5 tips for new runners

As a new runner, you may feel that you just can’t get into running. It is The Chubby Runner’s goal to let people know that, no matter your circumstances, you CAN start at any time in your life. And you can be successful as a runner. Young or old, in good fitness shape, or no fitness shape whatsoever, you can be a successful runner. If I can do it, anyone can, and I mean anyone. The biggest question for new runners is, how do I get started? With that in mind, I have compiled a few steps for new runners to get started, from whatever your starting place may be:

1. Shoes are the biggest investment for new runners

When starting a running program, shoes are the biggest and most important investment. With the right pair of shoes, running can be a delight, whereas the wrong pair of shoes will quickly lead to discouragement, possible injury, and giving up altogether. The proper shoes for your feet are a vital first step as you begin running.

Check out this post on finding the right running shoes.

2. Start small and build

As you begin running, you’ll want to create small manageable goals and build upon your successes. Your starting point is wherever you’re at. If that means you start with walking for 10 minutes and jogging for 30 seconds, start there. Walking is perfectly okay, don’t feel like you have to jog or run right away. Keep pushing yourself so that you extend your time and distance. This will help to shorten your walking time and increase your jogging or running time. Build gradually.

3. New runners should make running a habit

Running is like any other activity or task, it gets stronger with practice. For new runners, it may take your body some time to adjust to an elevated fitness level. You need to commit to running as a habit. This requires you to go out for a run or a walk/run or walk/jog every day for 14 days in a row. Creating a new habit is work, but if you commit to it you’ll be in a much better situation.

4. Write it down

Harvard Business Study found that the 3% of graduates from their MBA program ended up earning ten times as much as the other 97% put together. What was the key? They wrote down their goals. There is something psychological about the act of writing down your goals.

SMART goals

New runners, you have a much higher probability of accomplishing those running goals if you write them down. Practice the SMART method (Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, Time-Related). Here’s an example:

I (your name) have successfully completed the Twin Cities 5k race in Minneapolis, Minnesota on September 5, 20XX.

The “as if” principle in action

In this example, the goal is stated as if it is already completed, known as the “as-if principle.” It also lists who will complete the race, what the race is, where it is, and the date it will be completed. Following this pattern and writing a goal down in this manner and referring back to it and reading aloud two times daily, invokes the power within yourself and the subconscious mind. You will accomplish the goal.

5. Mix it up

Running exercises certain muscles but does not adequately work all of them. To make sure that you are working your whole body, mix up your running routine with some other exercises:

  • Cross-training
  • Weight training
  • Resistence exercises
  • Cycling
  • Swim
  • Aerobics or spinning class
  • Yoga

These exercises will break up the monotony that comes with running and work other areas of your body, increasing your overall fitness level. This will help you become stronger and ultimately become a better runner.

Bottom line for new runners

When you first start running, it’s a bit overwhelming. Running is a very simple task, all it requires is a good pair of shoes and a road. Anyone can do it. Just follow these 5 simple steps and you will find your own version of success in accomplishing your goals. Now, what are you waiting for? Time to get started.