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XTEND FITNESS & WELLNESS

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Tips for Beginner Runners (& How Experienced Runners Can Improve)

I’m not a runner. Running is too hard. I don’t know where to start. It’s too late for me to start running. Be honest, how many of these thoughts have run through your head before? These are some of the most common remarks we hear from new or inexperienced runners. We know how daunting it can seem to get started or to get better, but we’re here to help. 

Tips for Beginner Runners

Warm-up

An effective warm-up is key to any great workout, including running! It helps prepare your body for the upcoming activity, reduces the likelihood of injury, and provides a number of other benefits. Before you hit the pavement (or the treadmill), spend at least five to ten minutes stretching your entire body with dynamic movements. 

Take a look at 10 essential stretches for runners right here

Switch things up

If you always take the same path at the same tempo, it will be tough to improve your speed over time. Instead, focus on switching up your routine with a variety of tempo running, interval running, and hills. These help keep your body guessing while also ensuring you’re prepared for anything on your run. 

Proper nutrition and hydration for experienced and beginner runners

If you’re dehydrated and you haven’t had adequate nutrition, chances are you’re not going to feel great on your run. Similarly, you won’t perform well and recovery will be a challenge.

Experienced and beginner runners alike can follow these simple hydration and nutrition tips to get the most out of their runs:

  • Be sure to consume carbohydrates within two hours of your run along with a lean protein source, for example, low fat yogurt with granola
  • As a general rule, it’s helpful to consume a meal if eating within two or three hours of your run. If you’re running within the hour, stick to a snack so you’re not too full
  • Consume healthy fats (like avocado or olive oil) after your run to keep you feeling full and to promote recovery
  • Focus on consuming water not only before your run, but leading up to running and after your run as well. Consistent hydration is key!

Dress appropriately and find the right shoe

How often do you see runners trail blazing in flip flops? Almost never. There’s a reason running shoes are such an important part of the running lifestyle. If you’re a beginner runner, it might take some time to find the perfect shoe for you. But it’s worth the effort! We recommend visiting a running store to get professional help with finding the right running shoe for you. It will make a world of difference—just wait!

Don’t forget the rest of your body either. In addition to comfortable shoes, make sure you dress appropriately for the conditions. This will largely depend on the climate you’re running in. Most runners look for clothing that is moisture wicking and without excessive seams that can cause chafing. It can also be helpful to run in light layers so you can cool off or warm up as needed. 

More Resources for Beginner Runners

We’ve covered some of the top tips for new or experienced runners to either start running or improve their skills. But we know you might still be hungry for more! If you’re looking for more resources to help you be the best possible runner, visit these links next: