5 Tips for New Runners
Never run before? We’ve got you covered with these 5 key tips!
It’s that time of year again. As the sunshine begins to make regular appearances and the air gets warmer, more and more people are taking their workouts to the great outdoors and going for a run. The streets, seawall, trails and tracks are filling up with runners.
We recognize that not everyone is a Sun Runner or a Vancouver Marathoner, but if you are feeling inspired to join the ranks of runners and get in shape after a cozy, couch-potato winter, there is no better time to begin running than now. Here are our tips on how you can get started and avoid injury:
- Invest in Good Shoes
If you are planning to become a regular runner, the right shoes can make all the difference in the world. Your shoes are the first thing between you and the terrain and are the key to comfort and injury prevention. Everyone’s foot is different. Your best option is to go to a specialty running shoe shop where they can assess your stride and ensure you get in a shoe that is the most comfortable for you.
- Set Goals and Develop a Training Plan
Your goals should be realistic, attainable, specific and should align with your training plan. You don’t need to be a professional athlete to have a plan. Even if your goal is to simply be able to run easily for 20 minutes, a training plan will help you achieve it safely and sustainably. Try beginning with a walk/run strategy and avoid dong too much too soon. It can be exciting but increasing your mileage before your body is ready can lead to injuries.
- Warm Up, Cool Down and Stretch
The time before and after you run is just as important as the time spent running. Warming up is how you can prepare your body for the exercise ahead. A dynamic warm up will prepare your muscles and slowly elevate your heart rate and thus help reduce the stress on your body and your heart. Follow your dynamic warm-up with a brisk walk and slow jog to warm up. Be sure to stretch all your major running muscles after you finish your run to ensure your muscles regain their original pre-run flexibility and mobility.
- Quality, not Quantity
Now is the time to be extra aware of your form. There is more to running well than just propelling yourself forward for long distances. Focus on the correct way to run and don’t worry about your pace or time. The best thing you can do for yourself is to take the time to learn best running practices so you can avoid both upper and lower body repetitive strain injuries. Maintain good posture and keep your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle and try to keep your hands at waist level. Align your hips directly below your torso and make sure your foot lands underneath the body to avoid a heavy heel strike.
Don’t forget to breathe from your nose and mouth. Your body needs oxygen in order to perform better. Taking deep breaths will help you get the oxygen you need and avoid side stitches.
Stay active, healthy and run!
Credit to Little Goblins Press for this blog post.