If you are thinking about running, you might wonder if it’s difficult to start running. I’m happy to say that running is a low barrier to entry activity – all you really need is a pair of shoes to get started. Starting to run can be nerve-racking, but it’s also exciting! Here’s a brief overview of where to start when beginning running. Running can take some time to become accustomed to – be patient with yourself! Just like with any new activity, there’s an adjustment period. This can leave new runners feeling frustrated, thinking they aren’t making progress. The good news? Beginning with your first run, your body is improving its oxygen delivery systems – preparing you for more efficient running as you develop as a runner. Three recommendations for beginning a running program include assessing your current fitness level, getting fitted for running shoes, and finding some enjoyable places to run.
Current fitness level
Many people start running because they want to improve their physical fitness level. Running is great because it allows you to start at your own pace! You can begin where you feel comfortable and increase the intensity accordingly. It can be intimidating to begin a new activity, be patient with yourself and build up slowly. A great general place to start once you are able to walk for 20 minutes is to increase to a 1:3 ratio of running to walking. With consistency and a little bit of structure you can begin developing your running ability. A coach can assist you in developing a build-up program to safely increase your mileage/time running.
Getting fit for appropriate running shoes is a great first step when starting to run. Your local running specialty store is a great place to start! Staffed with runners, knowledgeable about different shoes and gait patterns, running specialty stores are a great resource when buying a pair of running shoes. Quality running shoes not only support your feet and ankles, they can assist in maintaining proper alignment protecting your knees and hips while you run.
Enjoyable places to run
Paths and roads are common places people run. Paved paths are a great place to begin running. They offer a clear path for you to run at your own pace and for your own distance. They offer a nice place for you to begin running without the stress of traffic. Road running is also popular, but it is important to be mindful of traffic. If running on the road in the dark, consider reflective clothing or a light. Would you prefer a more natural setting? Explore a local trail system! There are many great, accessible trails within local park systems that can be a great place to start when starting to run.
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