How to Start Running for Beginners (and why you should)
Running regularly is one of the easiest and best ways to improve your overall heath. It’s also very easy to get started and only costs a few dollars (for a decent pair of running shoes). There’s no fancy equipment, monthly gym memberships, or anything that will be a financial burden.
Running can also help improve your mental focus, which can improve your performance at work as well.
Why You Should Start Running
- Lose weight
- Improve cardiovascular health
- Release of endorphins for improved mood during the day
- More energy due to improvements to heart and respiratory systems
- Running is FREE and have very little equipment costs (shoes)
You can read this article to see the benefits of running
What You Need for Running
If you are interested in running you only need a couple things:
* a pair of good running shoes
* a good pair of loose fitting shorts or pants (cold weather)
* an open space to run without pausing (a park, by the sea, around a lake, some long open space)
Picking the Right Type of Running Shoes
Before you start, you do need to get a good pair of running shoes. Picking a pair of running shoes depends on your foot type and how you put your weight down on your feet.
There are three types of runners:
- Supinators (high arch or excessive arches)
- Normal / Neutral Arches
- Pronators (flat feet)
It’s very important that you pick the right type of running shoes. Read this WebMD guide on how to choose a pair of running shoes that won’t hurt your feet.
If you wear shoes that are not comfortable, do not fit correctly, or are not designed for your type of arch and foot stride, you may injure your feet over time. It’s possible to develop painful food conditions such as Plantar Fasciitis, Tight Calves, Heel Spurs, and Shin Splints if you wear the wrong shoes.
So don’t just put on a random pair of shoes and go running — figure out what foot arch type you have then buy a pair of choose suited for that.
How to Start Running the Easy Way
Ready to start running? We’ll it’s not very hard. Once you have a good pair of running shoes, then all you need to do is get out there and start running.
Look for an area with a lot of open space. Our favorite running spots are:
- beside the sea
- open fields
- beside railway tracks (in safe locations)
- beside the open road (assuming minimal traffic)
If you are looking for a SPECIFIC location for running, we suggest you check out mapmyrun.com which lets you search for specific (and crowed recommended) running routes in your town or city!
Just be careful you don’t run in abandoned areas or in areas you don’t feel safe. This is double true if you are a woman, running alone.
1. Start Running Slow
If you are not used to running, then you’ll want to start off slow. Don’t expect to be able to run for 20 or 30 minute stretches right off the bat. Start off with a 5 or 10 minute jog 3x a week if you’ve never run before.
2. Slowly increase Your Running Time Each Week
To gain the benefits of running, you’ll have to continually push your body. You can either run longer (increase your running time) or run faster. Either one will improve your running stamina. Note that depending what you do, you will see different improvements and benefits in your body’s cardiovascular system. This is why athletics do specific types of runs when training for specific sports or events. But if you are not an athlete, then any sort of run will benefit you — just remember to push the pace a bit.
How Much To Increase Your Time?
We recommend every week you add 5 minutes every week to your running time.
Week 1: 10 minutes
Week 2: 15 minutes
Week 3: 20 minutes
Week 4: 25 minutes
Week 5: 30 minutes
Week 6: 35 minutes
Week 7: 40 minutes
Week 8: 45 minutes
So within only 2 months, you’ll go from 10 minute runs to 45 minute runs! After Week 2, you can continue to add more time or increase your running rate slightly, or if you are happy, just keep at the same pace.
If Your Feet Start to Hurt or You Have Knee Pain During Runing
It’s common to feel a few aches and pains when you first start running, especially if you’ve never ever run before or you are not physically active. This is natural and is your body ‘hardening up’ for that activity.
But if after a week or two you still feel pain, specifically in areas such as your feet, shins, or knees, then you may have an injury.
Quite often, this is the result of a bad pair of running shoes such as:
- the wrong type of running shoes for your arch / foot stride
- worn out running shoes (see this article by ASICS about figuring out if your shoes are worn out)
- a foot condition such as plantar fasciitis
- shin splints — again, likely due to your shoes
- weight — if you are too heavy, you may suffer from knee or foot pain, and might need to lose weight first before you can running comfortably without pain
The Final Word
Running is not hard. In fact, it’s quite easy — even if you’ve never run before. The main thing is to just get out there and start doing it. Start off slow and over time you’ll see vast improvements to both your running time and your overall running endurance.
This translates to better health and more energy during the day too — you will notice this! And running is a great way to lose weight and get a nice set of toned legs (in time).
Another benefit of running is you’ll also feel MUCH better when you run (this is often referred to as the ‘runner’s high’) and AFTER your run. Running (like any activity that increases your heart rate for a sustained period of time) causes your body to release endorphin’s which makes you feel great!