Tips for First Time Runners

A man adjusts his running shoes before running.You’ve decided to start running or jogging to improve your health. Great choice. It’s one of the best ways to burn calories and increase your cardio. Running can also help prevent high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, stroke and other conditions. The “runner’s high” that you hear about can also improve your mental outlook and mood.

Starting a running program is the easy part. Staying with it is the hard part. People quit running because they start out the wrong way and become discouraged. Here are some tips on how to sustain a running program.

  • Get the right pair of shoes. Go to a store specifically for running and get properly fitted. These stores have employees that are runners and know how to analyze your gait. The wrong pair of shoes will cause pain and turn you off from running.
  • Put in a good 10-15 minutes of warm up exercises. It’ll warm the muscles and help make the first few minutes of running easier.
  • Don’t overdo it. Go slow at a comfortable pace. Walk if you get tired.
  • Set small, easily-attainable goals based on distance. A few blocks, a quarter mile, a half mile and so on. Build up from there. Don’t worry about time. Concentrate on distance and add distance gradually.
  • Keep a training record of your runs. As they accumulate, you’ll see an example of your commitment and success, and it’ll motivate you.
  • Schedule your run into your daily calendar of things you must do. Do not make running optional.
  • Find a running partner or join a running group. There are many groups specifically for new runners. You’ll enjoy the camaraderie and learn from each other.
  • Take days off. As you get going and run further, rest days are necessary to replenish, recover and prevent injury.

And remember, keep going. You’re in this for the long run.

It's always a good idea to get advice from a physician before starting a new exercise routine. For more information or a physician referral, call 1-800-BayCare (1-800-229-2273) or find a doctor near you.