Beginning something new is always scary—but following these 5 simple steps, will make the journey to becoming an experienced runner, much less stressful!
Step 1: Buy a pair of running shoes
For those who have never run before, having the perfect pair of running shoes is crucial. Having a good pair of sneakers will prevent injuries and allow for a smoother run. The right pair should offer the following:
- Make sure there is enough “wiggle room” between your big toe and the front of the sneaker
- Proper arch support
- Strong laces
Sneakers don’t have to be expensive; websites such as runningwearhouse.com and 6pm.com offer discounted running shoes. Although both have an easy return process, I recommend visiting your local shoe store to find the pair that fits best and is most comfortable, then making the purchase through one of those sites.
Step 2: Get up and get out!
You have the shoes, now get moving! Taking the first step is the hardest, but is often the most rewarding. Set aside a time that you are able to exercise each day. I prefer to work out in the morning; it allows me to start the day feeling fresh and energized and it’s one less thing I have to do later! 30 minutes of physical activity a day is recommended, but if you can’t allot that much time, than begin with 10 or 15 minutes. And don’t forget the warm-up! The hamstrings, quads, calves, and groin are the most important muscles to stretch.
Step 3: Begin with a walk
Walking helps to train our bodies for running later on. Begin a fast pace walking routine 3 to 5 days a week for 20 to 30 minutes. Continue walking each day until you feel comfortable and think you can take things to the next step…jogging!
Step 4: Now we are ready to jog!
Jogging builds a foundation for running. Incorporate jogging and walking, switching on and off between the two. Begin your workout walking and as you feel comfortable jog for a few minutes and then walk again. When I first began running, I walked a block, then jogged a block, then walked, jogged, etc. As you feel stronger, increase the amount of blocks you jog. Eventually, you’ll be able to jog the entire route!
Step 5: Run, Run, Run!
Remember to begin each run with a brisk walk or jog and then transfer into a run at a pace that works for you! As you become stronger, you can build from there and increase your distance and how many times a week you want to run.
Learn more about “Run for Woods”
Christina Descano is a senior at Kutztown University and Public Relations/Writing intern at Woods. She is an avid runner and a member of the KU women’s track team!