My little sister and I (yes… she’s taller than me) are ridiculously similar in so many ways. First of all… our laugh. We laugh loudly and distinctively. We also find a lot of the same things funny and have a weird obsession with ewoks and gilmore girls.
On the other hand we’re super different- she loves the bachelor and i love personal development books. I love fitness and she loves binge watching TV (OK… i love binge watching TV too).
But this week I have been so freaking pumped to run with her!! she decided to put on her shoes and go for a run on Tuesday and she let me join her (and our dog) for a quick run. You guys… I don’t think she realizes this because I run so much but for being one of her first runs ever to go a mile without really stopping is HUGE! That something not everyone can do their first time out and as I later told her, I wouldn’t even recommend it. So that made me think back to when I first started running and I thought I’d put together some tips of what I’ve learned over the years about getting started with running.
- Don’t go too far too fast. I have to remind myself of that every time I even take a break from running. Your calves will NOT be happy!! Don’t take six months off running and then try to do six miles faster than you’ve ever run before. It won’t be fun or feel good later. Take walk breaks when you need to- i definitely recommend following a plan like couch to 5k (c25k) to get you started in a way that will ease you into running without putting too much stress on your body.
- When you’re running try not to land on your heel. Lots of sites say to just do what you’re doing and don’t try to change it but if you’ve never run before & don’t have any bad habits to break, start right! Start with the mid-foot strike. You want your calf to absorb the brunt of the weight of every time your foot hits the ground and if you’re hitting with your heel it’s your knee that’s taking the hit. Which is going to lead to problems later fo sho
- If you’re looking to buy running shoes go to a store that is specifically for them. I love the smaller stores but even the big ones can be helpful. I’ve always been kinda intimidated to go into them thinking they’ll know i’m a phony and not a “real” runner but they’ve always been SO nice and explain everything to me and tell me what all the gadgets are for. They’ll help you figure out what shoes are right for your foot and watch you run. A lot of times you can even try on the shoes and see how it feels to run in them. Once you have an idea of what shoes you like or what style you like you can go online and try to find them for cheaper than in the store but i’ve found the deals in the store to be pretty awesome and they’re really good at returns and exchanges at the stores i’ve been to. BUT if you’re just getting started you don’t need to go spend $100 on new shoes- just use what you have as long as there’s no pain
- Have fun & enjoy it! if you like listening to music while you run, listen to music while you run. You can carry your MP3 player if you want. You don’t need any fancy gadgets when you’re getting started- again do what works for you. personally i have always hated running with something in my hand so i got an arm band thing to start and after months (years?) of that realized it was making me tense on that side of my body so i got a pouch to wear around my waist. then i got a flip belt and have never looked back. but some people love the arm thing! again, do what works for you but don’t worry about getting too fancy when you’re first starting- you’ll find your thing.
- Just start. Don’t try to have the perfect everything or memorize all the tips I just gave you or wait for perfect conditions. Wear your old sweat pants and t-shirt with whatever shoes you have. Run half a block and then drink a protein shake. Don’t let yourself get too wrapped up in making sure you have everything right- just get out there and start and see what works for you- you’ll figure it out.
And of course it goes without saying (or i guess it doesn’t since i’m saying it), check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program. Don’t follow my advice to just get started if you have never run before or have health issues or aren’t sure if your doctor would approve. Better safe than sorry!