Running for Beginners 101

Beginning a running routine can be a healthy decision! But you may not know where to start. Here are some tips to consider before you get started.

Make the Decision

You will probably never succeed in your efforts if you wait until you have time, or consider your running routine optional every day. In order to begin an effective routine, it’s important to decide you’re really going to do it. Set aside a particular time each day and stick to it. Obviously, some circumstances may occur that cause you to skip or miss your daily routine, just like you have to miss work or school sometimes. The point is that you’ve made the overarching commitment.

Start Slowly

Sources suggest that you focus more on the time you spend running rather than the number of miles. At first, try running gently for 15 to 20 minutes about three times per week. If you have to take walking breaks, go ahead; you’ll at least be running for some or most of that time period. As you get stronger, you can start skipping the walking breaks.

The Proper Gear

It’s tempting to pooh-pooh the idea of needing specialized gear for running. After all, can’t you just throw on your old tennis shoes or sneakers and go for it? Actually, having the right shoe can make the difference between running success and failure, pleasure and torture. The right gear helps protect joints and prevent injury. Here are some pieces of equipment to consider:

* Proper running shoes that you have tried on and tested in the store. A store that specializes in athletic shoe wear is probably your best bet, but if cost is an issue, you can get away with a more generic shoe as long as it has good arch support and feels good on your foot.

* For women, a good sports bra can help increase the comfort level of a running workout. A cotton and spandex blend helps keep you cool and draws moisture away from the body. Like the shoes, the bra should be well-fitted and comfortable.

* Cotton t-shirts and loose shorts are good for warm weather running, and sweat pants and sweat shirts work for colder weather. Some sources note that synthetic fabrics are a better choice than cotton for hot weather. Dress in layers if you run in the cold, putting on a base layer, insulating layer, and the outer layer that is meant to protect you from the wind and weather. Wearing a thermal hat is also recommended.

* Socks should be comfortable, soft and thin. Some experts recommend white socks only to prevent skin irritation that may occur when sweat combines with fabric dyes and enters broken skin.

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