Running is growing as a sport for every person, regardless of athletic ability or goals. Running is a sport that doesn’t require anything an ordinary person can’t learn. Formal running groups may be organized by sports stores and can be comprised of experts and beginners, giving new runners access to veteran advice. Informal groups can be as simple as a group of friends. There are races for serious runners, which may be an excellent long-term goal as a runner starts out. They are also races that are laid back and perfect for beginners. It is great as a solo sport, if a runner would rather be alone instead of in a crowd. It can also be a way to make new friends, by either joining an established group or making a new one. Running is a relatively easy sport to get into and here are a few things a beginner may need to know to get started running.
1. What’s the Very First Step?
A: Start with a good pair of shoes, which will keep a runner from injury and subsequently quitting. It’s tempting to go for something cute or a color that catches the eye. Price can be a factor as well. A good pair of shoes shouldn’t break the budget, but it can be worth it to go with something a little bit pricier and some extra features. A running store expert can help match runner and shoe.
2. Do I Need Special Clothing?
A. Beyond shoes, dress in what will make the run comfortable. Prepare for all types of weather with light jackets, long sleeved shirts, tank tops, shorts, socks and pants. Clothing made of wicking material especially for sports can be helpful, but whatever is lying about the house that won’t cause chafing or blistering is the way to go when just beginning. This is especially true since a beginning runner may not be completely ready to invest in the sport.
3. Where Can I Run?
A: This is one of the appeals of the sport. No gym membership is required. There’s no need for special equipment. Many communities have walking paths around parks and throughout towns. Beginning runners may feel more comfortable on the pavement, but don’t forget about natural areas and hiking trails. If the outdoors is not an option due to location or safety, a treadmill can be a sound investment. This has the added benefit of not being time sensitive.
4. How Much Should I Run?
A: It’s tempting to just take off, but new runners should take it slow. It is recommended to start with 1-3 miles approximately 2-3 times a week. With consistent practice, it should only take a few weeks to be ready to increase the distance by about 10%. Two run days can be special training days such as hills or speed work, but one day should be dedicated to a long run at a slow, easy pace.
5. How Do I Stay Safe?
A: At some point, a runner may be outside, maybe even on a road. Sometimes the only time available to run is early morning or late at night. A reflective vest can be an inexpensive start. Blinking LED clips can be added to belts or even shoes to alert motorists. Small headlamps can light the way and most even have a blinking option as well. Remember to run against traffic so you are more easily seen.
6. Should I Sign Up For Races?
A: Races have undergone a transformation in the last decade. Racing used to be for superior athletes who trained for years to run for miles and miles. Nowadays, many races have themes like popular books or encourage running in costumes. Many races feature no time limits. With the popularity of the internet, virtual runs are available for runners who don’t feel comfortable in crowds. Signing up for a race can be a great goal to have.
With a little bit of money, time and preparation, anyone can begin running. It can be an easy way to improve health and make new friends. Begin carefully and slowly and running can be a sport to last a lifetime.
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