It’s time to pound the pavement.
Starting a running routine can seem daunting. After all, what’s more intimidating than hitting your local path and getting passed by everyone? However, the benefits outweigh the discomfort. Research shows the practice can boost your mood, help maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk for disease and more.
You don’t have to be an ultra-marathoner to see results. Take it from these real runners, who mastered the beginning stages of the exercise thanks to a few simple tricks.
Check out our Facebook community’s best advice for getting started below. So long, novice and hello, pro!
1. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself.
Just because someone else can run a 5K in what seems like a matter of minutes doesn’t mean that you have to be the same way.
“Make running something you LIKE by figuring out what YOUR pace is and move forward from there. Running is so much more about being a race every time you hit the pavement.” ―Ashley Richards
2. Find ways to make your run exciting.
Entertaining elements can help keep you engaged during your exercise.
“Distract yourself. Running makes me feel great after-the-fact, but during it I find it incredibly boring, so music, books or even running somewhere unfamiliar so that you have to pay attention to the ground can make the time go by quicker.” ―Jennifer Buda
3. Invest in good running shoes.
Poor footwear that doesn’t adapt to your specific stride can lead to injury, which in turn will keep you from heading back out for a run each day.
“The mechanics of your gait can be a big factor, and the right shoe can definitely make a difference.” ―Krista Sue
4. Stay away from hard surfaces if you can.
Otherwise, you might put yourself at risk for shin splints.
“Stick to trails, grass, etc as much as possible.” ―Krista Sue
5. Stick with it for a few weeks.
It may not feel like you’re making progress, but it just takes a little bit of time. Don’t give up too early.
“Consistency is key. It might be hard at first but, if you stay consistent, it will become easier and enjoyable.” ―Charlene Anstett
6. Focus on your breathing.
Running requires deeper inhalations and exhalations than you might be used to practicing. If you find your breathing is becoming more rapid as you go ― or if you’re experiencing side cramping ― you might need to adjust your pace.
“Once you master your breathing, everything else becomes easier.” ―Nitra Olsen
7. Walk intermittently.
It’s more than okay to switch off between faster and slower paces. In fact, walking actually helps your run!
“Just walk, run, walk, run ... It’s okay to run for 30 seconds or to the next lamppost and then walk for two minutes.” ―Sandra Bennett
8. Set a realistic plan and go for it.
Do you want to be able to run a 5K? Do you want to be able to run a mile without stopping? Find an objective and stick to it.
“Set a goal: no matter how high! And keep your eyes on it!” ―Marianella Cordero
9. Listen to a killer playlist.
It’ll definitely keep you motivated. Here are some suggestions.
“Plug your ears with some pumping tunes with beats that match your running pace.” ―Sandra Bennett
10. Embrace your slow pace.
So what if you’re actually getting passed by everyone on the trail? At least you’re out there doing it. And that’s a damn good accomplishment.
“Just keep running. Even if you’re slow.” ―Mary-France Navera
See you on the running path, superstar.