Running can be an intimidating exercise to begin. I remember the beginning of my journey and how hard it felt. My lungs hurt, I couldn’t breathe, my legs felt heavy and I’d question why I decided to even try. I don’t believe it should have felt that way, but I also didn’t know what I was doing. I would run as fast as I could and would wonder why I couldn’t catch my breath. I’ve learned a bit between then and now, and hope I can encourage you to start and learn to love running. This amazing sport can be so freeing, energizing, and, believe it when I say, it can be life changing. Are you ready?
We have the luxury of living in two of the most beautiful states in the country and one of the greatest ways to explore it is through running. During this season when our fitness facilities are closed, but our weather has been beautiful, it is the perfect opportunity to lace up and go admire the views.
Where to start? Shoes.
This is one of the very first questions I’m always asked. Shoes can make or break your running experience. Without proper shoes you can experience knee, hip, & even back pain. It is the most valuable piece of equipment you can invest in, therefore, it is important to find the best for YOU.
There are so many different options, so many brands, and styles for different types of runners. My advice for shoes is to go get fitted at a local running store before purchasing any shoe. A good running store can help guide you in what will work best for your foot type. They also can watch you run and determine how you land and what type of support you might need.
If you do not have a local running store that can help you find the right fit, I suggest beginning with a neutral fitting shoe. Most running shoe brands have a neutral fit option. You do not need to buy the most expensive to find the right fit either, but it is an investment that you will get what you pay for. One of my favorite websites that carry both new shoe models or previous year models is, Road runner sports they carry every type of running shoe you can imagine.
Now, the fun part, let’s run!
Beginning to run does not need to be hard or complicated. Keeping it fun and simple is key. Having a goal can help you stay motivated and excited. I encourage you to sign up for a local 5k that is a few months away from your starting date. Having something to work towards can help keep you consistent.
Before any workout, walk for 5 minutes, beginning with a slow walk and gradually increase the speed of your walk. At the end of 5 minutes your body should be warmed up and ready to begin.
Walk/ run intervals are a great way to start so you don’t do too much too fast. 30 seconds of a comfortable run followed by 30 seconds of walking is great for beginners. Make a goal of 30 minutes total for your workout with 5 minutes of a warm up, 20 minutes at the 30/30 ratio and 5 minutes of a walking cool down.
Staying consistent is very important. Try to commit to 3 days a week to continue to improve. After your first week of 30/30, try to increase your run time and lower your walk time. Naturally your body will begin to adapt to running more. When you are able to run the full 20 minutes without walking, now you can begin increasing your time ( 25, 30, 35 minutes…etc.).
Slow and Steady
Your running segment should be a steady jog, not the junior high sprints we did as kids. Keep your running effort easy. Your walk should be a recovery. As you improve, your walk breaks will become shorter, and your runs longer. Listen to your body and if it is telling you to take more walking time than running, that’s ok.
- Shoes, find the most comfortable and efficient for your feet.
- Stay consistent, this is key in improving as a runner.
- Running should be fun and enjoyable. There are days you feel like you could run for days, and there are times where your body will fight you every step. Stick with it, enjoy the weather, and embrace the views around you. One step at a time.
RRCA Certified Running Coach
NASM Certified Personal Trainer