A Beginner’s Guide To Running

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Running is an incredibly accessible and effective form of exercise. Whether you’re looking to improve your fitness, drop a few pounds, or simply enjoy the outdoors, running can be a great choice.

Here’s a beginner’s guide to help you start your running journey safely and effectively.

Getting Started

Check Your Health

Before starting any new exercise regimen, it’s a good idea to check with your healthcare provider, especially if you have any existing health conditions.

Wear the Right Gear

Invest in a good quality pair of running shoes. Good footwear is essential to prevent injuries and provide comfort, so visit a specialist running store where experts can help you find shoes that work for your foot type and running style. Also, choose comfortable, moisture-wicking clothing to keep you dry and reduce the risk of chafing. It is also a good idea to buy Bearhug knee supports for running to help drive blood flow and aid recovery in areas that work hard when running.

Setting Goals

Set Goals You Can Achieve

Setting achievable goals is important to keep motivated. Start with small, attainable targets, like running for a certain amount of time or covering a specific distance. As you progress, gradually increase your goals.

Create a Plan

A structured plan helps maintain consistency. Beginners often find success with the “Couch to 5K” (C25K) programme, which gradually increases running time over several weeks. These programmes typically involve a mix of running and walking, making it easier to build stamina without overexertion.

Warming Up and Cooling Down


Always start with a warm-up to get your muscles ready and lessen the risk of injury. A good warm-up includes 5-10 minutes of walking or gentle jogging, followed by dynamic stretches like leg swings and arm circles.

Cool Down

After your run, cool down with a 5-10 minute walk followed by static stretches. This helps prevent muscle stiffness and improves flexibility.

Running Technique

Focus on Form

Decent running form can help you run more efficiently and reduce injury risk. Keep your head up, shoulders relaxed, and arms at a 90-degree angle, swinging them naturally. Aim to land mid-foot, and keep your strides short and quick.


Breathe deeply and rhythmically. Beginners often benefit from a 2:2 breathing pattern – inhale for two steps and exhale for two steps. This can help regulate your breathing and keep a steady pace.

Building Endurance

Start Slow

Don’t worry about speed initially. Focus on building endurance by running at a conversational pace. This means you should be able to talk comfortably without gasping for breath.

Progress Gradually

Increase your running duration and intensity gradually. Follow the 10% rule: never increase your weekly mileage by more than 10% to avoid injury.

Staying Motivated

Get a Running Buddy

Running with a friend can make the experience more fun and keep you accountable. If you prefer running solo, consider joining a local running group or online community for support and encouragement.

Track Your Progress

Use a running app or journal to log your runs. Keeping track on your progress helps you stay motivated and see improvements over time.

Safety Tips

Stay Hydrated

Drink water before, during, and after your run, especially in hot weather. Being hydrated is crucial for performance and recovery.

Listen to Your Body

Pay attention to how your body feels. It’s normal to have some muscle soreness, but sharp pain or persistent discomfort may indicate an injury. Rest if needed and consult a healthcare professional if pain persists.

Be Visible

If you’re running in low-light conditions, wear reflective gear or a headtorch to ensure you’re seen by others – especially drivers.

Enjoy the Journey

Running can be a rewarding journey that boosts your mental health and overall well-being. Remember, every runner started as a beginner, so be patient with yourself, follow the advice outlined above, and celebrate your progress along the way.

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