You’ve been considering it for a while, but now you’re finally determined to accomplish it: you want to start running. Congratulations, that’s the first and most fundamental step, whether you’re new to this activity or returning to action after a break.
Starting or restarting a running routine may seem intimidating. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. After all, you just need a pair of comfortable running shoes, and the willingness to start and improve along the way. The rest will follow.
However, if this were so simple, you wouldn’t be here reading this article. Starting or restarting your running journey may seem daunting, but we’re here to help. So, if you’re eager to know how to start running, follow along.
How to start running
1 – Choose a race
Having a goal on the horizon is a great way to help you create and keep motivation — and you can make it more fun and challenging if you recruit a friend or a family member to run with you. Start with shorter events, like a 5km race, before aiming for longer races. That way, you’ll have a concrete purpose to train for and an extra incentive to be consistent.
2 – Get enough rest
Start slowly and make sure you’re getting enough rest in the beginning. Remember: your mind might be ready, but your muscles and joints need time to build the necessary stamina to keep going. Resting will also help you avoid injuries and give you enough time for your body to fully recover.
3 – Stretch, stretch a lot
Stretching is fundamental in any fitness activity. Including it in your running routine will help you prepare your muscles for your run, increase flexibility and reduce tension. Before hitting the road, a dynamic warm-up might also be helpful. As the name indicates, unlike regular stretches, these are a series of non-static movements performed in a sequence before any physical activity. Static stretches, on the other hand, are perfect for a good cool-down.
4 – Join a running group
If you’re struggling to start, joining a running group might be the solution. It can offer motivation, support, and accountability, promoting a sense of communion. Plus, you’ll be surrounded by different runners, some of them more experienced, that can provide valuable guidance and tips. These running groups also follow schedules and organized sessions, which will help you create a routine. Last but not least, these groups can also boost newcomers’ confidence and commitment.
5 – Treat yourself
Yes, we’re here to enjoy it too. Treat yourself before you start: get a good pair of running shoes and clothes. Then, after you start, set achievable milestones and promise rewards after you reach them. Rewards can vary from simple things like a long bath to meaningful gifts that acknowledge your progress. This will add extra expectation to your running journey.
Over time, after running becomes a habit, the inherent bonuses of improved fitness and well-being will replace these external rewards: when that happens, everything will be running smoothly — pun intended.