Running has always been my go-to form exercise when I decide to become more active, but I could never actually stick with it. I’d do well for a few weeks and then life would get busy and I wouldn’t pick it up again for a few months.
This past year I decided that I was done with that. I poured over articles, blogs, and podcasts to find out the best way to start running, stick with it, and not absolutely hate it.
So now that I have developed a solid routine and LOVE running again, I thought I’d share my tips for beginner runners! I truly believe that anyone can become a runner if you take it slow and listen to your body.
How to Start Running
Ease Into Training
Even if you can’t run at all, you can still become a runner. It just takes getting up and active to start out. When I first started I couldn’t run a mile without feeling like I was dying and now I can run 4+ miles and feel great.
Start out with walking 30 minutes per day and commit to that for however long it takes until you feel comfortable with jogging. Just because you are walking and not running doesn’t mean it is a waste of time. Walking 30 minutes per day can significantly improve your cardiovascular health.
I started out using a Couch to 5K app. The first day of the program had me run for 30 seconds and walk for 1.5 minutes. It was hard, but it was just challenging enough to improve my fitness without making me want to quit.
Using that app you commit to exercise 3 times per week and the program will gradually build up your run time over 8 weeks until you are running a 5K. It is a free app too!
The best way to motivate yourself to run is by finding someone to commit to doing it with you. Even if you don’t live in the same neighborhood, you can still keep each other in check! Use a running app like RunKeeper or add each other as friends on a FitBit or Apple Watch so that you can see when the other person exercises.
The Runkeeper app has fun challenges and even a friend “leaderboard” which is super motivating!
If you can’t find someone to run with you, then use a training program like Couch to 5K to keep you on track.
Set a Goal
One of the most motivating things I have done for myself is set a goal for myself. After I finished the Couch to 5K app I decided that I was going to train for a half marathon. I googled half marathons in my area, picked one, and came up with a training plan over the next 12+ weeks to train for that race.
You can do this with a 5K too! Pick a friend to run it with you so that you’ll be more likely to train for it. I mean, you wouldn’t want to be the friend that gives up and doesn’t get to run the 5K right!?
When I start to feel unmotivated, I take a look at my inspiration. I follow runners on Instagram and scroll through their feeds to remind myself that if they can do it, I can do it.
Maybe your inspiration is showing your children how to live a healthy life, maybe it is to get in shape for a wedding, or to get back to a weight that you were previously at. Whatever it is, take a look or remind yourself WHY you are doing this!
Get the Right Gear
First off, get a good pair of running shoes. They don’t have to be crazy expensive, just something that can provide the support you need. I promise, if you don’t have the right shoes you will end up quitting.
I started out running in Nike shoes and my shins and knees hurt SO BAD. I always had blisters on the tips of my toes and my heels when I was done too. It was horrible. I realized that I obviously needed to change up my shoes and now I run in Asics.
If you live in a cold weather area get running gloves and something to keep your ears warm. I live in Texas so the majority of the time I need to be running in shorts and a tank/sports bra. Get the proper gear to run in or you will dread running every time.
Not too long ago I posted a post with all of my favorite running gear if you want to check it out!
Find Your Distraction
For so many people, they think that music is what everyone listens to when they run. So not true!! I do have a fun running playlist on my Spotify account that I use regularly, but I also listen to audiobooks, podcasts, and even watch TV if I am running on the treadmill!
Find what works for you! Just because your neighbor can only listen to music while running doesn’t mean that is going to work well for you. Try it all, you might be surprised about what you end up enjoying.
Those are my biggest tips for beginner runners, but the main thing that I’d want to tell anyone is that you totally CAN do it. You just have to be motivated and really want it! Once you get past the challenge of starting it really is a lot of fun and super empowering to know what your body has just accomplished.