Beginner runners generally follow the conventional wisdom that running is the natural transition from jogging. So if you’re a walker, you work your way up to jogging. And if you’re already a jogger, then it’s just a matter of picking up your pace. Everyone starts out a little differently, but there are a few things you can do to make running an easy transition:
- Even veteran runners walk-jog and jog-run. Former Olympic runner, Jeff Galloway, suggests that beginner runners should run for 5 to 10 seconds out of every minute, walking the rest of each minute. Too easy? Try steadily increasing the duration of each run or jog interval and/or reduci your rest periods.
- Track it. If you’re able to see how you’re improving over time, you’re more likely to keep at it. There’s something very satisfying about knowing that you ran 5 more miles this week than last, or that you just ran your longest run ever and, coincidentally, the 2nd fastest run you’ve ever logged. Tracking your runs will help you become consistent so that you’re more likely to keep going. Just remember to start slow. Some options for logging your run data include DailyMile, Garmin, MapMyRun, Smashrun (of course!), RunningAHEAD, and WinningStats among many others. See what works for you.
- Learn drills, build form. Running drills can help develop proper form from the very beginning and it adds variety to your routine. If running starts to feel repetitive too soon, then introduce something different to your usual run: throw in some butt kicks or a few quick skips. Recruit a friend!
- If you can hear it, you can feel it. Breathing technique is important for every runner. Keep yourself at a “conversational pace” – if you can talk to someone while running, then you know you’re not overdoing it. And that’s always a good place to start
- Expect good days and bad days. Some running days are just perfect, while others – not so much. Don’t take it personally. Your next run is almost always better. And if it isn’t – it’s usually because you need more rest. Take a day off from running. Start over with a clean slate.
Before you know it, you’ll be running regularly sooner than you might expect!