Whether you are running to improve fitness, for enjoyment, or to prepare for a marathon, your training will require a bit of trial and error to figure out what works for you. This applies to everything from the training program you follow, the way you recover, and the gear you wear. As a beginner, you want to give yourself a fair shot at meeting your goals by sticking to your routine. However, this isn’t as easy as just wanting to do it. There are physical and mental steps you must take in order to enjoy running and get optimal results. Here are some of my top tips for beginner runners.
No matter what your goal is, it’s going to take time and patience to get there, especially if you are starting from scratch. You will most likely deal with some hard recovery days that won’t feel great. However, don’t let this discourage you. Every runner has been in those running “shoes”. A little pain and fatigue are both normal for the newbie runner. Do, however, make sure you don’t push yourself too far. Running injuries are real and can set you back for weeks even months. Consult your physician if your pain does not get better or worsens over time.
Take care of minor aches and pains with natural remedies if you can. Products like those found at the Kaya Hemp Company, recovery protein shakes, and supplements to support joints and muscles can help immensely. Keep in mind, becoming a successful runner isn’t a race, it’s about building up your strength and endurance over a period of time.
Physical stamina and cardiovascular endurance require daily activity that challenges your body. In other words, you’ll need to be consistent with a running program that gradually builds to harder and longer runs. This doesn’t mean you have to actually run every day.
You will also want to work on flexibility, strength, and have periods of rest to achieve optimal success. If you need extra recovery time, opt to walk your running route a couple of times a week. Do try to avoid any long gaps unless you are recovering from an injury or illness.
When it comes to running, rest is considered as important as consistency. Include rest days in your training plan that leaves at least 24 hours between runs. This is the time when your muscles grow and repair, which makes recovery imperative for improvement. Resting doesn’t mean you have to forsake your usual run, you can simply shorten it or go easy on yourself.
You need to think of your body as a machine and needs fuel to run properly. The food you eat is the fuel it uses to run. Whole foods like vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and lean protein serve as the best type of fuel for runners. Experiment with how much to eat before and after running to give yourself the right amount of calories to sustain your energy. Consulting with a trainer or sports physician might be helpful especially if you’re training for a marathon or special event.
A part of learning and developing a new skill like running is believing in yourself. Your physical body will want to give up at times, so you’ll need some mental focus and confidence to keep going. Keep a journal of your successes, so you can remind yourself of what you’ve accomplished over your training. Keep your thoughts as positive and gentle as possible while you’re running, as this helps you to associate running with joy and peace.