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Tips for New Runners

7 Tips for New Runners

New Runner TipsSummer is right around the corner and that means more people will be out running, walking, hiking, and cycling. With the popularity of exercise and running increasing, plenty of new runners will take to the road and trails to start training for races of a variety of distances.

Every spring I am often asked about how to start running and what tips I have for someone who is new to running. In this post, I provide running tips that I feel every runner should follow as they begin their running adventure. Running is one of the most rewarding sports, as long as you listen to your body and adjust to increased mileage and intensity.

Too often, I see and hear new runners with overuse injuries, incorrect shoes, and improper running footwear. I hope that by using the tips below, you will reduce your chance of injury and enjoy running like you should.

Below are a few tips that I feel will benefit everyone who is looking to start running. I am no pro runner but have ran 19 marathons and 20 half marathons. I have learned so many things over the past 10 years of running.

1. Get the right shoes

If you are new to running, you probably haven’t been fitted for the proper running shoes. Before you start putting in the miles, go to a local running store and get fitted for the right shoe. Have the right shoe is the most important thing with it comes to running. I always tell people to buy your first pair at the store you get fitted and then going forward buy shoes online. Not only is it cheaper, but more convenient. If you want to shop online first, I suggest buying from Road Runner Sports as they have a 60 day guarantee. This is great if you want to try shoes out before deciding to keep them. Another place I would suggest is Amazon.com. If you are an Amazon Prime member, you can return almost any of the shoes you buy for free.

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2. Find a local running group

Group Run PictureFinding others to run with is a very important thing for a number of reasons. Running groups are a great way to find people to run with and will help keep you motivated when you need that extra push. Some of my favorite runs have been with a local running group. There is nothing like running in sub-zero temperatures with a bunch of your running buddies. Besides motivation, a local running group will also help you improve your speed. It is important to find others to push you on certain runs so that you can work on getting faster. The best place to find local running shops is doing a google or Facebook search.

3. Invest in Running Apparel

Buying the proper running apparel is so important. The right running apparel will keep you cool when its warm and keep you warm when its cold. I would stay away from the traditional cotton t-shirt as that will retain sweat and could cause some chafing. Technical shirts are always preferred from my perspective. I have always preferred Saucony running clothing. For some reason it just fit the best. I suggest finding the brand that fits the best for you. Too often I see people trying to find the best looking and not the best fitting apparel. Saucony has everyday free shipping so its nice to try on apparel before deciding whether to keep it. Similar to buying running shoes, Amazon is a great place to get running apparel as you can return most of it for free.

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4. Follow a plan and start slow

The rule of thumb with running is to not increase your weekly mileage by more than 10% a week. Following a plan will allow you to start in a way that will decrease your chance for injuries. Starting too fast or increasing your mileage too fast will result in overuse injuries (IT band, calf strain and hamstring strains, etc), something that you don’t want to deal with. Running is a sport that will require your body to adjust. Sore legs, muscles, and fatigue are all things that you may feel after your first start running. Mixing in cross training is a great way to slowly add running to your daily workouts. Hal Higdon is a running legend that has some free programs that are great for runners.

Learn MoreHal Higdon Running Plans

5. Keep a running log

Keeping a running log is way more important than you would think. You might think its annoying to keep track of the mileage and shoes you wore, but it really does add a tremendous amount of value. A running log allows you to keep track of running accomplishments, track shoe mileage, and allows you to find workouts that made an impact on your success. A few years ago I had issues with my IT band. After looking at my running log, it was clear that I increased my mileage too quickly resulting in an overuse injury. If you need a running log, contact me.

6. Integrate cross training

When you first start running, you simply can’t start running every single day. Integrating cross training is an easy way to improve your cardio and strength while giving your body a rest from the pounding from running. Some of the things I like to do are cycling, strength training (pull-ups, push ups, core, squats, lunges, etc), hiking,  and the elliptical machine. These are all simple things that you can mostly do at home. I do pull-ups and push ups every morning. The one thing I suggest is to mix things up. Variety is important to long-term fitness success.

Shop: Strength and Fitness Equipment (Amazon.com) | TRX (Suspension Training)

7. Get a Road ID

Road ID BandIf you do any kind of outside exercise you need to get a Road ID. A Road ID is a small band that you wear on your wrist that has important information in the event that something happens to you while you are out riding your bike, running, or any other kind of exercise. The information I recommend are name, age, important contacts, and any health conditions that emergency crew will find helpful such as allergies. This simple band is a cheap form of insurance. There are a few different Road ID models and range in price between $15-$30. I now wear the Road ID Wrist ID Slim. I always post any coupon codes for Road ID so that you can maximize your savings.

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What running tips would you like to share with other runners?

 

Let me know if you have any comments, questions, or feedback!