As someone who never saw themselves as athletic, running seemed like a scary feat. I had a lot of friends in high school who ran track or cross country and I was a bit jealous that I couldn’t run the way they could. I figured it was genetic or that I just wasn’t meant for it.
I used to get to the treadmill and feel nervous every time I started running and now six years later I am as comfortable as ever. I promise no matter where you’re at, or how you feel about your athletic ability, once you consider these running tips you’ll be reaching a 5k in no time with confidence, self-love, and strength!
1. Comfortable Running Gear
What you wear is truly up to you and you may find what works best by just getting outside and running bit by bit. I find that I usually like tight-fitting tops that won’t slide around when I’m running and pants that cinch at my waist so they won’t fall down with movement. Shoes, on the other hand, are a different issue. I have used Nike running shoes and they work just fine but can hurt your feet and go into retirement quite a bit earlier than other running shoes.
If you’re running every day or for long miles, I would suggest going to a specific running gear store and talking with a salesperson there on helping you find the right shoes for you! Back to fashionable running clothes though, I really love Gymshark’s Geo Mesh Leggings in black because they have a pocket running down the leg that I can put my car keys or phone in when running outside! Not to mention they’re cute and shape your legs nicely!
2. Start With Your Goals
Start by setting your intentions with the desires and goals you have for yourself. It may be bringing positivity into your life, confidence, inner and outer strength or it could be to get healthier overall! You’ll bring the most success and self-motivation through the goals you set for each run or just in general when it comes to running. It’ll help you challenge yourself, get faster, and grow your endurance over time!
3. Take It Slow
Some days may be harder or more tiring than others. Try not to get down on yourself if you can’t run as far or as fast as you did yesterday! Your legs could be tired, it could be based on your energy levels and the food you are fueling your body with. By being graceful with yourself you will only add to the run by awarding your self-confidence and self-love for your body and what it is capable of.
This could also mean setting reasonable goals for your first or twentieth run! Whenever I pick up running again I try to see how long I can run before getting tired and I then slow down and walk for two minutes then run again. Of course, push yourself to run longer or faster, but also be aware of when you need to slow down.
4. Track Your Progress
The most important thing you can do to improve your running skills is tracking the progress you’re making. Whenever I run outside I use the Nike Running Club, an app that will track where you run, your time and miles, and how fast you ran at different parts of the run! You can use this app to challenge yourself with difficult runs or connect with friends and challenge them to a run!
Using an app like this or plugging your runs into the notes section on your phone will truly help you see big or little accomplishments from the time you begin running to that first 5k you accomplish!
5. Practice, Practice, Practice
You don’t have to run every day, I sure don’t. But I make sure that I practice running anyway I can. Sometimes I’ll wake up early in the morning and go to my favorite place with beautiful views and run there when no one else is around. Or if I’m doing a gym workout that involves weight lifting, I’ll start off by running for ten straight minutes on the treadmill for a warm-up.
The big and small runs will always help your endurance and help you realize how strong you truly are becoming! So keep pushing and show up for yourself, you won’t regret it!
6. Rest And Stretching Are Important Too
It’s easy to get in over our heads when beginning something new especially like running. But take it little by little, progress doesn’t happen overnight! Take any amount of rest days that you feel you need!
Start with three days a week and then move up to four, then five, and possibly six. But always ensure that you have one rest day! I try to have one real rest day and an active rest day where I take my dog for a walk or do any other light activity.
8. Add HIIT Workouts For Endurance
A great way to get active and keep your progress going if you don’t feel like running one day is adding a few HIIT workouts. You can create your own circuits with four moves in each circuit. So you may have two circuits to do in seven minutes each with a break in between.
You do each circuit two times and that should be about 30 minutes! It’ll be a short but heart rate heavy workout that will eventually get your endurance up the more you do it.
9. Eat The Right Foods For Energy
Say you have sushi one night, the next morning when you go for your run it may not feel too great. You’ll get through it, but that sushi you ate won’t sustain your energy the way protein and carbs will! Just like you track your running progress, track how you feel after each run and look at how you ate the meal before or a day before! That food may be taking your run from feeling great to feeling drained.
Add in more greens and veggies, don’t be terrified of carbs like multigrain bread, rice or pasta! Find healthy alternatives to white grains like chickpea pasta, Ezekiel bread, and brown rice or quinoa! Add some protein onto those meals and you’ll be ready for your run!
10. Be Proud Of Yourself Every Step Of The Way!
Now that you’ve read through these running tips, I want to tell you that you’re worth it! You deserve this run and the health, joy or self-acceptance it will bring! Trust in your abilities to run. Running doesn’t have to be genetic, it just has to be something you find a passion for, something that creates happiness within you! Most of all, have fun and believe in yourself.
I hope these running tips will help you to run better, feel better, and reach your goals! If you end up not loving the running way of life then don’t worry about it, it doesn’t have to be something you love! But if you are interested in running these tips will definitely take you from just writing down your goals to seeing them achieved!