Running is one of the best forms of exercise that you can perform. Not only is it beneficial to your physical health, but your mental health, as well. These tips to start running again can help you safely ease back into your running routine. If you’re a novice, you should apply these tips to your running program from the get-go.
Most of these tips are essential to a healthy running routine, while others will help you tough it out mentally. Running is not just a physical exercise, but a mental challenge as well. You need to push yourself, but don’t forget to listen to your body. It’s not always easy, but with consistency, comes progress. When it comes to an exercise regimen, it must be sustainable to be worth it. Following these tips will make it as easy and enjoyable as possible, making long term success much more likely.
Related: 10 Reasons Running is Good for You
10 Tips to Start Running Again
1. Follow a Training Schedule
Following a training schedule will help you progress safely and effectively. We don’t recommend that you just start running. You’ll end up injured, exhausted, or completely burnt out. It takes time to build stamina and endurance.
It’s important to utilize a training schedule that integrates cross-training. Cross-training incorporates weight lifting as well as other forms of cardiovascular exercise, such as: walking, jogging, aerobics, swimming, and cycling. Swapping out exercises will keep you fresh and help you to become a better runner.
Read our Guide to Starting a Running Program or try this Running Program for Absolute Beginners
2. Get Fitted for the Perfect Running Shoe
I cannot emphasize enough, how important it is to have good running shoes. The perfect running shoe will act as an extension of yourself, offering support and comfort. A good pair of running shoes will protect you from unnecessary injury and fatigue. Check out out our guide on How to Choose the Right Running Shoe. Bonus tip: Once you find the shoe that is right for you, try to get ahold of last year’s version to save some money!
3. Build Yourself an AWESOME Running Playlist
Nothing gets you started and keeps you going like an awesome, upbeat running playlist. If you lack energy and motivation, put in those earbuds, turn up the volume, and hit the pavement!
Listen to one (or all) of our handpicked, running playlists:
4. Properly Fuel-Up and Hydrate
You wouldn’t try to drive your car on an empty tank, so why would you try to run on one?! Properly fueling up before a run will provide you with the energy that you need to get it done. Check out these 15 Best Energy Foods for Running. Your body requires food after your run, as well. Try these Top Super Foods for Workout Recovery.
It’s no secret that you need to drink water. When you’re participating in a running program, you need to drink even more. Staying hydrated will keep your muscles functioning at their very best, so that you can run faster, longer. Train yourself to drink water more often by taking the 30-Day 8X8 Water Challenge!
5. Avoid Static Stretching; Use a Dynamic Warm-Up Instead
Studies have shown that static stretching before a workout can actually be detrimental to your performance. Dynamic stretches warm-up and stretch your muscles, while also improving joint mobility. Decrease your risk of injury and try the Dynamic Stretching Video in our article, Which Warm-Up is Best for You?
6. Focus on Improving Form
Maintaining proper form while running is essential to avoiding injury and setbacks. When your muscles are firing as they should, running will feel effortless and more importantly, pain-free! Not sure what proper form looks like? Check out How to Have Proper Running Form.
7. Pace Yourself
Walk before you run. We’re not only referring to the beginning of the program, but you should always start out with a walking warm-up (after dynamic stretching). This will get your blood flowing and muscles ready to run. A good way to improve your running skills is to practice interval training. You can utilize walking, jogging, and running intervals to increase your endurance. As running begins to feel easier, you can walk less and run more!
Related: Set Pace to Get the Most out of Your Workout
8. Sign up for a Race
When it comes to motivation, signing up for a race is an excellent way to stay focused. An approaching race day will keep you honest (and consistent). You can sign up for a 1-mile fun run, 5k, 10k, half-marathon, or even a full marathon, just be sure to give yourself enough time to train! Are you ready to sign up for your first race? Do it today! Check out these related articles…
9. Join a Running Group
This is just another way to stay motivated and on track! We always recommend finding at least one workout partner or accountability buddy, regardless of what form of exercise you’re participating in. Just knowing that you have someone depending on you to workout, will keep you from skipping. Read How to Get Motivated to Lose Weight & Stay Inspired for more motivational tips!
10. Don’t Skip Your Rest Days
No matter what training program you choose, they will all include rest days. These days are not optional, they’re as much a part of the process as your training days. Your body requires rest in order to function at 100%. If you want to do something on your rest days, try these 10 essential Stretches for Runners and then take it easy! You’ve earned it!
These tips to start running again will get you back into the groove. When you begin a running routine, you will notice that you feel healthier, happier and more focused. Remember, everyone has to start somewhere. You can start out slow and gradually work up to running! If you stay consistent, you WILL succeed!
What did you think of our tips to start running again? Which one was your favorite? Do you have one that we left out? Let us know in the comment section, below!