Become a Runner: Tips to Get Started on the Right Foot

Running is probably one of the world’s best forms of exercise. It builds fitness, increases health, promotes a healthy body weight, cheap to get started and can be done just about anywhere by anyone. According to the National Sporting Goods Association, running/jogging continues to show strong and consistent growth.

Many new runners hit the trails or treadmills with awesome intentions and high goals. However, many of these new runners become unenthused fast. Becoming a runner requires more than just putting on your sneakers and heading out. To help out all of those new runners ready to hit the pavement we have put together some of our top running tips.

1. Get the Right Shoes. Visit a store that specializes in running such as the Boulder Running Company, Runner’s Den, Runner’s Roost or Sole Sports. The staff at these stores are extremely knowledgeable and they all perform treadmill tests. While the shoes might be a little pricey, between $80 and $100, it will be well worth it. As someone coming back from persistent IT Band pain, shoes can make such a difference.

2. Invest in Good Apparel. The right running shoes, tops, socks, and bras can make all the difference on a run. Avoid 100 percent cotton as it tends to retain sweat which can cause chaffing and blisters. Look for clothing made of bamboo, smartwool, polyester, nylon and Lyrca. These fabrics will still get moist but your sweat with evaporate faster.

3. Make a Plan. Just heading out and running until you’re tired does not work for everyone. I remember when I took up running I could not run constantly for three miles. I read in one of those fitness magazines (Shape or Fitness but  I can’t remember which one) that I should start with intervals of 2-minutes running/ 3-minutes walking. I repeated each interval six times for a total of 30-minutes. Doing this each week over the course of a month I started to run  an additional minute and walk one minute less. Before I knew it, I could run for 30-minutes without stopping to walk. There are also great online training tools from Nike, Pear Sports and MapMyRun that can help plan your run. Many of these online training plans will send you email reminders each morning with workout details.

4. Take Rest Days. With any new exercise program you need to remember to give your body rest. This is perhaps the most difficult part of any training plan and something I have always personally struggled with. Your muscles need time to heal and become stronger. Taking one or two rest days per week will ensure your body acclimates to the goals you are wanting to attain. This is another reason why I like the online training plans. Many of these training plans have designated rest days and for whatever the reason, when I have someone else telling me to take a rest day I am more likely to listen.

5. Find a Group. Now it time for a little self promotion. Being part of a running group is motivating and helps increase your commitment. At bRUNch™, we want to be your running friends who you like enough to enjoy a meal with post-run. After all, that is how Cortney and I came up with the concept of bRUNch™. Running with friends ensures you have someone counting on you to be there. Running with others always has shown to increase performance. Cortney and I tend to start our runs together at a slow steady pace, we chat and gossip a little. By a half mile in Cortney is speeding up and I spend the remainder of the run trying to catch up. One day I will! But the moral of the story is, running with her and other extremely fast members of our group has helped me become a faster runner. I’ve also found while enjoying our post-run meals, the wealth of knowledge in training technique and injury prevention is outstanding. Everyone has tips to share on what has worked and not worked for them.

Now get outside and run! And don’t forget to drink lots of water!