Believe it or not, in this article “Running for Beginners ” I mean to say that everyone is a runner. Too often, I find people saying, ” I’m not a runner. I’m just not mean to run. No, I’ve tried it before – trust me, I just can’t.”
Sometimes they might even say, “I know I need to run, but I hate it. Isn’t there another way to do cardio?”
Well, I have news for you. You actually can run. Trust me. Even more surprising – you will enjoy it. I know you think I’m crazy but stay with me here.
Our bodies are designed to run. From our gaunt stance to our S-shaped spine that arcs forward, and even to the extent that we have instincts when in danger all enabling us to do one thing – run!
Over time, we have become much more sedentary and we feel more comfortable in a chair or even worse in bed. Though, if we gradually find our roots, we will all find that our body is much more comfortable when we let nature takes its course and let our feet slap the ground to feel the rush we all know as the runners’ high.
So today I have a proposition for you. Summer is right around the corner and it’s the perfect time for you to learn how to run. This guide will teach you how to go from a walk/jog that you hate to a beautiful stride anyone would admire.
My typical client has already tried some form of running and they’ve failed miserably, gotten injured, or discouraged from a combination of the two. If you follow this guide step by step, your friends and colleagues will consider you a full-fledged runner in 10 weeks flat.
Running Tips For Beginners: 3 Tips
You’re just going to have to trust me in these first two weeks. Remember, we’re going to retrain your brain to like to run. That means we have to get our feet wet. This week, I want you to go all out and treat yourself like you’re a runner. Too often people will procrastinate buying nice running shoes or the appropriate attire until they consider themselves a runner. This is completely backward. By the time you actually are a runner, you’ll have developed poor form due to your inadequate tools. So first thing this week, we’re going to order some new gear.
Having the right shoes will allow your feet to flex in the proper wait and give you the opportunity to build a strong stride. In our shoes, we want to watch out for manufacturer’s schemes to make us buy something we don’t really need. You want to make sure the front of the shoe has tread really high up. There is a big difference between a walking shoe and a running too. I often see new runners picking up the wrong shoe and it ruins their knees from day 1.
You’ll also want to make sure the shoe is light. Though, it can be too light. We’re looking for a shoe 7-9oz. Anything less and you’re putting a lot of pressure on your body. Anything more and you’re carrying more weight than you need to and we definitely don’t want that!
Last, we want to get the proper width. The skinnier the better. The difference between a cross-trainer and a running shoe is that the cross trainer is great for motion side to side. As we’re trying to eliminate motion side to side, we will get a shoe specifically for running that is designed solely for going forward and backward. Those of you who waddle as you walk will find that it is difficult to use these at first. That is a good thing – you will be relying on new muscles which, over time, will become stronger and help you develop better form. With this in mind, only use your running shoes for running. Cross-training with running shoes is an easy way to provoke injuries as they provide little ankle support.
With clothing, it is more important to go with something lightweight, breathable, and comfortable over anything else. No, sweatpants aren’t allowed. I know you aren’t comfortable with your body, but those sweatpants will create bad habits in your form and are quite depressing as your time never improves since you are carrying so much weight! The goal is to eliminate as many bottlenecks in our training as possible.
When I say lightweight, these are going to be the lightest clothes you’ve ever worn. Windbreakers are too heavy. If you are running fast enough then the windbreaker will make you too hot. We want to strive for a material that is only one layer on our legs. For cold mornings, it is ok to wear long pants. Anything above 60 degrees and you should be wearing running shorts like the ones I’ve provided. I know you don’t like your legs. Just give me 10 weeks, remember?
Flexible means that the seams aren’t in the same place as other clothes. There aren’t zippers, buttons, or pockets on them that will allow you to rub against or restrict your movement. Some clothes that are considered for runners are actually meant to be worn before or after a run. Make sure you don’t mistake these for the clothes you actually run in.
Comfortability means you are comfortable mentally and physically with what you’re wearing. Every new runner feels a little goofy in their lightweight clothes that don’t cover their soft spots, so don’t make yourself 100% comfortable mentally.
You’ll also want to apply the same rules to your underwear. For men, this means proper support with a little bit of spandex in the material. For women, a sports bra that is both flexible and breathable is important.
This seems like an insignificant piece of your gear, but I find it a hindrance if not addressed. Too many runners carry around a clunky iPod or music player that they hold in their hands. This messes up your form tremendously and is a big no-no. Invest in an mp3 player such as the iPod Nano and get an armband. You don’t want to be holding something in your hand the entire time you are running.