How to Start Running: A Beginner’s Plan

How to Start Running: A Beginner's Plan
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Thinking about being a runner? Then look no further.

You may have pondered running for awhile, but are just unsure how to start. Before you even set out to run, know what you are getting into. Know how to take care of your body when it is facing the challenges of running so you can be a healthy runner that can conquer new mileage with ease.

Gear Up

Having the right gear for running is a key part in starting out as a runner. You do not need the fancy gear, but you do need gear that works with your body. Having the right shoes and clothing can help you run more comfortability and keep your body balanced.

The Right Shoes

When first starting out, it is important to learn what type of running shoe works best for you. Visit your local running store to find out what shoe works best for your style of running. A shoe that fits right can keep you from getting common running injuries like shin splints and runner's knee.

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Moisture Wicking Clothing

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Moisture wicking clothing can help your body breathe easier when experiencing the elevated heart rate and temperature of running. Clothing that pulls your sweat away keeps your body cooled down and balanced.

Cotton clothing traps moisture and does not give your body the balance it needs while running. Invest in materials such as wool, merino wool, and mixed synthetics. Moisture wicking clothing allows for you to run comfortability and adjust to the demands of running.

From running hats to moisture wicking socks, every material you wear while running can work for or against you. Visit your local running store to find materials that help you run with a balanced temperature.

The Perfect Tunes

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Having the right music that motivates can help you adjust to running. Choose songs that are a faster beat to keep your body moving.

Listening to music can help your mind be in sync with your body. When your favorite song comes on, it may reignite your ambition just when your body feels like quitting.

When listening to music, always be aware of your surroundings.

Cars and cyclists may not always see you, so be sure to listen to what is going on around you by keeping the volume low and wearing headphones that do not fully go into your ear.

Change your running playlist often to keep the playlist from becoming stale. You want to listen to fresh tunes that help you stay motivated, even when running seems less than ideal.

Hydrate Yourself

The most important thing you can do as a runner is to keep yourself hydrated and well nourished. Your body is over 80% water, which means it needs water to replenish itself. By drinking an adequate amount of water, your muscles will be less sore and recover faster.

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When you head out for a short run, drink water before and after running. You should be consuming about 2-2.5 litres of water during the day, but many foods contain water, which can help your body stay refreshed. Your body will have an easier time adjusting to running if you give your body the hydration and nourishment it needs.

If you have been slowly increasing your mileage and are ready to conquer more, then consider investing in a hydration belt or pack. By drinking before, during, and after a long run, your body will be able to keep up stamina. Hydration can help you perform better and feel stronger, although beware of the 8 myths of hydration that may steer you the wrong way when you are just starting out.

Nutrition

The right foods can help your body feel energized for running. Consuming heavy foods will only bog you down and hinder running performance.

Running burns calories and can demand a lot from your muscles. To keep your body healthy for more intense workouts, know what foods are best for your body. Foods such as sweet potatoes, eggs, nuts, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables can all refuel your body. The healthier your body feels, the better you will be able to run.

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Have a Plan

To be prepared for the challenges of running, you need to have a plan. Once you have the right gear, and know how to keep your body well hydrated and nourished, you can start creating a plan to start out running.

Many people are motivated by signing up for a race. It can keep you on track with your running goals by having an aspiration to finish a race. Check out different training plans that fit your fitness level and time constraints. Training plans range from easy beginner to ones that are more challenging. Listen to your body and know what is best for you to start doing. You can avoid potential injuries by being aware of your body's alignment and how to run with proper form.

Run With Proper Form

formRunning with proper form can save you from injuries like runner's knee and shin splints. By holding your chest upright and keeping your eyes looking forward, it can help your body stay aligned.

Breathe deeply while gently swinging your arms the opposite of your legs. Keep your core tight as your feet strike against the ground to maintain form and help your body stay balanced.

Focus your mind on your body as you are running to keep your body aligned and your mind aware. Stop running if you experience severe pain, as it can lead to a lasting injury.

Training Plans

The key in training plans is to know what to look out for. Training plans should slowly build your mileage, include rest days, and have cross-training days.

If you aspire to do a race, start out on an easy 5k. A 5k is a good place to start as a beginner and can instill the feeling of accomplishment and confidence as you slowly build mileage.

5k Training Plan

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If you are feeling more ambitious, try out a 10k plan.

10k Training Plan

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Write down your workout schedule on a calendar, or print it out. Stick to your goals by staying faithful to your training routine so you can finish a race feeling strong.

Motivate Yourself Every Day

Running is about staying motivated. From professional to beginner runners, everyone experiences the point of wanting to quit. Stay motivated by taking on a training plan or joining a running group. Invite friends to take on the challenge with you so you can surround yourself in support.

Write down your goals as a runner and see how far you can push the limit. Running can be an activity to get in shape, to burn off steam, or simply for enjoyment. Every run will be different, but you can achieve your goals and accomplish more than you think. Don't give into life excuses, but choose to get out there and run. The more you run, the more your body will crave it.

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Get out and start running, what are you waiting for?

Bethany Widdicombe

Bethany Widdicombe

Bethany Widdicombe is a runner at heart, a researcher by nature, and a writer by passion. Having traveled across the world, she continues to be an advocate for awareness and knowledge that empowers people to a better life. You can now find her running out on the trail, or nestled away writing her next article.

Portland, OR