So you have just started running. Fabulous news! You will enjoy your journey as a new runner, because you will learn something each time you run. I am still learning and I have run for the last 40 years, ever since I headed out on my first run back in Junior High. If only I had of known then some of these New Runner Tips to help keep me injury free, stronger and running longer!
Firstly, where do you start? How do you progress into longer runs and what should you do when your body hurts? Does this mean you are getting an injury or just muscle soreness? Secondly, how can you keep motivated and continually get out to run even when switching the alarm to snooze seems such a great idea in the dark early mornings?
So these 7 Awesome New Runner Tips are going to help you as a new runner to you get stronger, keep you motivated and running injury free.
#1. Identify a goal and set a plan.
These are important New Runner Tips. Identify a goal that is challenging but achievable. It could be to enter one of the Run Calgary 5k races or even the Calgary Marathon races in May. (https://www.runyyc.ca/run-calgary-events) Perhaps consider joining one of the many running groups in Calgary. Next identify when you can run each week in your plan, the purpose of the run (recovery, long slow run, speed work, hills or just a stress relief run) and how long you are going to head out. Stick to this plan and tick off each time you have completed the workout. But be realistic. Add in your social events or days when running will just not fit in. This removes the pressure of failing to not make it out there for a run.
By identifying at the beginning of the week when you can exercise, will get you into a routine. Consequently, this routine will help you become a more consistent runner and you will start seeing fitness improvements and results.
Each time you drift from your goal think about the process of your training and by completing the process this will ensure that step by step you will meet your goal.
#2. Start off slowly.
Another important key New Runner Tip is to start slowly. Firstly start by walking to warm up and then break into a jog, running at your “happy pace” where you can talk. As soon as your breathing becomes forced, then slow to a walk. Recover, again listening to your breath and run once your breath is back to normal. Slowly increase the length of time you can run and then the amount of time you are out for a run. Never increase your weekly mileage total by more than 10% so you can prevent any chance of injuries.
#3. Take rest days.
Do include rest days in your weekly exercise plan for recovery and to give your body a well needed rest so your muscles can adapt to your training. However, do not collapse on the couch for a day, but be active and do something different. Maybe work on completing 10,000 steps instead on these rest days!
#4. Do some key runner exercises.
So many runners do not complete strength exercises and then wonder why they get injured. Strength exercises make you stronger and fitter. Completing squats, lunges, balance work, plank, bridge, one-legged bridge will help strengthen your core, gluteal muscles and lower leg muscles. Therefore enhancing and powering your running. (Check out my earlier blog on key exercises. http://mobilefitnesscoach.ca/keep-it-simple-stupid-when-it-comes-to-exercises/)
Position A is incorrect as the hips are too low. B is the correct position allowing the gluteals to be worked.
#5. Place your running gear out the night before.
If you have identified that early mornings are when you can exercise, then I suggest you get your running gear out the night before and place it near your bed so it is the first thing you see when you get up. Excuses are then hard to make.
You will also feel great for the rest of the day.
#6. Be mindful and forget your pace.
I think we can all become so addicted to time and pace when we start out running. I suggest you ignore this and run by feel while working on being mindful and in the here and now. Pace can come once you are stronger and a more experienced runner, so heading out for a purpose as I mentioned earlier will be more rewarding.
#7. Don’t run the same route.
You’ll get incredibly bored running the same old route. Head out to different places and have several runs that are a variety of lengths that you can complete. Go and explore!
Do you want to become a better runner? Then contact me as I would love to help you reach your goals.
What other New Runner Tips would you recommend? Comments welcome!