Starting to run (for beginners)

There is a lot of people that turn to running shoes to get their daily exercise, and for good reason.

  • You don’t have to pay for a gym
  • You get some much-needed vitamin D
  • You will probably loose weight or at least get more toned
  • It is actually good for you knees
  • You can do it almost any time, anywhere.
  • It is fantastic for you heart.
  • It lowers blood pressure.
  • It is a great antidepressant.

As someone that is brand new to running or exercise there are a couple of things, that can come in very handy.

  • Be Realistic

You will not become Usain Bolt or Bruce Fordyce in one week.  Take it slow or you just might injure yourself.  The best way to approach this is by deciding beforehand how many days you will exercise in a week and how long an exercise routine should last.  For a beginner, it is recommended to exercise three times a week for 30 minutes.  Stick with this for at least one month before changing.

  • Don’t forget your warm-up

You are new to exercise and it is best to have a warm up routine in place so that you don’t hurt yourself.  If you don’t know how to warm up you can ask most people at the club or ask a personal trainer.

Image result for warmup

  • Get proper running shoes

This might sound like an expensive and unnecessary tip, But believe me it might be the most important thing for a new runner.  We have two very good shops in the Cape that will look at your running style and then suggest the best shoes for you in order to prevent injuries.  It is worth your while to visit Run in Bree street or The Sweat Shop.

  • You might want to download C25K on your phone, it is an app to help you run your first 5km by starting you off with easy walk/run intervals.


  • Walk

We all started with run walk intervals, remember you are trying to get fit you are not fit yet; so give you body a break.

  • Track you runs

This will give your insight into your progress, I use my Garmin watch but you can use the Mapmyfitness on your cell phone, you will also get other interesting information like how far you went, elevation, time, your pace and how much calories you burned. They also have challenges that helps keep me motivated.

  • Get some good socks

Your feet will take a lot of pounding and they will be sweaty, you don’t want to run in cotton socks that retain moister.

  • Eat before and after a run

Everyone is different when it comes to food, you do want to get in some carbs, protein and fat about 1 to 2 hours before your run and then have something after your run to help with recovery.  Just remember to keep an eye on you calorie intake.

  • Don’t stretch before your run

Studies have shown that static stretching doesn’t prevent injury and might also negatively impact your performance during the run itself. Just don’t.

  • Don’t skip on rest days

Think of days off as part of your training.

To get stronger and fitter and become a better runner, you need to recover from your workouts so you can get back out there and crush it again tomorrow or the next day. Start out by running two or three days per week and getting plenty of rest in between. Doing lighter activity like restorative yoga or taking a bike ride is great for off days, too.

  • Take is slow

As a new runner it is in your best interest to take it slow, not only is it better for you body and heart you will get running fit sooner.  80% of you training should be in the slow comfortable range.

  • Do some strength training

Not only will this help prevent injuries it will also make you faster.  Spend just 10 to 15 minutes a day doing body-weight exercises like, calf raises and squats.

  • You pace and mileage is less important than consistency.

Rather focus on running upright with your shoulders a bit back.  Try to land mid-foot with your foot underneath your body and your knee slightly bend.

  • Drink water
  • Join a running club

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