Are you a new runner? Are you wondering how to start running again? It seems simple: just get out there and run! But what if you’re a complete beginner? It’s true: running is one of the easiest sports to get into. The bar to entry is pretty low: all you need is yourself and some sneakers. But for some people, starting a running program can be intimidating. Equipping yourself with a training program from Custom Training Plans can help you get off on the right foot. Check out some of our best tips for starting running below.
5 Essential Beginning Runner Tips
- Start with running/walking intervals. It can be tempting to go all-out when you begin, but resist the urge! Don’t focus on running the entire distance your first time out, and stick to an easy pace. Start by alternating 90 seconds of running and 60 seconds of walking. Once you feel comfortable running these intervals, start adding time to your running intervals. Gradually increase your running time by one minute each workout until you are able to run your target distance without walking at all.
- Don’t overdo it. It’s important to take care of your body. A well-designed training program will provide rest days, and you should take them! Aside from preventing burnout, rest days give your muscles the chance to recover — an essential part of getting stronger. Rest days also give your body’s cardiovascular system a chance to adapt itself to the new demands of running.
- Cross-train. A good running training plan should also incorporate other forms of cardio into your regimen. Your body (and your brain!) love variety. Plus, doing different sports makes you stronger in different ways than running does, giving your body a 360-degree approach to fitness. Taking a break from running yet still getting your cardio in can stave off boredom as well.
- Pavement, track, treadmill, or trail? There are distinct advantages to each. Pavement allows you to run fast, but it provides no cushioning and can be hard on your joints. The track provides a springy surface, but it does strain your Achilles tendon significantly. A treadmill gives you the opportunity to train, no matter the weather, and a cushioned, stable surface. Grassy and wooded areas give you shaded areas to run on hot days and excellent cushioning, but your path isn’t always clear — you’ll need to be on the lookout for rocks, roots, and other bumps.
- Use a customized training program. Every athlete is different, so every athlete’s path to a 5K, 10-mile, or even a marathon distance should look different too. Custom running plans are tailored to your fitness and your goals, helping you move toward your target distance in a way that’s right for you.
Finally, don’t get discouraged. Start off with low-pressure workouts — run naturally and have fun. And above all, just keep running! Custom Training Plans has running training plans for everyone, from beginning runners to experienced athletes. From our 5K training plans to our couch-to-marathon training programs, you’ll get a trusted guide that’s targeted at getting you to the finish line, injury-free and feeling great. To get your personalized guide on how to start running, check out Custom Training Plans.