A Beginner's Guide on How To Start Running Today

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As simple as running seems, it certainly is not easy when you’re a beginner. Don’t be afraid if you’re a beginner - you might be slow at the start - but it’s better than just staying put on the couch! The good news is, your speed doesn’t matter, but your perseverance does. Initially, all you need is a little patience, a good pair of shoes, and the will to keep going. That is why we have come up with a beginner’s guide on how to start running that will help you train yourself step-by-step, to reach that pace.

Are you ready? Let’s go!

1. Begin with short running breaks-

As a new runner, you shouldn’t plan to cover a long distance in one go. We know you must be super-excited to begin your running training, but breaking down the run into intervals is essential to let your muscles recover. After a few days, you can increase the running sections and reduce the intervals.

2. Avoid running too fast in the beginning-

Your body needs time to register new stresses and pressures of running. Out of many, few beginners start out running too fast in the beginning and suffer from injuries within a few minutes of their training. Therefore, it is essential to start at a moderate pace. If you gradually give your body the time to adapt to the new challenges, then only will you gain long-term success in running.

3. Give your body time to recover-

You might be happy with your first attempt at running, and you want to hit the ground soon again, right? Great thought, but as a beginner, your body needs time to recover from your first run. Your recovery will help your muscles and bones to prepare for the next run, so schedule your running sessions in a way that you run for one day and rest the other day.

4. Take short steps while running-

Running can be a challenging sport for beginners. When you run, your body adapts to the changes and provides you with the coordination needed to cover that extra mile. So, take a relaxed run and take manageable steps for a more productive run. 

You have to begin from where you are, instead of where you think you should be. Your body cannot adapt to the quick change if you start faster and farther than you’re ready for. Here are some questions that will help you clear the doubts regarding running for beginners.

How far should I run in 30 minutes?

There are no rules to running unless you are participating in a race. If you have planned a 30 minute run for a day, you can cover any distance you’d like. Although, on average, your 30 minutes run should be between 2 to 4 miles per run - as much as your body allows you. It’s not required to play a long game right in the beginning, and do not focus on too much pace. As a beginner, you should focus on consistent running with 2-3 proper breaks in between, and should not focus on increasing the mileage/duration.

Also read: How To Start Running Again: 5 Tips To Finish What You Started

How often should a beginner run?

In the beginning, you should practice running 3-4 times a week because giving sufficient breaks can help your body to adapt to the pounding on the trail initially. This will allow your body to recover quickly. You can cross-train yourself on the days you take a break from running, for example, you can throw in a weight training session, body strengthening session, or bike riding. Working on strength and endurance helps your muscles recover fast, and it also boosts your mental health.

How to add variety to your runs?

Running might feel monotonous, and sometimes runners get bored of running in the same style. To keep your spirits high and gain fitness along the way, you can try the run/walk method. This method helps you build endurance, boost mental health, and eases your body while pounding on the trail or ground. For example, you can hit running for 5 minutes, then change to walking for the next 5 minutes, and you can go on with this transition for 30 minutes. As a beginner, it is suggested to keep your running sessions greater than your walking sessions.

How to fuel your body for running?

No matter if you’re a beginner or an experienced runner, your body requires the three necessary micro-nutrients to fuel up before a run- protein, healthy fat, and carbohydrate. Healthy fats like nuts and avocado can work significantly on your body to keep it running, and the same way carbohydrates are essential to replenish glycogen stores and fuel up your body for a longer run. Proteins are called the building blocks of your body; hence they act as a buffer to maintain the body’s acid-base balance. It helps in bone remodelling and muscle protein synthesis so that your body can recover well in time.

We all struggle for motivation; sometimes even the pros look for it. Running can be daunting sometimes when you’re a beginner or have started after a break. So, do not stop after your first, second, or third attempt, and push your body to achieve a level each time you run.

Good luck and Keep It On!

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