So here you are — for whatever reason, you've decided to take up running. Running is a wonderful habit for physical and even mental health, but up front it can seem extremely intimidating. You might feel like you will never be good enough to run a 5k, 10k, or half-marathon, but that's not true. The only person stopping you is you! With these tips you will be well on your way to your first mile.
Proper running gear
The first thing that every new runner needs to invest in is a good pair of shoes. This is something that cannot be skimped on, because the shoe you wear can help you avoid injury and make your runs faster. If you do some research in your local area, there is probably an athletic store that will help you pick out the best pair for you. They will watch your walk, properly size your feet, and examine your foot structure. A decent pair can cost over two hundred dollars, so it won't be cheap, but you will be glad you made the investment.
A fitness tracker isn't necessary, but it will help you see how far you've run, what your heart rate is, and how fast you're running. Often they will link to your phone so that you can see the data instantly. This is a useful tool to track your progress, which can be extremely motivating to a new runner.
It can be hard to commit to a running schedule if you aren't used to keeping one. One way to keep yourself accountable is to find a running buddy. There will be days that you aren't feeling like you want to exercise, but having a friend there to keep you going will ensure that you keep up with your progress. Phone apps can also help keep you accountable. There are several available that will give you a schedule to follow week by week and send you reminders so that you don't miss a day. Set yourself a goal such as running a 5k. Find a local race that is a couple months out and sign up for it. There is no motivator like knowing you've already paid to participate in a race!
Work smarter, not harder
Running is tough. It might take time to build yourself up to where you want to be, but that's okay. Commit yourself to running three times a week to give your body a break in between runs. You don't have to waste those days, though — use them as cross-training days to do things like lifting weights, riding a bike, or doing an exercise video.
Taking care of yourself before and after a run is important, too. Stretch out your legs before and after the run to help avoid injury. Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather you're running in and drink lots of water. Lastly, never give up! Running is an incredibly rewarding form of exercise and your body will thank you for it.