Recently, I have had some friends who are interested in running ask me for some tips to get started. I thought I would share a few here:
1. Get the right shoes. Go to a running store and have the experts there help decide which pair of shoes to buy. They will look at your feet and watch you run to determine what kind of shoe you need. They may not suggest the pair of shoes that look most attractive to you, but trust me, you will want to listen to their suggestions and buy a shoe that is best for you. It will make all the difference!
2. Start slow! I still remember the first time I tried to run a mile without walking. I think I was probably in high school and I decided that I would run from my parent’s house to the beach without stopping. This would be one mile. I didn’t think it could be too hard. Well, I ran so fast that about 5 minutes into it I could barely breathe and had to stop and walk the rest of the way. You will have a much greater sense of accomplishment if you start by jogging slowly and are able to finish, than if you go out way too fast and end up quitting. As you run more, you will be able to increase your speed.
3. Sign up for a race. When you have a goal to work towards it makes your daily runs more meaningful. Start with a 5K and increase from there!
4. Find a running buddy. I have always enjoyed running with friends because it makes the time go by much faster. I also find that I push myself harder when I have someone running beside me. Currently, my running buddy is my dog Cali. She definitely pushes me because she usually is dragging me to the trail by our house and I have to run pretty quickly to keep up with her! Also, look into running groups in your area and join them on their weekly runs. It’s a great way to meet people and there are usually runners of all different levels.
5. Take care of your body. Be sure to increase your mileage slowly and allow your body some rest during the week. Also, it is important when beginning a running program to fuel your body properly. Yes, you will need to eat carbs, but this doesn’t mean going overboard on white bread, pasta, or rice. Eating whole grains is essential, but balance them with protein, vegetables and fruit.
If you are ready to begin a running program, I hope these tips will help you get started! Feel free to ask me any questions and I will do my best to answer them. Remember, I’m not an expert 🙂