Thursday, 10 January 2013

Top 5 Running Tips for Beginners

While I sort out all my robot heart drama I have been forbidden from continuing with my Marathon Training Schedule this week. In other words I am living vicariously through all of you. So Go the Distance for me this week! As I pout and look on enviously from the couch...*sigh*

These are my Top 5 Tips for newbie runners! 
Here's how you can get started!

1. If you want to start running... Just start running!

Okay so that sounds silly right? But it's true. In a lot of ways there is no big secret. If you want to run - run and stick with it. It might not be easy to start. And you might not go very fast. But all that comes with practice and logging time with those sneakers.

There is a lot of research that shows it is possible to train for any race and any distance by committing to running 3x/week. Commit to run 3 days a week and you will see progress in no time!

2. Break it up

Don't go out and try to run 5km straight right off the bat. Pick a manageable distance - that could be anything from 1 mile to 5 km - and head out. Remember breaks are allowed!

I started by mapping out 8km and running as far as I could, and then taking a walk break, running as far as I could, and then taking another walk break. I used landmarks to keep track of my progress. Last week I made to the stoplight before I needed a break. This week I made it to playground. And so on, until I could eventually run the whole loop continuously.

A lot of other program recommend  more formal break strategies like 5:1 or 10:1 (aka 5 min running 1 min walking or 10 min running and 1 min walking) And I think it all works! It just depends which one you are most comfortable with.

3. Make a Goal/Sign Up for a Race

A goal without a deadline is just a dream - so set a deadline and make it happen. Signing up for a run/race is the easiest way to ensure you stick to a program.

If your goal is to run your first 5k - find a local run approx 8-10 weeks away and sign up. You know you have to get out there and train for it. It helps give those training run a focus and an event to look forward to.

4. Tell Everyone You Know What You Are Up To!

You are signed up, you are training, so now just tell everyone you know what you are up to. Tell your friends. Tell your family. Post it on Facebook. Let everyone know what you are planning and how your training is going.

It will help you stay accountable and they can also be there to support you along the way.

5. Remember to Respect Your Progress and Thank Yourself for all Your Hard Work

Keep a log. Post your progress on your fridge and be proud of each step you take!

Sometimes progress can feel slow and a bit discouraging, but every time you head out the door and doing a training run you are doing something amazing for yourself and for your body. Remember to be proud of each milestone and thank yourself for making your health a priority.

You can do it!
Happy Running!
Love your Favorite Darwinian Fail


    and it's the perfect post for starting ANY exercise program!


  2. I love your tips! My mother just started running after having several operations on her intervertebral disks. We go running together as I like to keep an eye on here and remind her to not push to hard. That was the one mistake I made when I started running, and I paid for it with almost a year of knee pain. So my tip for beginners: Don't push too hard and listen to your body. Set yourself goals and build milage slowly, even if you want to increase milage faster.

  3. Love this post! I would agree with the keeping it light. Find someone to run with, maybe a runner already, etc. Make it someone that will slow down to your pace if necessary without making you feel bad. Run at what feels comfortable...hurt yourself and you'll be laid up and may not continue to run. :)

  4. I think people should start a couch to 5k program. Often we believe we "should run farther" or "should run faster", because we don't know it's ok to go slow and to take breaks. There are many free apps available, and even a free downloadable podcast. They offer excellent guidance for people who have no idea what they're doing.

  5. this is awesome :)) I will go the distance for you!

  6. These are great tips, Krysten! I'm writing a similar post in a few weeks, and I'll have to link back to your post. Sometimes we forget to give advice to those who are just beginning!

  7. Great tips! I am not a great runner -> very slow but it helps me to sign up for races and to keep having new goals. I do like the feeling off accomplishment I get in the end.

  8. I love helping beginners get into running. these are great tips.

  9. Great post, four years ago I ran my first 5k and after that people were asking me to join them in running a 10k. I said I could never run that far. This year I ran my first 10k (two in fact) and my first half-marathon (also 2). I would have never run them if I had never signed up for the races and needed to train. A goal race is so important.

  10. Your advice about breaking it up is so key! When I started running, I was motivated by the same thing (last time, I made it to the water fountain. This time, I made it to the tennis courts)...

    Another thing that is important to remember is not to push yourself too hard- start at a a pace that your body can keep up with...once you're at a comfortable pace, increase the distance. Once the distance is comfortable, increase the pace again. Etc etc

  11. Perfect! Love it! I did 5ks when I was younger.. I took it a step at a time just like above! :)

  12. Awesome tips! I agree - just get out there and start running! You don't know what your body can actually do until you get out there and try it. And having a goal like a race is such great motivation!

  13. LOVE love love #5!!!! All too often we beat ourselves up over the slightest shortcoming and fail to see how far we have come. I still consider myself a newbie runner - these are great tips :)

  14. Excellent tips! I'm a big fan of goals and telling everyone (so you can't back out). I'm pretty sure whenever I'm training for long races, the accountability keeps me going at certain times. :)

  15. Love the tips. Getting back into running after 5 years of injury and health problems gets easier every day I keep doing it.