You’ve decided that you want to start running, just a little to see how it goes. Great! Below is a quick way to save you some time, money, and injury for your new journey!
1. Start Slowly
Don’t go out expecting to run an 8-minute mile. Starting out too hard, trying to be superfast isn’t going to get you anywhere but injured. Don’t believe me? Check my post here about all the injuries I’ve had.
Start slowly – walking 1 minutes, running 30 seconds. Do this for 30 minutes, 3 times a week. Each week, increase your running time by 30 seconds. Eventually you will find that you will need less walking breaks and the running portions will get easier.
A great program to follow is Cool Runnings Couch to 5K training program.
2. Be Consistent
The only way to get better at running is to, well, run. Three times a week, every week, is a perfect start. As you progress, you may increase that to four or maybe even five times a week, depending on your goals.
If you stop for more than a couple of weeks, you will need to start from scratch, so it is very important to keep going no matter how tired or busy you are. Make running a priority and you will find within a month or two that going out for a run will become second nature. Trust me on that.
3. Ignore Speed/Pace
In the beginning, you will always want to know how fast you are going. Listen to me…
YOU DO NOT NEED TO KNOW!
The last thing a beginning runner needs to worry about is speed. The main focus should be increasing your time, thereby increasing your distance. Your first major goal will be the ability to run for 30 minutes without taking a walk break. Once you reach that point, then you can add speed drills into your training program.
As a beginning runner, you may be drawn to purchase every little piece of equipment you can. Don’t! The truth is, there are only 2-3 things you will need to buy immediately.
- A comfortable pair of running shoes – don’t go out and spend $100+ on the latest and greatest running sneakers that will allegedly make you fly. Your first pair shouldn’t cost more than $40.
- An interval timing watch – You just want to be able to program your walk and run breaks into your timer.
- For the ladies – you will need a maximum support sports bra. Even if you have itty bitties, running can do all sorts of things to them, so let’s keep the tatas up high where they belong.
Another option for those with an Android smartphone, iPhone, or iPod is a downloadable Couch25K training program. I used the 5K Runner program available for iPod which cost only $2.99. It worked great, telling me when to walk and when to run, and you can use it with music.
That’s it. No need for fancy things . No heart rate monitor, no GPS.
5. Have Fun
This will be the hardest part. In the beginning running, will not be the most enjoyable. However, as you progress, you will start to have fun with it. Just keep going and don’t give up. You can do this, no matter what that little voice inside your head says.