Running For Beginners: The Right First Steps

By Elizabeth Jenkins

At the request of many Facebook fans and customers, I will be writing a series of blog articles for new-comers to the sport.  The intention of these articles is to arm new runners with the basic knowledge they need to keep the newbie mistakes to a minimum so they can get to the “I like running” phase faster and with less pain and disappointment.

There are many things a person can do to make their journey of becoming a runner more enjoyable. Here is a brief list of important things to do—in no particular order:

  1. Get the right shoes
  2. Get a running buddy
  3. Get the right socks
  4. Get a training plan and stick to it
  5. Sign up for a 5K
  6. Be consistent

Let’s take these in stride…

  1. Getting the right shoes is probably the most important step to take to prevent unnecessary pain, discomfort, and even injuries.  At all three of our locations, we conduct the Biomechanical Analysis to make sure we are putting you in the right shoe. There are many shoes to choose from and just because your friend said “you need Asics” doesn’t mean every Asics shoe will work for you.  What works for them, might have you writhing in pain. We can help prevent that. Old or worn out shoes need to be shared with the garbage or donated to a great cause. Don’t risk injury in an old pair, treat your body right and get the right stuff,
  2. A running buddy will help you get out of bed and out the door on those cold mornings. When you are accountable to someone other than yourself, you are more likely to succeed. If you don’t have a running buddy, you can join our free Saturday morning running groups. We have one meeting at our Draper location, and one at our 700 E location. All abilities are welcome, so grab a friend and come join us!
  3. The right socks will prevent blisters and discomfort during a run. Check out these previously posted blogs for more information on socks and blisters you ever wanted to have in your arsenal.
    1. The Best Running Socks
    2. Preventing Blisters
  4. A training plan is a great way to remain accountable. We have training plans on our website. Check them out here.  The “Couch to 5K” app for iPhone is a really great place to start as well.
  5. Having a goal is really important. A 5k is a great place to start. They are fun and they usually support a great cause. A 5K is nothing to be intimidated over.  People think they are going to be the very last one but I assure you, you won’t be the last one. It doesn’t matter if you walk the entire race, you will have a great time and no one will be looking at you thinking, “you are so slow.” A great place to find local races is our race calendar. You can find it here. Be fearless! Sign up and watch yourself evolve into the runner you’ve always dreamed of being.
  6. The greatest advice I received as a new runner with a goal of completing a half-marathon was to BE CONSISTENT. This means no skipping runs or trying to make up missed runs, trying to do more than you are able and not increasing mileage or intensity by more than 10% in a week.  Inconsistency is one of the main factors in many running injuries.  Building up the muscles and vascular system necessary to run takes time and being consistent will help the body get used to the whole exercise thing faster, especially if you have not introduced your body to exercise in a while.

Getting into shape can be painful but I once heard that pain is the feeling of weakness leaving the body. I believe it.  Running has so many benefits other than just losing weight and feeling/looking great. You are getting ready to transform your whole life and your future self thanks you for taking these first steps toward a happier, more healthy you.

Stay tuned for more articles geared toward beginners. The next article in the series will be posted next week!

If you have questions about this post, or about running in general, feel free to call or stop by any of our three locations. We have expert runners on staff who would love to help you on the path toward running your dream event or hitting your goal weight.  See you soon!


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