Running tips for beginners: 10 rules to get you started

written by: Quirin Eberl, 11.03.2021

Have you set yourself the New Year’s resolution to exercise more or to be more active in general? Then this article is just right for you! We will teach you which things to consider when starting with running and which mistakes you should absolutely avoid.

Regular running not only supports your health and strengthens your cardiovascular system, but also helps to shed excess pounds. However, fat reserves are only burned after a training period of about 20 minutes. But don’t let that discourage you! The body adapts faster than you think and with continuous training, you will be able to get over this limit in no time. It doesn’t matter whether you run for 30 minutes a week or a day (only with enough and building-up training of course!), your body will thank you for every type and every duration of movement.

If you would like to integrate running into your everyday life, read all about how to establish a healthy morning routine in our article. 

1. Start slow

It’s great to start right away when you’re motivated! But to make sure that your first run will not be your last, you shouldn’t overstrain yourself. Start with short distances and alternate between running and walking. At the beginning, a kilometer or 10 minutes are totally enough. Running is an endurance sport and you have to build up the stamina slowly.

2. Realistic goals

Expectations or goals that are too high are very counterproductive. On the one hand, the risk of injuries increases, on the other hand, you will get demotivated easily if you do not achieve the goals you have set for yourself. Don’t expect to be able to run a marathon after one month of training. However, if you have a solid and realistic plan in mind for how you are going to achieve such a goal, that’s great. Start with short intervalls and routes and increase time and duration from week to week or month to month. This is incredibly motivating and it’s more fun to stick to it.

Here are some tips for setting smart goals!

3. Running partners & running groups

Everything is easier in a team! This also applies to jogging! A good running partner or even a whole running group can provide you with incredible motivation. Do not be afraid, even if your running partners are more experienced than you. They will share valuable knowledge with you, motivate you and will help  you get to their running level faster.

You don’t have anyone in your circle of friends or acquaintances who jogs? No problem, on Facebook you will be able to find groups for almost every city in which jogging enthusiasts get together. If not, just start your own group and find like-minded people in your city!

If you are more of a lone wolf and cannot seem to motivate yourself, find out how to avoid procrastination in our article.

4. A break after lunch

With a full stomach, you should not only refrain from swimming but also from jogging. Heavy or greasy food, in particular, makes it difficult to perform well. If you need to eat something before your run, you choose light snacks, such as a banana or some yoghurt. Having a full stomach during your run results in discomfort and can lead to nausea or even pain.

Here are some nutrition tips for athletes so that you can nourish your body before and after your workout!

5. Warming up and stretching

As before any other workout, you should stretch and warm up properly before doing it. This will stimulate your metabolism and blood circulation, which allows you to endure much longer. If you stretch your ligaments, tendons and muscles, you also reduce the risk of an injury and sore muscles. This can be avoided if you stretch again after jogging. There are plenty of Youtube videos for your warm-up and stretch!

6. Proper running technique

An upright posture is important while running. Your glutes and abdominal muscles should remain activated if possible. Your arms should be used as balancing instruments and should help you with rhythmic running while your shoulders should remain relaxed. Your feet should be placed exactly under your body. Best case scenario: This should be done very carefully. You can find information and videos on the perfect running technique online!

However, it is also important to note that there is no such thing as “a perfect running style”. Keep in mind that you will have to find a technique that suits you. Since each of us varies in size, weight and flexibility, only general specifications, as described above, can be made. However, your body has a simple but effective way of telling you whether your running style is okay or needs adjustment: pain. If your ankles, knees, or hips hurt after exercising, you will need to change your running style. Of course, there can be other reasons for pain, such as a lack of warm-up and stretching exercises or a general overload of the body. Listen to the signals your body is giving you.

7. The right equipment

Your running shoes are essential and the only part of the equipment where you should never compromise. Your shoes support your foot and ankle, which hold up to two to three times your body weight while jogging. To find suitable running shoes, you should seek advice from a specialist shop and use the expertise of its employees.

Aside from good quality running shoes, running doesn’t require any special equipment. Normal sweatpants and a T-shirt are good enough. However, if you want something more fancy, you can get a functional shirt, pants and a jacket. Functional sportswear sits close to the body and does not interfere with your running. In addition, this equipment is also comfortable for cooler temperatures. Running socks can help keep your posture in the shoes and prevent painful blisters. Sports bras are also essential to avoid pain.

You can put on a heart rate monitor or take your smartphone with you as additional gadgets. With the help of running apps, you can record your progress and collect data from your training. For many, it is easier to run to loud music, which is why many joggers use headphones. If you are a little sensitive to the sun, we also advise you to wear sports sunglasses. Headbands or hats can help keep annoying hair in place and keep you warm in winter. If you are active at night and like to go running in the evening, we strongly advise you to attach reflectors to your clothing and use a headlamp.

8. Breathing technique

Correct breathing is one of the most essential tips because it supplies your body with sufficient oxygen and ensures a longer endurance. Breathing in should never be forced in synchronicity with your steps. In the best case, these two processes adapt automatically. Take a deep breath through your mouth and nose. Many people breathe shallowly, but normally the air should reach the stomach. If you breathe deeply into your stomach, you use the entire lung volume and prevent annoying stiches.

9. Stay hydrated

Drinking enough is important, but it doesn’t mean drinking a liter of water right before the run. Too much water right before your workout can even be counterproductive. If you only go for a short lap, a glass of water about five to ten minutes before you start running is enough. If you are already more experienced and run long distances or plan to take part in a marathon, you should consider getting a hydration pack or a hydration belt. This allows you to supply your body with sufficient fluid in small sips. It is important to drink plenty of water after your workout!

10. Recovery

It’s great if you’re motivated to go running every day. But even if you are already well experienced, rest periods are essential and breaks are particularly important. Your muscles need to prepare for the next run and shouldn’t be under constant strain. Running and rest days should alternate. Find a rhythm that gives your body the recovery it needs and it will reward you. If you get more experienced over time, you can of course increase your training days moderately.

These were our ten tips for beginners to get everything right when starting to run. Try to keep these few things in mind to avoid harming your body. If you are looking for even more tips, you can take a look here. We hope these tips help you to get your jogging routine off to a perfect start! Let’s go, have fun!

PS: Here are some fun running trails in Graz, Austria!

And if you prefer to work out at home, we have great tips for your next workout session at home!


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