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Fitness Friday: How To Start Running

Running is one of the best ways to get fit and lose weight. You can burn over 100 calories in ten minutes of running, all while also toning and strengthening multiple muscles. However, many also find it difficult to get started. Time and again, I hear people say “I can’t run” or “I get too winded,” but there are a few simple tricks to learning to run without great difficulty.  Below are few ways to get started.

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Five Tips On How To Start Running

Go Slow: When most people have difficulty running, it is because they are going too fast. Even the pros run slow on many of their training days to avoid injury and to save their best running for races. You should go slow enough that you can carry on a conversation while running. If you can’t, you are going too fast. For new runners a 11:00-13:00 minute mile pace, or even slower, could be quite normal. If you want to keep track of your pace, check out the Garmin Forerunner 110 Review on our sister site, RunGadget.com. That GPS watch is particularly good for beginners.  For a cheaper option, also take a look at our Nike Plus Pedometer Review.

Start With a Run/Walk  Program: A new runner often cannot run very long, even at a slow pace, without feeling uncomfortable. Too much running, too fast, can also take a toll on the body and lead to injury.  To work into running gradually, try a run walk schedule. At first, run 1 minute and walk 5 for 30 minutes, the next week run 2 minutes and walk 4. Keep increasing the run time until you are running for 30 minutes straight. Also look for a couch to 5k or similar program and register for a 5k fun run at the end of it to give yourself a goal.

Get the Right Gear: Running is even more difficult in the wrong gear. Go to a running store and get fitted for the correct shoes. Also avoid cotton and wear wicking fabric instead. Especially avoid cotton socks.  For more, see the RunGadget Running Gear for Beginners article.

Recruit a Friend: Many find that running is much more pleasurable when done with a friend or in groups. But by talking to each other, you assure that you don’t go too fast, and the socialization is a great distraction from any difficulties that you might face from the exertion.

Don’t Give Up! Staring any new exercise program is difficult, but if you start slow and stick with the program, you can find yourself getting into shape fast.

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  1. I’ve never been able to run more than a block or two, and in high school I would have to stop several times during the mile-run we always had to do. I thought I had exercise-induced asthma, but now I’m thinking I just run too fast! A friend just told me to start running so slow that I’m almost walking and then slowly go faster from there each time.

  2. Going too fast is almost always the issue. It should feel super slow at first and then you can build speed over time. Plus, even fast runners are told to run around 70% of their miles slow to prevent injury. I tend to figure that if I can’t sing along with the iPod (looking around first to be sure nobody will hear me and point and laugh!) then I am going too fast.

  3. I need to get back into running. I’ll start first thing in the morning

  4. Six months ago I couldn’t even walk a block without loosing my breath, now… well, numbers do not count for me (yet); now, I’m happy with what I’m becoming, a healthy father & husband, a happy runner.

    I cannot tell you the joy that running brings to your life, the lessons you learn out there (running is the cheapest therapist you’ll find) , the confidence you’ll feel; still you have to be consistent to get all of that, note I said consistency.

    These tips are great, and if I should recall how they were for me, I would say:

    Tip 1 – Yes, go slow, slow to the point you think it is ridiculous. Why? because you’ll be doing it 3 days a week, then 4, then 5, then… you know what I mean. The thing is, if you start fast you’ll feel tired and drop it having the sensation it is hard to run. It is not, the secret is to let your body get used to it first then break your records later. So, start slow.
    GPS? most smarth phones already have it, remember it.

    Tip 2 – Those Couch-to-5k programs really work, however a “only walking” prelude helps you too, get to know your routes before running/jogging them, remember the traffic, the tricky corners, the pedestrians. That will help to complete your programs.

    Tip 3 – Oh yeah! The gear will impact on your activity, cotton? no thank you (really!). Invest on it, it doesn’t mean you have to go for the 200 usd pair of shoes + tax + shipping + guilty in your second week, but at some point you will know when it is time to get decent shorts so you not only run more comfortable, but so you do not look like a tourist :p

    Tip 4 – The rule of thumb is: do not always run alone, do not always run in group. Companion is funny, but you will realize that hearing only your breath and your steps are the best cheer you can hear.

    Tip 5 – I dare you, I double dare you to finish your first whole mile running and drop this sport. Sometimes it will be hard, sometimes you’ll have to slow down and even go back early, you will feel pain, you will have doubts, you may get injured, it simply won’t be easy (I promise)… but you know what? somehow, when your body and your mind tastes it, you won’t drop it.
    You will smile because you run.

    Xtra tip: search for “running” in pinterest, don’t ask and do it, see yourself in those pins.

  5. Thanks for the insights George! It is always good to hear from new runners. It sounds like you will be a runner for life now. :)

  6. So glad I came across this post. I actually decided to start jogging around my neighborhood. thanks for the tips!

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