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How to Start Running Tips

Updated on March 8, 2013

Learn to Run and Discover the Freedom of Body Motion.

Have you always wanted to start running but never really given it a serious try? Well, it is never too late. The best tip to start running is to start by walking faster and faster over a period of days until you naturaly start to shuffle, jog, and run.

Jogging requires little equipment and can be practiced almost anywhere at any time. However, care should be taken to avoid injury or undue discomfort. The running shoe should be carefully selected for comfort, and should provide proper cushioning and flexibility. In warm weather, loose-fitting shirts and shorts are worn. In cold weather, it is best to dress in layers to trap heat.

Image credit: The Ultimate Beginners Running Guide

Can Anyone Start to Run?

running in sneakers
running in sneakers

The basic rule is that yes, unless you have physical disabilities, anyone can run. Just be smart about it and run, or shuffle along, at a pace that suits your capacity. If you are a geek and seriously out of shape, just shuffle along like an old geezer for starters. Disregard if people stare. Do it in any way that you are comfortable with. Just don't try to please the onlookers and overdo it.

What gear do you need to start running? None. Go with what you have. See if you like the experience of jogging and if you do, then go buy a pair of really good jogging shoes. Don't be cheap because your feet will be doing all the work. Great running shoes make a huge difference. Everything else like tops and tights, just go with anything you find in the wardrobe... get good shoes though.

Before beginning a jogging program, one's physical condition should be considered. Are you young, old, fat or skinny? Do you have any muscle tone to build on or is you body like cold spaghetti? For example, if a person who has never exercised before is more than 40 years of age or has had heart disease in his family, he should be tested by his physician for possible heart irregularities.

Noobs and pro's all need to warmup. Stretching exercises before running help prevent muscle tightness in the legs and back which will ultimately lead to injury. Stretching after a workout enhances muscle and tissue flexibility and help make you stronger.

Image by billyr

Best Beginner Running Instruction Book

ChiRunning: A Revolutionary Approach to Effortless, Injury-Free Running
ChiRunning: A Revolutionary Approach to Effortless, Injury-Free Running

What is Chi Running? It's a new way of defining the step and offers a more lenient form of running. It is easier on the knees and ligaments.

 
Running toe socks
Running toe socks

Start by Jogging not Running

Jogging is a form of running, at a slow or moderate pace. Jogging is usually practiced to promote physical fitness. It is sometimes distinguished from running, in which the individual is moving at a somewhat faster pace, often to train for long-distance races.

People jog in different ways, depending on age and flexibility, it might be a slow springy jog or a ambling shuffle. One of the best places to start experimenting with jogging and running is a beach. Try running on the firm parts of the beach that while solid, offer good impact dampening.

Jogging The principal purpose of jogging is to improve a person's endurance by increasing the efficiency of the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. Additional benefits include a tendency to lose excess weight and an improvement in muscle tone. Psychologically, running relieves tension and better enables people to handle stressful situations in their lives.

Workouts should be light at first, perhaps combining intervals of walking and running. Training sessions should take place at least four times per week and last at least 10 to 15 minutes at the start. The length of the sessions may be increased in time. The pulse rate during the workout should normally be between 135 and 150 beats per minute to increase endurance without strain. The primary concern is not speed but time spent running.

Image by karel seidl

Running tights

The best running tights can be quite expensive but most are perfectly usable and come at a affordable price.

CW-X Women's 3/4 Length Pro Running Tights
CW-X Women's 3/4 Length Pro Running Tights

You can jog and run in any outfit but dedicated sport clothes are designed cope with body heat while allowing full motion freedom. Choose the length of tights depending on your climate zone.

 
running in the afternoon
running in the afternoon

When is The Best Time to Run?

Jogging and running are extremely popular forms of exercise because you can do it anywhere and almost anytime. There are just a few pointers that you should be aware of:

Do not run after meals

Joggers are advised to allow two hours before working out after meals. This cannot be stressed enough. Do not exercise on a full stomach.

as

Morning day or night?

This is up to you. Check how your body responds to exercise at different times of the day. Having said that, your body is not as flexible in the mornings. It is also widely believed that hard training in the morning is not beneficial because your body is tuned more to mind activities rather than body functions. This generally changes at about midday, or early afternoon.

Perhaps you have noticed your concentration is lower in early afternoon? That's because your body is re-tuning itself for physical activity. Your blood pressure is higher, body temp is higher, and hormonal levels change later in the day. It is therefore generally advised to run and jog on afternoons. This is specially true for beginners.

Image by lambertwm

Good Running Shoe Deals

If there is one single must-have item you should get for jogging it is a pair of good running shoes. My personal favorites are the Brooks Adrenaline GTS which give very good support.

ASICS Women's GEL-Noosa Tri 8 Running Shoe
ASICS Women's GEL-Noosa Tri 8 Running Shoe

Choose a supportive gel shoe if you experience discomfort from heel impact.

 
urban running environment
urban running environment

Where is the best place to run?

Although the times of day and the running surfaces preferred by joggers vary widely, it is generally considered inadvisable to run along highways where there is a high concentration of automobile exhaust fumes, or on days when air pollution is heavy.

The ultimate running environment is in rural landscape, beaches and woods without traffic, noise or too many people. This type of environment may not be easily accessible by everyone and if you live in a city, the best running environment is near waterways and lakes. The clearing breeze they tend to have offers some improvement on air quality compared to downtown sidewalks. Second best is in city suburban outskirts / sleeper suburbs. Third best is in urban parks.

If you only have a urban environment to run in, try to find calm and secluded roads and pathways. Do NOT run on the sidewalks near freeways or busy main streets. All you will be doing is pacing the car exhausts and pulling toxic air deeply into your lungs.

Image by atomische

Training Watches

Everlast Interval Training Round Timer
Everlast Interval Training Round Timer

If you are serious about improving your performance - you need to keep tabs on your time. Use a simple interval watch with big buttons rather than a complex multi-watch which is hard to use when breathing hard..

 

Tell us about your running experiences.

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      healthfan101 5 years ago

      Great write-up on running/jogging. I prefer jogging to almost all other exercises. I think it has to do with being outdoors. When I exercise indoors, I get depressed and de-motivated :)

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