For many people, running is an important part of everyday life. However, if you’re just starting out on your running journey, then you probably have some questions!
More than that, you might be struggling a little bit and in need of some help.
It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been running for years, or if you’re just starting up. Chances are, there are a few tips that you could still do with hearing! Sure, this article is aimed at anyone starting out, but anyone we can help is a win!
So, if you need some tips for breathing, pacing, and much more, just stick around. We’ll go over some handy things to know in the sections below.
10 Running Tips For Beginners – Breathing, Pacing, And More!
1. Run At A Time That Suits You!
Why this is important: If you try to force yourself to run at times that don’t actually suit you, guess what?
You won’t be running for very long! A lot of people like to run early in the morning, but this can be different depending on your personal circumstances.
How to do it: Consider what time you have to work, or anything else you have to do.
Find a slot of free time when you can fit a run in, and stick to it! It’s great if you can pick a time that you know will be safe. In other words, the route should be well-lit and populated, unless you have a running partner or group.
Forest trails are beautiful, but they come with their own set of dangers.
2. Breathe Through Your Nose
Why this is important: Breathing through the nose is usually the preferred method of breathing. Not only does it help clean the air before it gets to the lungs, but it also increases diaphragmatic function, among other things.
However, in sprinting scenarios, breathing through your mouth will be beneficial as more oxygen is required.
How to do it: Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth when you are able to. Don’t try to force this if you’re doing more high-intensity workouts, though!
3. Breathe Rhythmically
Why this is important: Rhythmic breathing puts less strain on your body and actually lets you take in more oxygen! Alternate your exhales by timing them with your left and right foot landing.
This will prevent muscular imbalances and result in less stress on one side of the body.
How to do it: simply time your exhales so that they alternate with your left and right foot as it comes into contact with the ground.
You can follow either a 3:2 or 2:1 breathing pattern to help you breathe better.
The 3:2 pattern calls you to inhale for three foot strikes, then exhale for two/ The 2:1 pattern is great for faster paces, and calls for you to inhale for two foot strikes, then exhale for just one.
4. Run More Even Splits
Why this is important: Too many people start their run too fast and run out of steam halfway through.
Start your run slow and allow your body to warm up before speeding up. A longer warm-up period is recommended for short races, so pick your warm-up period carefully!
How to do it: This will depend on how long your run is, but just start slow instead of sprinting off and running out of energy too quickly.
5. Use The Treadmill To Help With Pacing
Why this is important: Treadmills can be amazing tools to help you figure out pacing! They will let you know what specific paces feel like, so you can imitate it while out running.
You will probably notice that you’ve been trying to achieve a pace that’s way too fast, so it’s a learning experience!
How to do it: Just find a treadmill (you might have to visit your local gym) and get running! Set the pace to something achievable and just keep going.
Since it can be a boring experience, don’t shy away from making use of music and the dreaded incline. It will create great muscle memory.
6. Avoid Grey Zone Running (Run Interval Workouts)
Why this is important: Don’t call into the grey zone of running! This is when we find a pace we’re comfortable with and just stick to it.
Be sure to vary your pace and get some interval workout in there, or else you won’t be getting the full benefit of the workout.
How to do it: Run interval workouts by doing running and walking intervals, as well as faster paces and uphill sprints. It sounds awful, but it’s so beneficial for our bodies!
7. Always Warm Up And Cool Down
Why this is important: Failing to warm up can result in injuries like strains, and not cooling down can cause dizziness and make your heart rate take longer to return to normal. Both are equally important and will make your next run more pleasant if you always do it.
How to do it: Start with stretches and a brisk walk to warm up to get your muscles moving and ready. After completing your run, cool down by walking and stretching again.
8. Plan Your Runs Beforehand
Why this is important: Don’t set off with no route in mind! We all like to live life on the edge, but having a planned route (and letting your friends and family know about it) helps keep you on track but also safe.
Planning a route is a good way of giving yourself a small goal to achieve, and you can work towards improving your time as you run more.
How to do it: Take a look at Google Maps (or any other mapping device you might have), and figure out where you want to go! Keep it relatively short at first, and you can slowly extend it as you get used to it. Map out a route that you can follow.
9. Wear The Right Shoes!
Why this is important: if you don’t take the time to get the right pair of running trainers, then you won’t be running for even half the time. Your shoes need to be comfortable from the get-to, and add that much-needed support.
No one is going to feel like getting back out there if they know that their own shoes are going to be too painful to bear. They might be pricey, but they’re an investment.
How to do it: If you can, online shopping could be a great option! However, trying on the shoes is often the best call, so try a pair in-store to make sure they’re the perfect fit.
10. Start Slow
Why this is important: If you throw yourself into the deep end and force yourself to run too fast for too long, you’re not going to want to do it again.
Take it easy, and stay in tune with your body. Not only will it be hard to enjoy, but there’s a good chance that you will also end up hurting yourself. That would set you back even more, so take it slow!
How to do it: If you aren’t used to exercising at all, start by going for walks. Gradually work your way up to a run and do some intervals to build yourself up to it. Listen to your body, because it will let you know if something is wrong!
- Goal setting – set yourself short-term and long-term goals.
- Try some running challenges – a running challenge is a great way to push yourself safely!
- Prepare your mind for running – getting your body to move is only half the challenge.
- Try using a metronome – this can help you with pacing.
- Use the talk test – the talk test can help you be more in tune with your body.
- Try different breathing methods – a different method might work better for you!
- Get a good sports bra – this is a must for any woman who intends to start running.
- Know that you will feel a little sore – pain in the form of stiffness is common, don’t sweat it.
- It’s not the end of the world if you miss a day – you haven’t ruined everything by missing a day.
- Slow down if you’re struggling – listen to your body and slow down if you can feel that you’re pushing yourself too far.
- Don’t run every day – especially if you’re just starting out. This can do a lot more harm than good.
- Walking breaks aren’t cheating – if you’re walking, you’re still moving. Sometimes you just need it.
- Don’t rely on the distance at first – only start looking at the distance you’re running when you start to be more comfortable.
There are an impossible number of tips and tricks that we could talk about, but we only have time for a few! The most important thing to remember is that everyone is different, and something that works for all your friends might not necessarily work for you.
Try out the tips given in this article and see how you do with your running journey after implementing them!