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How to start running: Your complete step-by-step guide

Did you know that running is one of the most accessible forms of exercise worldwide? Up to 4 out of 10 people consider themselves runners – this would add up to a stunning 3.2 billion people worldwide!

If you’ve ever contemplated starting a running routine but are not sure how, you’re in the right place.

In this guide, we’ll run you (pun intended!) through eight practical steps tailored for beginners to embark on their running journey. 

From setting achievable goals to perfecting your running form and enjoying the mental and physical benefits, we’ve got you covered. 

So, let’s take that first step together towards a fitter, more vibrant you. Ready to get started? Let’s goooo!

Step #1 – Get the right gear

Getting the right gear is essential to fully immerse yourself in the world of running. 

Start with the basics: comfortable running shoes that fit your feet snugly, sports socks to prevent blisters, and breathable shorts or jogging pants. 

Opt for a sports top, ideally high visibility, to stay seen during low-light runs.

As you progress, consider additional gear like running trackers to monitor your performance, sunglasses to protect your eyes, running belts to carry essentials. 

You can also pick up a cap for sun protection, a water bottle to stay hydrated, a running jacket depending on the weather. Even consider a headlamp for evening or early morning runs. 

Step #2 – Decide where or how you will run

The first decision to make on your running journey is where you’ll get your jog on: indoors or outdoors. 

Both options have their merits, so choose what suits you best. 

If you opt for indoor running, consider investing in a treadmill. Or, join a gym that as these usually have a room dedicated to treadmills and bikes.

If you love the outdoors and feel comfortable starting there, find a running route that you enjoy and is easily accessible. 

Whether you choose city streets, scenic trails, or a local park, make sure it’s a place you look forward to visiting. 

Remember, there’s no definitive “better” choice on this one – it’s all about personal preference and practicality.

Step #3 – Build your run into your routine

Running should complement, not complicate, your daily routine. To make sure that you keep it up, figure out how to integrate it seamlessly into your schedule. 

Whether it’s a morning jog before work or an evening run to wind down, find a time that suits you best and stick to it consistently. 

Avoid making running a chore; instead, see it as a fun, enjoyable part of your daily life!

Step #4 – Start running!

Now that you have the gear and a plan in place, it’s time to lace up those running shoes. 

Begin with short distances, like .05 or 1 kilometer, to ease your body into this new activity. 

Don’t push yourself to cover long distances right away, as this can lead to muscle pain and exhaustion.

Remember, it’s okay to pause and catch your breath when needed. Pay close attention to your body’s signals during your first few runs, and don’t overexert yourself. 

You will find a safety section later in this article, but make sure to listen to your body, take a break, and see a healthcare specialist if you notice any significant pain.

And, after your run, make sure to stretch thoroughly to prevent stiffness and injury.

Step #5 – Run without pausing

The next step in your running journey is to run without frequent pauses. 

Instead of tracking distance, focus on running for a set amount of time, starting with 3 to 5 minutes at a consistent pace and growing from there. 

This approach helps build endurance and stamina. 

Pay attention to your breathing pattern and aim for a steady rhythm.

Step #6 – Track your runs

Tracking is essential for monitoring your growth progress as a runner. 

Whether you prefer measuring by time or distance, keep a record of your runs. This information will help you set and achieve your running goals more effectively.

You don’t necessarily have to invest in fancy gadgets – most smartphones have an activity monitoring feature.

Step #7 – Run further Distances

As your fitness improves, challenge yourself by setting longer distance goals for your runs. 

Compare your current performance with your past records to track your progress. 

Take the time to celebrate your achievements and continue pushing your limits gradually. 

You’ll notice your hunger levels going up, so you can always reward yourself by stocking yummy snacks that don’t interfere with your running goals. 

Step #8 – Create a stretching routine and focus on your recovery

We mentioned it before but it’s worth writing it again: don’t forget the importance of post-run stretching. 

Develop a stretching routine that targets the muscles you use the most during your runs. 

This practice helps prevent injuries and maintains flexibility. Additionally, prioritize recovery by resting when needed and taking care of your body through proper nutrition and hydration.

By following these eight steps, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a confident runner that not only enjoys, but craves running. 

Keep going, and enjoy the journey towards a healthier and more active lifestyle. 

What you should know before going on your first run

It’s crucial to prioritize safety to ensure your running journey remains enjoyable and injury-free. 

Here are some essential tips to consider before you lace up those running shoes.

Visibility and traffic awareness

Whether you choose to run in the early morning or late evening, ensuring visibility is the most important thing. 

Wear high-visibility clothing or accessories, especially during low-light conditions. In other words, your clothing should be very colorful or, even better, have reflective material. 

Also remember to be aware of your surroundings, obey traffic rules, and use pedestrian crossings when necessary.

Weather considerations

Seasons can impact your running experience. 

In hot weather, stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, and run during cooler times of the day. 

During the colder months, layer your clothing to stay warm, and be cautious of icy or slippery surfaces. 

In other words, always remember to adapt your sports clothing to the weather conditions to remain comfortable and safe.

Proper form and stretching

Running with improper form can lead to long-term injuries and unnecessary pain. 

Focus on maintaining good posture and a steady rhythm to prevent strain on your muscles and joints. And don’t forget to stretch! (last time, promise!)

Frequently asked questions about running

It’s common to have questions as a beginner runner. Here are some FAQs for new runners.

Should I warm up?

Warming up before your run is not mandatory, but it can be beneficial. A warm-up routine can help prepare your muscles for the upcoming exercise, reduce the risk of injury, and improve overall performance. If you choose not to warm up, start your run at a light pace to gradually increase your intensity. 

How should I feel during my run?

During your run, you should aim for a comfortable balance and even pace. You may experience a moderate level of tiredness and your heart rate should go up, but you should not feel extreme pain or discomfort.

How Should I breathe during my run?

Proper breathing is essential for an efficient run. Remember, your breathing will get more difficult, so you should make an effort to balance it out. 

Focus on rhythmic breathing that matches your stride. Try not to inhale through your mouth. Instead, inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. A good way to start is to follow the 2-2 pattern – take two short breaths through your nose and exhale through your mouth twice at the same pace. 

To Wrap Up

Congratulations, you’ve reached the finish line of your beginner’s guide to running! 

We’ve covered the essential steps to kickstart your running journey, emphasized safety measures to keep you on the right track, and answered common questions to ensure a smooth ride.

Remember, every step counts, whether you’re lacing up your running shoes for the first time or embarking on a new challenge. Running is a journey of self-discovery, improved fitness, and mental clarity. So, go out there, enjoy the fresh air, and keep those feet moving!

And speaking of moving, don’t forget to fuel your runs with a nutritious snack. Discover the perfect companion to your active lifestyle at PowerYou – our savory meat sticks are packed with high-quality Austrian meat, the ideal energy boost for your running adventures. 

Stay fit and energized with PowerYou, remember to follow us on social and sign up to our newsletter to get new content delivered straight to your inbox. 

See you on the next blog!