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5 Effective Tips for Beginner Runners

Updated on August 20, 2019
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Luke Dunkerley is a content writer from Manchester in the UK.


Does the thought of running make you weak at the knees before you even leave your front door?

Leaving the house to push your body through a long run, especially when it's cold and dark, can make or break your desire to get fitter. Unless you have money to hire a personal trainer, have a flexible job, or have access to a 24/7 gym, going alone can sometimes be the only option. Wherever you are in your journey, here are five ways to make running more comfortable and fun.

1. Finding a Group

Finding a running partner can be really beneficial, especially when first starting out. In an age where the internet has made almost anything possible, joining a group with like-minded people is easy to do. There are Social Media platforms like Facebook or Twitter which are great for finding groups aimed at both beginners and seasoned runners. Joining one will make you feel more inspired, allowing you to learn and share ideas, and gain new experiences. It's also a gold-mine for discovering the best places to go in your area and beyond. Groups can offer anything from weekly meet-ups to go running together, to invites to motivational events, including days and weekends away.

2. Changing Your Runs

Most people build up their running by hitting the pavement for hours on end. Boredom quickly sets in, and it becomes a chore, and they soon give up. Changing the pace will make runs more exciting, and will also help you to beat your personal best times, by challenging your body to cope with stresses you aren't used to. Try mixing fast and slow runs for short amounts of time. If you're a beginner, jog for 30 seconds at a slow pace, then run as fast as you can for 5 seconds. As you improve, try taking 5 seconds off your jog and adding 5 seconds onto your sprint.

3. Taking Notes

There are so many benefits to note-taking. The most apparent benefit is self-reflection: what did you find easy or difficult? Knowing the small details can help you to make changes on what might be holding you back.

On a nutritional side, you might discover how eating foods at a particular time of the day can make an impact on your workout. Did some foods make you run slower? Some foods may not provide the energy you need, so you'll need to replace or eliminate them from your diet.

Sleep wise, recognizing how much rest can also help you to make progress. There are lots of guides out there that recommend "8 hours a night," but only you will know how much your body needs. On top of this sleep is the only time the body can repair itself, so not getting enough can mean a lower immune system, leading to colds and fatigue.

4. Positive Thinking

Having positive thoughts can be as important as going outside and running. There are lots of ways you can do this. One is to think about how running will change your life: If you're single, could looking healthier help you find a partner? Could you even make your hobby into a fundraiser for a charity? All of these ideas will help inspire you, knowing you're not only helping yourself but others too.

5. Turn Runs into an Adventure

There are bound to be places you haven't explored in your local area. If you have, how well do you know your neighborhood? It's surprising how much is learned when you are aware of your surroundings, whether it's an object such as a sign, or a statue in somebody's garden. Give yourself a challenge when you go running by exploring a new area and finding something new each time.

Whether you're new to running, or you're looking to return to the track, follow these five tips to help build a fitter and healthier you.

This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2019 Luke Dunkerley


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