1. Warm Up And Cool Down Exercises

Before running, it is important to take some minutes to gently warm up the body. To achieve this, consider doing some movement exercises like high knees and heel touches, squats, and lunges to get both joints and muscles moving. 

Likewise, after completing your running exercises, take a few minutes to cool down with light stretching. In fact, experts recommend taking 10 to 20 minutes of stretching. The truth is that at the beginning you may not notice the benefits, but with time (weeks or months), you will see the benefits as it reduces muscle tightness and maintains your level of flexibility. 

2. Setting Goals And Keeping Track Of Your Progress

Following a training program is an excellent idea, especially for beginners. That is because it gives a person something to start from. Completing each run you have planned creates a satisfying experience and boosts motivation. This is why taking advantage of running apps like ‘Couch To 5K’ is a great idea; as it will talk you through each run you make and help you build distance each week. 

It is always wise to start with small goals and watch your running progress as you continue. You can start with walking at first and build up to constant running. This app will measure time, distance, and speed for you and help you monitor your progress. You could start by setting your goal to first running to the end of the street or next lamppost and work your way up. Do not forget to celebrate those little wins. 

3. What You Wear Matters

Falling short or a chafing t-shirt is the last thing you would want while running. For this reason, it is wise to consider wearing comfortable running clothes that fit properly. Do not forget to invest in a good running shoe. Take a look at the Orthotic Shop for a range of running shoes.  Running clothes are not only designed to make the whole experience comfortable, but they are stylish and help protect your joints and decrease the chances of sustaining an injury. 

Investing in good running gear does not mean buying the most expensive running gear in the market.  They can be affordable as long as it is suitable for the current season.  For example, if it is hot (during summer), consider wearing loose-fitted clothes made from breathable material that will help you stay cool. Do not forget to include sunglasses, sunscreen, and a cap if it is sunny.

Likewise, if it is cold, wear long-sleeved layered running clothe and a water/windproof jacket. If you prefer running in the evening or early in the morning, consider investing in reflective wear.

4. Start Small

There is no way you can jump directly into heavy or long-distance running without first starting small. Doing this will become a recipe for disaster (it will cause muscle and joint injuries; and may cause the body to shut down). Always start small and work your way up.  Give your body time to adapt to the new loads and stresses.  Gradually increase the number of running miles each week or two, as long as you feel comfortable. 

Running two or three days a week is fine, but do not forget to give your muscles time to rest and recover. At first, your muscles will feel sore, but as you continue, they will adapt and become fitter.  Do not forget to have plenty of rest between your runs also.

In a nutshell, listen to your body and never run when you are feeling pain. If you are not 100% or have a good reason not to run, please do not. It is wise to wait until you are fit to prevent injury. 

5. Stay Motivated And Mix Things Up

The truth is that it can be a challenge to stay motivated the first few weeks or while you start a new exercise regime.  For this reason, come up with creative tactics that will help you stay on track. Below are few examples I use: –

  • Planning and exploring new routes 
  • Knowing in advance where I am going to run and put it in my diary
  • Using apps like Strava and MapMyRun to know new running routes near me
  • Connecting with other runners virtually
  • Tracking my runs
  • Mixing up my training routines each day
  • Running why listening to my favorite audiobook, podcast, or music

6. Staying Hydrated And Maintaining A Healthy Diet

Staying hydrated and maintaining a healthy diet are the backbone of exercises. What does this mean? It simply means that; they play an important role in the body. The body needs nutrients to perform at its best. They act as fuel to the body and support muscle building, recovery, and maintenance. 

As such, an hour before running, eat a healthy meal that contains high numbers of carbohydrates, protein, and low fat. The meal should contain high levels of fiber. 

Do not forget to stay hydrated throughout the day. While running, water is enough, especially for a short workout. You should only consider sports drinks if you plan to go for a long run or considering doing high-intensity exercises.