10 Running Tips For Beginners
Updated: Aug 3
Running tends to get a bad rep. I've done my fair share of absolutely brutal running workouts as a collegiate and professional runner- so I totally get it.
There are times that running really does suck.
Yet we keep on running cause it empowers us to be better versions of ourselves, stay in shape, and oh so many other reasons.
All that's to say, I totally understand why learning how to start running as a beginner can be so daunting. We all had to run the mile in gym class and a large portion of us poor souls vowed to never do such a thing again. (Even I, now a pro track athlete, said that).
Yet here you are, looking for a beginner's running plan because you just couldn't stay away. Welcome! And to show you how glad I am that you're back, I'll be sharing with you 10 running tips for beginners.
How To Start Running For Beginners
Whether you're looking for tips on how to start running when out of shape, simply wanting to take up a new (cheap) fitness hobby, or looking for pointers to improve your running technique, there are a few things you should definitely know.
After over a decade of competing as a pro runner, these are the 10 things I would tell someone just starting out as a beginner runner. But they're also great to know if you just want to get better, no matter how long you've been running!
1) Walk Before You Run
This might sound silly, but I promise it's a great idea.
A lot of new runners jump out the door and start running, thinking that going super slow or only a short distance is the way to go. If you're coming from doing basically no exercise, I can't recommend just throwing yourself into the fire.
You might be fine, but you're likely to be very sore and have a miserable time. Which isn't exactly going to make you want to do it again.
If you haven't been moving much, literally start by going for walks. Walking a few miles a day is actually great exercise and a really good place to start when you're just starting to run.
Gradually increase your walking distance or even pace as you start to feel more in shape. From there, add running into your walks!
2) Warm Up And Cool Down
I can't stress this enough! You have to take care of your body no matter what level of training you are at. Prioritize learning how to properly warm-up and cool down your body as you start your running journey.
You need to warm up and cool down for many reasons.
For starters, you'll feel a million times better if you activate the right muscles before you run and don't just start going cold.
Another reason is that you'll find your performance and ability improving much easier with the proper warm-up and cooldown techniques!
I have a whole blog post outlining my warm-up and cooldown for running that is full of ideas for you to try! Find it here.
3) Fuel Your Body The Right Way
When you start running, your body starts burning calories and working hard! You can't ask your body to keep up with a vigorous running - or any exercise - routine without fueling it correctly.
Even when you're not running a lot the body needs food and good nutrition to do its thang.
Make sure you are drinking plenty of water (including electrolytes!) throughout the day and not just before/after you run. Eat a colorful and variety-filled diet of vegetables, fruits, carbs, and protein.
Get protein in as soon as possible after workouts for maximum benefits and prioritize it in your meals throughout the day. It will help your muscles heal and give you the strength to run.