This article was published on August 26th, 2013
When people first start getting into running they make a lot of mistakes. It’s because they don’t have the knowledge or experience, and they jump in wanting to give 110%, when in reality that’s not what they should be doing.
It’s great to be excited and motivated to start running. Perhaps you’ve set some goals, signed up for a race, are part of a corporate healthy living challenge, or a fun competition with a friend. Whatever your reason, there are some things every beginner runner needs to keep in mind.
Most people give up on running within a couple of weeks because they are in a lot of pain. There are a lot of contributing factors that can be attributed to this pain.
Poor running shoes are the most common problem. People have a strange misconception that it’s ok to put on the shoes that have been in their closet since high school and to go for a run. Nothing could be further from the truth! Shoes, specifically running shoes, only have a shelf life of 500 kilometers. For a serious marathon runner, this means they are going through a pair of shoes every two or three months, and for casual runners once every six months. Shoe support breaks down quickly, especially from running, which can cause your gait (running form) to go out align, resulting in injuries.
New runners are so excited to prove that they can run 5, 8, or 10km in one go, even if they haven’t run in months or years. This just sets you up for failure and injury. It’s better to start off on slower, shorter runs and gradually work your way up in both speed and distance. Ramping up too quickly in either can lead to incredible pain, uncomfortable injuries, and resentment for the sport.
To get the most out of your running experience, start off by purchasing a new pair of shoes that have been carefully selected for your particular foot, and increase both speed and distance over a period of time. It’s recommended to join a running club, which have beginner and learn-to-run programs to help you ease into the sport and are designed to help you reach your goals.
Following these few tips will ensure that you’ll have an enjoyable beginner running experience and put you on the path for success for long-term running enjoyment! Most importantly, enjoy each run and remember at the beginning and end of each run of why you decided to hit the pavement. Keep this motivation front of mind and you’ll be set!