6 Things Every Beginning Runner Wants to Know

@annaelisabethsmith via Twenty20

Running is one of the most fun, social, stress relieving sports out there. Whether you are meeting with friends or clearing your own head, veteran runners know, it can be easy to throw on a pair of shoes and head out the door to go for a run.

For new runners, it can be overwhelming. How do you begin? Where? When? What time? Is there is a good and bad way to run? What do you wear? What is the best shoe?

Like anything new, beginner problems and issues are addressed with time.

Here is a brief cheat sheet with some of the most common problems and issues that will pop up.

Running shoes are the most important

The most critical piece of equipment for the sport of running is shoes. There is no best-running shoe, but there is the best shoe for you. You cannot pick based on color or style.

The most significant piece of advice for new or even veteran runners is go get fitted for shoes at a running specialty store. Even seasoned runners’ feet change!

What is that?

It’s a store owned and staffed by runners. The salespeople know shoes and the running industry.

They will be able to fit your feet for what is most appropriate. Do you need more or less arch support? A cushioned shoe? A wide width? They will tell you what your feet need.

Trusting them is important. Don’t be afraid to try a size you’ve never worn before. Outside of shoes, running stores usually have advice on running groups, training plans, and the local running scene.

What kind of gadgets and gear do you need?

What do you need? As mentioned, the most important and essential piece of running gear is a good pair of shoes (for you), but there are plenty of other pieces of equipment that can enhance the running experience.

A running store should have most of them such as:

  • Foam rollers to relieve sore muscles
  • Fancy running clothing that keep you warm, dry, or protects you from the wind.
  • Moisture-wicking socks (if you get blisters)
  • GPS watches

And that is just a few things. There is always something new and exciting to try out in the running world.

Running never gets easier, but you get stronger

One of the most cliché sayings, however, it’s true. New runners often expect they’ll feel great all of the time. I wish that was true, as I’m still waiting for it!

Runners from the newest runner to the most elite, occasionally still suffer from lack of motivation or from running being exhausting. Sore muscles happen to everyone!

If you are beginning running, it’s important to survey how you feel. Don’t be afraid to take an extra rest day, stretch, or take an ice bath.

Remember that severe injuries often start as little aches or pains and resting your body can save weeks or even months of rehab!

Is there a right place to run?

Running is a beautiful sport because it’s very personalized of what you want to do. The basic is there is no right or wrong spot to run. Some people like running on the roads, others on the treadmill.

Experiment with different places including road, treadmill, track, and trails. Find the places and routes you like the best. Running is no good if you don’t enjoy it but remember to stay safe.

Do what works for you

Running is so individualized, and we all run at different times and for various reasons. There is no right or wrong time. Experiment and figure out what you like the best.

A few things to experiment with are:

  • Where you run
  • Time you run
  • Running with groups vs. running alone

At the end of the day, safety is most important

The most important thing you can do for yourself is to stay safe and protected. This includes using lights and reflective gear at night, running against traffic, and running in areas that make you feel welcome and safe.  Running with people is always safer, but it isn’t for everyone.

Staying safe also means staying prepared for the conditions. If the weather is extremely hot, be prepared with water and gear that will keep you cool.

If there are dangerous conditions, don’t be afraid to run indoors or skip a run.

Like any activity, it takes time to figure out what works best for you!

What are some pieces of advice you would give a new runner?

Hollie Sick is an avid runner who’s completed more than 30 half marathons. Read her blog, or follow her on Facebook.

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