You bought your running kit, you read all about proper form, breathing and pacing, you posted on social media (in order to be kept accountable so you won’t chicken out of it), and here you are… One step before the door, ready to cross the threshold and go totally out of your comfort zone… And you take that step… You are out running your very first mile!
First of, stop right here and take that in! YOU JUST RUN YOUR FIRST MILE! This is big!! NO matter how hard it was, how long it took… YOU DID IT! But the question is, now what?? You enjoyed running, you are just clueless as to how to proceed…
Here are a few tips that will help you get a good start in this newly found habit :
1. Don’t go all in!
Yes, you did it, this is great! But you have to remember to take it easy and START SLOW. I know it won’t be easy since you are super excited but don’t forget that your body isn’t use to be taking that kind of beating, and it will complain at some point during your first weeks of running. Start slow, follow a plan for beginners such this one, and give your body adequate time to rest and recover.
2. Invest in a pair of shoes.
Having a suitable pair of running shoes is one of the most important things to remember. It is very frequent that new runners get injured because they don’t run in a proper pair of shoes. You don’t have to spend a ridiculous amount on money on the most expensive pair of running shoes since you will not be running a marathon any time soon, but what you should want is a pair that works for you and it will help you create a healthy and correct running form. I would recommend a gait analysis and having your shoe fitted.
3. Try running in different environments
Since you just started running you are probably not sure what you enjoy more… I mean yes you ‘ve been to the park before you know how it looks like and you have definitely seen a track before (those awful high school days…) but do you know how it feels? how it feels when you run, under your feet? Don’t be intimidated or scared. Try the track, go to the gym and hop on that treadmill, run in the street, don’t just contain yourself running around the same route in the park. This is what will make running boring and potentially not appealing to you anymore.
4. Write it down!
This is very important. If you keep track of your progress it gives you a sense of accomplishment. It is a special feeling to be able to see how much you ‘ve improved over the weeks 🙂 Having a super cute and motivational notebook like this one is extra points 😉
5. Don’t just run.
Try to incorporate other types of exercises into your routine. It will make you feel stronger and perform much better, you could try these tips here. Activities like cycling, jumping rope, weight lifting or simple bodyweight exercises will increase your endurance and make your core stronger – which is super important for maintaining a good running form!
6. Find a running buddy.
This one is not only useful for beginner runners, running along with other people makes it more fun and it gives you a reason to avoid excuses and get out there. Just make sure you run with someone who has a similar pace with you!
7. Stretch, stretch and stretch some more…
Always stretch after your run to help your body recover, and don’t forget to do some dynamic stretching before your run to loosen up those muscles 🙂
And last but not least don’t forget to SMILE 😀
Be grateful you are able to run, and exercise and enjoy yourself and ALWAYS try to have fun!!! Sweat, messy-haired selfies are totally acceptable after a great run 😉