How to Start Running

a man and woman walking in a field

Running effectively burns calories for a healthy weight loss, builds cardiovascular endurance, and relieves stress. It’s an inexpensive activity that requires no equipment and can be done almost anywhere by people of all ages. Get the most out of the sport with this guide on how to start running.

Get Motivated

Starting a running program is exciting and feels energizing until challenges creep up to test motivation. Find a strategy to get and stay motivated. Join a running group that is focused on the same running goals, like training for a marathon or running for a charitable cause. Music is a great exercise motivator so prepare some running-specific playlists to stay energized. Keep a running journal to track and monitor training progress. There are several types of running to try, like treadmill running, road running, racing, trail running, and track running. Runners commonly practice one or more types of running.

Staying fit outdoors takes away the monotony of running in a gym, but it’s smart to choose routes carefully. A reliable way to find out the safety of a neighborhood is to perform a database search with golookup. Users can access public records that are updated daily to check for neighbors, neighborhood information, registered sex offender, police records, and more.

Learn Proper Form

Running is a natural movement, but maintaining a proper running form is important to becoming an efficient runner. The proper form teaches runners how to conserve energy, improve pacing, increase stamina, and reduce the risk of injury. Maintain an upright posture with the head lifted to elongate the back. Keep the shoulders relaxed and the pelvis neutral. Keeping the eyes fixed on the ground 10-20 feet ahead will help prevent a runner from hunching over.

Allow the arms to swing naturally from the shoulder and keep a 90-degree bend in the elbow. Keep the hands relaxed to avoid clenching them into fists which can cause tension in the arms, shoulders, and neck. Footstrike refers to how the foot hits the pavement. Proper footstrike means landing in the middle of the foot and rolling through to the front of the toes. Landing on the toes causes calves to get tight, shin pain, and fatigue. Landing on the heels leads to overstriding or taking steps that are longer than necessary. This wastes energy and can end in injury.

Even with the proper running form, injury can happen. Before getting serious about running, get cleared for exercise by a physician. Private health insurance comes with a range of coverage options, products, extras, and costs that can meet individual health needs. iSelect helps customers save time and effort comparing a range of health funds by using personal details about the reasons for the type of private insurance desired and finds options based on what matters most to customers. Compare health insurance plans with iSelect to make an informed choice and save on health insurance policies.

Choose Your Gear Wisely

Like any form of exercise, having the right gear is important to practice safe habits. Get fitted at a specialty running store to find the right pair of running shoes that fit comfortably and are the right type for the foot and running style. Comfort is key to finding running shoes, so try out a few pairs in the store and jog in them to get a feel for support and comfort.

Wear breathable socks that are snug but not too tight. Consider a sweat-wicking material to prevent bacteria, foot odor, and blisters. Try out a couple of different pairs of socks before investing in multiple pairs. Running shorts and tops made of lightweight wicking materials are also a good idea. Keeping track of resting heart rate first thing in the morning and logging daily miles run are important for tracking progress. Consider finding a watch that can track heart rate and distance.

Choose a Training Plan

Keep it simple when it comes to choosing a training plan. A maintainable plan includes training three days a week with cross-training on off-days. Run at a conversational pace with regular walk breaks for 20-30 minutes twice a week and take a longer 40-60 minute run once a week. Supplement a running training plan with other activities like cycling, swimming, elliptical trainer, or any other complimentary aerobic exercises. Cross-training balances different muscle groups to prevent overuse injuries, and it prevents getting bored with the same routine.