Beginners Running Guide: What you need to know

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For beginners running can feel like an overwhelming undertaking. Just the thought of it might make your lungs start screaming and your muscles aching. But it doesn’t have to be that way.


You’ve never run before. Haven’t been exercising much either.

You’ve never run before but you’ve been exercising regularly for at least 3 months

You used to run but haven’t in a few months – maybe even years

Getting started on the right foot goes a long way towards making the beginners running experience a postive one.

Running is superbly simple (a large part of its attraction). You can run any time of day, whenever it fits your schedule. You can run anywhere in the world and you don’t need a gym. The only equipment running requires is a decent pair of shoes.

So, how do you become a runner? Just strap on the sneakers, lace ‘em up and away you go? In essence, running really is that simple.

Beginners Running Guide: What you need to know

But as you get going questions quickly arise:

  • Should I run for 30 minutes or 45?
  • Is it okay if I walk?
  • Should I track my miles or time?
  • How hard should I push myself at the start?
  • If I’ve run before should I start over at the beginning?

Beginners Running Guide: What you need to know

Anyone can be a runner. I once had a friend tell me that he used to think runners were nuts. “I’d drive by them at all hours of the day and think that they were crazy for being out running.” Ten minutes later, back home sitting on his couch he’d wonder “can I be like that?”

He could, of course and he decided to be just that. One year later my happier, healthier and fitter friend was running every morning. Quite an accomplishment for someone that never considered himself a runner.

You too can be a runner. Not only can you, but it may be just what the personal trainer ordered for a significantly positive impact on your health and fitness. You don’t have to run marathons to enjoy the extensive list of health benefits provided by a regular running routine.

Beginners Running Guide: What you need to know

Be smart before you start. Like most things in life, the better the plan and the clearer the expectations the more successful a beginners running routine will be. Still many new runners are reluctant to spend either time or money on the sport before they start.

This reluctancy often stems from the fact that they don’t know if they’ll stick with it. Ditch those thoughts. Beginners running for the first time (or the first time in a long time) benefit greatly from an attitude that assumes success. Getting started and sticking with it will be easier if you commit some time and do some planning up front.

Lead with your best foot. Getting started the right way can make or break your running success. It’s true, first-run horror stories are common. But, more importantly, they’re also avoidable.

Any time you start or return to a sport there will be some discomfort because your body isn’t conditioned to it. Even if you’ve only been away from running for a few months you’ll likely find that your conditioning is not what it was when you last ran.

Beginners Running Guide: What you need to know

One of the keys to a successful start is to minimize discomfort.

Stretch for better results. If you’ve ever gone for a run and woke up the next morning with sore, stiff muscles you understand the importance of stretching. Sure, a little soreness is inevitable but you can minimize that “morning after” effect by cooling down and stretching properly.

There are some basic stretches every runner should do at a minimum. Not only will you improve your flexibility but stretching helps to flush your muscles with oxygen and blood leading to faster recovery.

Perfect your form. Many studies have been done analyzing the technique of everyday runners. Unfortunately, the bad news is that many of us have flaws in form that can slow us down and lead to injury.

The good news is that many of those flaws are fixable. Everyone can run with good form and yes, it is important. Learn to run the right way and you’ll reduce your risk of injury, make running easier and enjoy yourself a whole lot more.

Stay motivated and pain free. Is there anything harder than climbing out of a warm bed for a moring run? Or finding the energy to pound the pavement after a long day at the office? Staying motivated is not always the easiest task.

What’s more, if you’re sore or experiencing nagging aches and pains motivation can easily dissappear altogether. Nothing can sour a taste for running faster than an injury.

But fret not. Runners have been dealing with these hurdles for years and their struggles can be used to your benefit.

Beginners Running Program

We’ve covered all the “need to knows,” you’ve got yourself a good pair of shoes and you’re amped up to start running. It’s time to get going, but where you start is going to depend on your current fitness level.

The beginners running program found here consists of two training routines:

  • The new runner routineand
  • The fit beginner routine

Returning runners, pick the program that best matches your current fitness level.

Both of these training programs will gradually take you to 60-minutes of running. Remember, your body isn’t used to running so take it slowly, build gradually and stay the course. Your first goal is to make it through the first 6 weeks, which are the hardest. Do that and you’ll be running downhill the rest of the way. Good luck!