Start with low mileage. If all you can run is a half mile, quarter mile or even a few hundred feet, that’s OK. Add a little more distance at a time and in no time you’ll be up to a 5K or more. If you decide to increase your mileage all at once, you will risk injury or just simply burnout. You may want to try a Couch-to-5K or Couch to 10K program to help you gradually increase your distance.
Get yourself fitted for a good pair of running sneakers. Find your local running store and have their experts help you get a pair of sneakers that are right for you. It is best if they put you on a treadmill to observe your running form. Even though good sneakers are fairly expensive, they will save you from injuries and expensive doctor’s bills in the long run.
Don’t run too often. When many new runners start, they think they have to run everyday. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Most experts recommend running three to four days a week. If you run everyday, you do not give your body time to recover and get stronger as your body actually strengthens your muscles on your non-running days. Running everyday does not allow your body the recovery time it needs to get stronger.
Drink lots of water. Running, especially in hot weather, can dehydrate you. To avoid dehydration, be sure to drink plenty of water before your run, during your run, and after you finish. Also, do not overlook the benefits of drinking water regularly throughout the week, even on your non-running days. Being even slightly dehydrated can drastically impact your run and make it far more difficult.
Don’t compare yourself to other runners. Many new runners get demoralized by watching other runners that seem faster or better than they are. If you’re a new runner, remember that getting good at anything takes time and practice. There are people that are faster than you, but remember there are also people that are slower or don’t run at all. Set your own goals and don’t worry about others. On the other hand, if aiming to be as fast or as strong as another runner really motivates you, then go for it. Just make sure that the comparison motivates rather than de-motivates you. Running is such a great sport because you can truly compete with yourself.
For more running tips and articles on being active, check www.active.com.