5 simple steps for new runners

1. Get the right running shoes.

Wearing the right running shoes is so important for both comfort and injury prevention. Visit a running specialty store that analyses your foot type and running style and fits you in the right running shoes. If you are taking up running for the first time in a while it is best to toss out your worn-out shoes and start fresh. Just remember to look after your feet first, you are going to need them for them for awhile!

2. Make sure you warm up and cool down.

A good warm-up tells your body that it will have to start working soon. Slowly raising your heart rate will also helps minimize stress on your heart when you start your run. Start your runs with a brisk walk, followed by very easy jogging for a few minutes. The cool down allows your heart rate and blood pressure fall gradually, so it’s important that you end your run with a slow 5-minute jog or walk.

3. Don’t worry about pace

So many people are concerned about how fast they are. Running shouldn’t be pushing yourself to the point of pain or even worse, an injury. As a beginner, most of your runs should be at a pace that you can still hold a conversation, you should be able to breathe very easily.  Don’t worry about your pace per KM — if you can pass the “talk test”, you’re moving at the right speed. Starting out with this type of easy running will help prevent overtraining and overuse injuries.

4. Don’t do too much too soon.

Sometimes new runners get too enthusiastic and anxious to get started and end up increasing their distance too quickly, which can lead to injury. Rule of thumb is to not increase your weekly distance by more than 10% each week. By building up slowly, you can save yourself pain and frustration, and still reach your goals. Use common sense and follow a beginner training schedule. If you’d like to do more, you could always supplement your running with cross-training exercises such as swimming, yoga or biking.

5. Try a run/walk approach.

Most beginner runners start out using a run/walk technique because they don’t have the endurance or fitness to run for extended periods of time. The run/walk method involves running for a short segment and then taking a walk break. As you continue with a run/walk program, the goal is to extend the amount of time you’re running and reduce your walking time.


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