly recommend using a fitness watch to track your progress. I use my FitBit and I can see how my cardio fitness score has went up, see my pace, and other info after each run. I also use the Strava app to connect with other local runners.

Are you going to start running or have you been running recently? Share your experience below! I love meeting other runners!

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