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What Are the Best Tips for Starting to Run?

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  • Written By: Soo Owens
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 04 December 2016
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Running is one of the most accessible forms of athletic exercise. All a new runner needs is an able body and a good pair of shoes. In the beginning, running can be frustrating, and this must be met with determination and perseverance before any visible results begin to take shape. A new runner should learn how to prepare before a run, cool down afterwards, and pace himself. For motivation, guidance, and companionship, running with a friend is a good idea.

Starting a new running regimen can be physically intensive and exhaustive. Before starting to run, it is always a good idea to consult a physician. This is especially true if the new runner has not undertaken many strenuous physical activities in recent years.

The simplest tip for starting to run is to find good shoes. Running shoes are designed differently than regular tennis shoes. A good pair helps the runner maintain traction and balance while lessening stress on the knees. Shoes do not have to be expensive, and a specialty store can be consulted for help in selecting the right pair. A runner should purchase replacement shoes once every 300 miles (480 kilometers).

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A new runner should try to formulate a running routine that he or she can adhere to without putting extra pressure on an already busy schedule. Running can easily become a chore if rushed. Deciding on a good place to run by experimenting with both indoor and outdoor environments is good idea for new runners. Indoor running provides a stable platform that is not subject to the elements, while outdoor running offers a change of scenery and a non-linear terrain.

Consistency, no matter the place or time, is important. Developing perseverance and determination is the most important tip for starting to run. If a new runner is not determined to stick with a schedule, it is unlikely that he or she will make any progress towards his or her fitness goals. This is one of the most difficult aspects of running for people who just starting out. In the beginning, running is often exhausting and sometimes painful, but with time and regular runs, muscles become stronger and learn their role.

Proper running entails more than just the act of running itself. Stretching exercises should always be done both before and after a run. Before stretching the first time, it is usually a good idea to jog for 5 minutes to let your muscles warm up. Stretching after a run is just as important and should be done after walking for a few minutes to lower the heart rate.

Learning how to pace yourself is a valuable skill that takes practice when starting to run. Wearing a wristwatch with a timer function can help in adjusting speed. Running with a friend is also helpful. By observing the pace of other runners, a new runner can establish the pace most suited to his or her running ability.

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