Running Tips for Beginners
Running tips to help set you up for your first run and on the road to your fitness goals!
Running tips to help you on your way to taking full advantage of the health and wellbeing benefits of running are presented here by SB Fitness. The lighter mornings and evenings of summer present opportunities for enjoying the great outdoors. When you’re working on your fitness, the summer means making time for some exercise outside. What better way to appreciate open spaces like parks and beaches than taking up running?
Running costs nothing, can be done anywhere and is the top calorie burner of all mainstream exercise. The NHS recommends running regularly as it can reduce your risk of long-term illnesses, such as type 2 diabetes, strokes and heart disease. It will help you achieve weight loss goals and give your mood a boost.
1. Don’t Sprint Before You Can Walk
It goes without saying that you should consult your GP before running if your fitness level is very low at present. If you are still at the very start of your fitness journey you can help build the foundations of a good general fitness level by beginning with walking. Walking for fitness is recommended by the NHS and there are many useful resources available on the topic. If you need to master walking first, don’t forget to return to these running tips at a later date!
2. Slow and Steady Wins the Race
When you’ve built up your general fitness and the motivation required to lace up your running shoes it can be easy to fall at the first hurdle… We don’t mean literal hurdle – let’s start with the running first! – but disappointment as a metaphorical hurdle. As Marie Claire have noted, it’s great that you’ve got the confidence to start running but it’s unrealistic to expect instant results from something you’ve not put time and effort into previously. This doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to disappointment, but that you should increase your running time incrementally.
3. Warm Up & Cool Down
Runners World has a series of recommended exercises for use before and after your run. Warming up and cooling down are essential running tips as they help improve your range of motion. Failure to follow these running tips risks altered running mechanics, faulty posture and injury and pain.
4. Keep Hydrated
Very Well Fit’s running tip is that the general rule of thumb for drinking whilst running is to consume 4 to 6 ounces of fluid every 20 minutes. Signs of dehydration include a dry mouth, feeling fatigued and of course thirst. As it progresses without being remedied you may experience muscle cramps, headaches, nausea and fatigue. It’s important to make sure you’re hydrated before your run drinking approximately 16 ounces of water or a non-caffeinated drink an hour before you begin. You don’t want to overdo the drinking though, as toilet stops are never convenient on a run!
5. Stay Motivated
Most things in life can be improved by company and running is no exception! You could either recruit a more experienced runner friend or encourage another new runner along for the ride. You’ll be able to coach each other through more difficult runs with some moral support and pep talks. There are many running clubs throughout the country offering opportunities for improving your fitness whilst making friends. Parkrun is a great way to start without making any firm commitments.
6. Release Tension
Holding tension in the upper body is a common problem for runners. Given that most people’s day jobs involve sitting down in stiff positions it’s really no surprise. Runner’s World’s running tips include some simple arm and shoulder exercises to help release tension. It is also common for runners to clench their fists, but this should be avoided as it is expending valuable energy you could be using on your running!
7. Find Your Rhythm
Your running rhythm describes the relationship between your steps and breathing. The ratio 2:2 is often quoted in connection with this, which means inhaling for two steps and exhaling for two. Although, Runners Connect mentions the importance of remembering that we’re all different. Some runners will change the ratio to 1:2 or 2:1 as they increase their pace, but you can easily experiment yourself and find the ideal ratio for you.
8. Seek Professional Advice
Do you still have some questions about running or fitness in general? The SB Fitness team offer a range of personal training services to help you achieve your potential now. SB Fitness Membership includes 24/7 support, free personal training giveaways, 2 free exercise classes of your choice a month and more.