10 Quick Tips for New Runners
15 May 2020
By – Andrew Maxwell – Newton Running
A friend and I were recently discussing how running seems to be the one athletic movement we’re all expected to “know how to do”. Simply lace up your shoes and head out the door for a run. Meanwhile someone taught us how to swim, to throw a baseball or to shoot a basketball. All those other sports came with guidance, coaching or instruction. The truth is while we were all “born to run” there are lessons we learn along the way.
For new runners, beginning to run with regularity can be overwhelming or intimidating. There is an ambiguity and often a feeling of “Am I doing this right?”. So below are my 10 Quick Tips for New Runners. They’re not going to make you run effortlessly like a gazelle, but they hopefully will help your journey into running be a little easier and more enjoyable. Try them out, keep the advice works for you and have fun!
10 Quick Tips for New Runners
- Start each run EASY. – Often we want our run to be over before we even begin. We end up rushing the first mile and running quicker than is comfortable. Instead, begin deliberately slow and if you feel good pick up the pace as the run goes on. You’ll find you can run much farther and enjoy it more than you expected if you back off the pace a little.
- Run for time not distance. – This trick really helps with Tip #1. Avoid racing to get done that 3 miles you promised yourself you were going to do and instead settle in for the next 30 minutes regardless of how far or fast you go.
- Take shorter steps – Are you curious about running form and looking to reduce the pounding on your body? This trick will help get your legs underneath you and using your body’s own cushioning mechanisms.
- Look forward, proud posture, relax your shoulders away from your ears. – Your body is like a spring and with a few small adjustments you’re on your way to that great relaxed running form.
- It’s okay to run the same routes. – You’ll know exactly where you are and how far you have to go. Give your mind a break and settle into the familiarity.
- But also mix it up. – Running in new places means new sights to see and finding new favorite routes to add to your repertoire. Plus changing the topography, surfaces and angles you run on means you’re forcing your body to adapt and use different muscles.
- Run hills. – I know they’re hard. It’s more than okay if you slow down or need to walk. They’ll make you stronger and running everything else easier.
- Run with friends. – Time goes by quicker, they hold us accountable and show us new places to run.
- If none of your friends run, consider joining a running group. – It’s hard to find a friendlier and more supportive group than your local run club. I promise there will be people your speed (whatever that pace may be) and now you have new places and people to run with.
- You’re going to have days you don’t feel great. - It’s okay. Go slower, it’s still time on your feet and your legs are getting stronger. Transversely on the days when you do feel good take advantage and run further, faster, stronger!
Bonus: Take a little break every month or two. - Give your body a chance to recover and rebuild. Be prepared that after taking a few days or week off it can be tough to re-motivate, but you’ll enjoy running so more when you come back rested.