So you want to start running?
While gyms are closed and many of us are working from home – you may be a bit restless and looking for new ways to move your body and stay active while social distancing. With the sun shining bright, Mother Nature is practically begging us to go outside! Running is a great activity to do alone and the best part is – you can start right from your front door!
Here are a few basic tips and tricks to help you start your running journey and fall in love with the sport…
1.Find a good pair of running shoes
Believe it or not – there is no one-shoe-fits-all shoe out there, but there is a perfect shoe for you that will help you feel comfortable and stay injury-free down the road. Your local running store guru can help you narrow down your options by putting you through a proper fit process. Shop local! No one knows your city and the nearby trails better than your local running store, like Gazelle Sports Northville! With retail stores closed right now – it may be difficult to get the advice you need for shoes. However, if you have any shoe specific questions, see the bottom of this article for a reliable resource.
2.Find a good route
There is nothing better than fresh air and sunlight. Whether it is a trail, paved path, or just around the block – make sure you are enjoying WHERE you are running. Explore new places and keep it interesting. This will help you stay motivated!
3. Run at a conversational pace
This is the best piece of advice that I received when I first started running. Not every run needs to be a full effort and you should be running at a pace where you are able to hold a conversation. If you find yourself out of breath – simply slow down a bit. If you have a running buddy, share some miles with them, catch up, and tell some stories. Right now, running with a buddy might not be doable, but you can plug in some headphones, give your friend a call, and go for a virtual run together.
4. Progress slowly
You might be excited to get moving and run all the miles, but be conservative when bumping up your mileage. It will help you stay injury-free! Rule of thumb: do not increase your mileage more than 10% week to week. Respect the sport and listen to your body. If running is brand new to you, you will experience some soreness as your body begins to adapt. It is important to keep up with stretching, foam rolling, and a proper warm-up/cool-down routine.
5. Dress appropriately
Be sure to dress for the weather. There is no such thing as bad weather; only bad clothing. If you only remember one thing from this post: know that cotton is ROTTEN! Wearing moisture-wicking materials like merino wool or a poly-blend are your best bets. (This applies to socks, too!) Always dress like it is 15-20 degrees warmer than it actually is. For cold weather – layering helps. You want to be as comfortable as possible and dressing appropriately will help you to find more joy in your runs! Don’t forget accessories such as gloves, headbands, sunglasses, or whatever it may be that you need to keep yourself protected/prepared for the elements. (Pro tip: that includes sunscreen and body glide for those warmer days like today!)
6. Safety first!
There are a few running safety tips you must know before you hit the pavement…
- Always face traffic so that drivers can see you and you can see them.A headlamp or other reflective gear is always a good call.
- Run with an ID, or ID bracelet or driver’s license in case of an emergency.
- Let someone know the route you are running and how long you expect to be out.
- Take your phone for emergencies.
- Check the weather before your run.
- Don’t run with headphones in. If you need music to stay motivated – I recommend a pair of Aftershokz that allow you to hear cars and people around you.
7. Have fun, be patient, and keep moving
When I first started running – I’ll be honest – I wasn’t sure I was going to like it. But after a few months of pushing myself outside of my comfort zone, I discovered a true passion for the sport and a wonderful community. Running is a beautiful sport that brings me a lot of happiness, but it did not happen overnight. My hope is for you to find the same joy I experience every time I get out there for a run.
Katie Siroonian is an active runner in the community and also works at Gazelle Sports Northville. If you have any shoe specific questions, she can help you navigate the Gazelle Sports website and narrow down your options! Katie can be reached at [email protected]. Learn a little bit more about Katie and the rest of our team here!