While most of our customers at the Rye Running Company are experience runners, or at least folks who have been around the block or two (so to speak), we get a fair amount of people who come in telling us that they’ve never run before but that they’d like to.
“But I don’t know how to get started…” they say.
If this sounds like you, you’ve come to the right place! Depending on your current level of fitness, you might be able to start a little more advanced, but there are some basics to start running.
1. Get fitted with shoes. You might think that you should run before you invest in shoes, but this is a bad idea! Often people running in very unsupportive shoes and they don’t get very far before they get injured. Getting injured is definitely going to prevent you from wanting to run! You’ll keep injuries at bay while you improve your fitness by buying quality shoes that fit the mechanics of your feet. How do you do that? Why you come into the Rye Running Company, of course!
2. Start slow and short. Many new runners think they have to be super fast to be a “runner.” But increase speed often leads to injuries, which is a no-no! You don’t have to go any faster than is comfortable, and slower is often better. If you find yourself huffing and puffing, slow down. If you keep at it, eventually your fitness level will start to increase. With distance, don’t go too far too quickly. Start with a half mile or a mile and build up, never increasing more than 10% every week.
3. Take walking breaks. There is no shame in walking while you get started with running. Taking walking breaks is perfectly normal and healthy and even marathon runners do it! Several marathon training programs, like the ones from Hal Higdon and Jeff Galloway, advocate walking breaks, especially at the beginning of your training. You’ll notice that as your cardiovascular capacity improves, your ability to run longer and faster improves as well. If you need some guidance, check out the Couch 2 5K program, available on your mobile device, which will prompt you how often to walk and run.
4. Have good form. While everyone runs a little different, there are elements to good form that will make it a little easy. Keep your elbows down at your waist, unclench your fists,and keep your head up and your shoulders down. Try to relax your upper body, as tightening your muscles expends more energy than necessary.
5. Wear good clothing. You’ll also be more comfortable running if you wear the right kind of clothes. Moisture wicking technical fibers in everything from tanks to capris to your socks will keep you dry and comfortable throughout your run. For the winter, you’ll want long-sleeve shirts and jackets than insulate your heat to keep your warm, while also stay dry with good ventilation.
And remember: it’s never too late to start running! By being smart and starting slow, you can make running a regular habit it stay fit and healthy for years to come. Come by the store any time to talk to one of our educated and experienced staff. We love running!