A Beginning Runner’s Guide

So, you have decided to start running! By doing so, you likely know that you will increase your health and fitness and lose weight,  but you might also feel a bit lost in regard to getting started.

Below are some top running tips for beginners.

Start Slow

The biggest mistake beginning runners make is running too far and too fast. Don’t worry about speed at first. Instead, follow the “talk test.” If you cannot carry  on a conversation, you are going too fast. Many experts also recommend that you focus more on time than on miles. In the beginning, try running slowly for 15 or 20 minutes a few times each week. Take walk breaks if you need them and, as you get stronger, you can begin shortening the walk breaks and lengthening the running time until you are running for 30 minutes straight. At that point it could be appropriate to switch your thinking to miles.  To avoid injury, follow the 10% rule: Increase your total mileage each week no more than 10%. You can keep track of mileage with maps, pedometers, or GPS watches.

Get The Proper Gear

Running is more affordable than many sports, but it does require some specialized gear. To avoid injury, avoid wearing old tennis shoes or sneakers, as having the right shoe can both protect you from injury and make the difference between success or failure as a runner. Some clothing choices are also better than others for running.  Here are the top equipment items to consider:

* Running shoes that are fitted for your running style and that you have tried on and tested in the store. Ideally, you should visit a store that specializes in running where you can be fitted for the proper shoe. If you cannot go to a local running store, get well cushioned shoes that are made specifically for running.

* Socks are very important. Do not wear cotton, as cotton socks often lead to blisters and discomfort. Instead, look for wicking socks that are made for sporting activities. Some experts suggest wearing white socks to avoid any skin irritation that may occur from allergies to dyes, since sweat can make the dye in some socks run.  However, colored socks formulated specifically for running normally will not have dyes that tend to run or irritate.

* Women should wear a good sports bra to increase comfort and avoid soreness.  Look for a sports bra made of wicking material to help keep you cool and draw moisture away from your body. Make sure that the bra fits well and is comfortable. Champion tends to make especially good sports bras at a good value cost and they can be found at most sporting good stores and at Target stores.

* Wear wicking clothing whenever possible. Cotton tends to  hold sweat close to the body, causing chaffing and difficulty getting cool in summer, and causing chilling in winter. Synthetic fabrics that can pull moisture away from the skin are a better choice in both hot and cold weather. Dress in layers if it is cold,  with at least a base layer and outer layer that can protect from wind and wet conditions. In summer, a light hat will keep the sun off of your face. In winter, wearing a thermal hat is recommended.

* Always wear sunscreen! Studies have shown high incidences of skin cancer in runners, who tend to sometimes forget sunscreen or forget to apply it to all areas.

Set A Goal And Stick To It

Set a goal, such as running a local a 5k or fun run, or to be able to run for 30 minutes straight. This will keep you motivated.You will not succeed if you always wait until you have more time, or the weather is better, or based on some other excuse. Set aside a particular time and schedule of running days and stick to it. By setting goals and establishing a routine, you will increase your likelihood of success.


Carleen Coulter is an avid runner and is the author of RunGadget, a website that provides running gear reviews and race travel guides.

Contributing Author

This post was written by contributing author at Hive Health Media. If you would like to write for us about health, fitness, or blogging topics, click here.

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