You’ve read the health articles, you’ve heard it from friends and family, and now your doctor is telling you to start being more physically active. So, you decide to take up running, one of the most basic forms of cardio. You don’t even need a gym membership or treadmill to go running. Just step outside and start putting foot to pavement. If only it were that simple. If you’ve never ran a day in your life, and you loathe the thought of physical activity, then read on to learn some essential running tips for beginners…who hate exercise.
Tip # 1: Invest In Running Shoes
If exercising just isn’t your cup of tea, you probably don’t own a pair of running shoes. Now, before you go digging in your closet for the next best thing, think about ankle twists, bunions and other foot/ankle problems that can come with wearing the wrong shoes. And if injury isn’t enough to convince you into buying a pair of running shoes, then maybe this little tidbit will – good running shoes can make it easier for you to run!
Now, you don’t have to break the bank on your first pair of running shoes; the price isn’t the important part, it’s all about comfort and support. No matter what brand or price tag is on your running shoes, just be sure to fully lace up both shoes and walk or even jog around the store to make sure you have a comfortable fit. The last thing you want is to be stuck running in a pair of shoes that stub your big toes or hurt your heels.
[Related: 4 Ways To Prevent Common Running Injuries]
Tip # 2: Take It Slow
If you think you can go from the couch and race right into a 5k (about 3 miles) for your first run, think again. While it’s great to be confident and motivated, you don’t want to hurt yourself. 3 miles isn’t such a bad goal to start with, but try starting at just 1 mile, going at a safe pace and working your way up to 3 miles. One way to test if you are at a comfortable pace is the “Talk Test.” If you can still comfortably talk while you run, you are at a good pace. And avoid running every single day; your muscles need time to rest and recover. Running 3 days out of the week is a good routine for a beginner.
As you grow more accustomed to running, and you start getting more comfortable, you can gradually increase both your pace and the distance you run. Keep it up, and before you know it, you’ll find yourself running a half-marathon. Then, when you’re ready, check out this article on The Perfect Marathon Training Schedule for Beginners.
Tip # 3: Bring A Friend
Heck, bring several friends if you can. There’s no better way to make something you loathe a little more fun than bringing friends to share the misery. Just kidding, running is not that bad. You may even learn to love it, but bringing a friend along can make the experience much more enjoyable. Running with a friend can be a great source of encouragement and motivation. Having a running partner to chat with will also help with the “Talk Test” for setting the proper pace.
Tip # 4: Remember To Hydrate
This sounds like a no-brainer tip, especially when you’re drenched with sweat, and your throat is as dry as the Sahara after a run. But, staying hydrated is more than just quenching your thirst after a running session. You should drink a glass or two of water before you even set foot out the door to pre-hydrate yourself. Just remember to pee before you leave for your run. The last thing you want is to take a potty break mid-run, only to find there aren’t any restrooms nearby. Also, look into investing in some type of fluid carrier if you plan on going for longer runs.
[Related: 12 Warning Signs Of Dehydration]
Tip # 5: Don’t Give Up!
If you’ve never gone running before and have always hated the idea of it, then your first experience running might not be a pleasant one. In fact, it will probably feel like you are being tortured. You will gasp for air. Your limbs will feel like they are on fire. You will be drenched in sweat. And, you will likely look for any excuse to get out of running. But don’t give up! If you give it some time, and commit yourself to a regular running routine, you will learn to love it. Not likely, you say? Well, just do a little research on endorphins and check out this article from The New York Times.