Running can seem like an intimidating form of exercise, but almost anyone can get into it. All you need is a sturdy pair of shoes and a determination to succeed. If you're new to running, consider the following tips to get started:
Practice Breathing Techniques
In daily life, most people don't pay much attention to how they breathe. While exercising, we need to regulate our breathing differently, and this can be a challenge for new runners. In fact, new runners who focus on their technique may actually forget to breathe, increasing the risk of injury. Meanwhile, breathing too heavily can cause feelings of lightheadedness and dizziness.
According to Competitor Running, your breath should be controlled during exercise to boost efficiency. A correct breathing technique can help you run longer, faster and at a more consistent pace.
New runners should practice breathing techniques at home before heading out for an official first jog. By training your breath separately, you can work toward building a beneficial habit. Here's a good practice routine for running newbies:
Find a quiet, comfortable spot to lay down on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Close your eyes and rest your palms on your belly. Breathe in slowly. The goal is to breathe into your stomach rather than your chest. Your hands should rise and fall with each breath.
After you've practiced breathing from your stomach, try combination breathing. This is when you breathe from your nose and mouth at the same time. Combination breathing is highly effective while running because it maximizes your body's ability to intake and process oxygen. As you become more comfortable with breathing from the stomach and combination breath, you may want to consider advanced breathing techniques such as the 2:2 pattern where you breathe in for two strides and breathe out for two strides.
Invest in a Good Pair of Running Shoes
Running shoes are designed to reduce the impact of each footfall on your body. A good pair of running shoes will help prevent soreness and keep you moving for longer periods of time. According to REI, your ideal running shoe will be determined by your running style. Essentially, there are three basic types:
- Road-running shoes: These shoes are flexible, light and cushioned to provide support while running on hard, even surfaces.
- Trail-running shoes: This type of shoe is more durable. They can withstand mud, rocks and uneven surfaces. They provide greater foot protection against the elements.
- Cross-training shoes: Shoes designed for cross training tend to have more contact with the ground for enhanced balance. They make it easier to switch between different types of exercise.
Depending on your stride, running style and ideal comfort level, you'll want to choose a pair of running shoes that offers the support you need. For instance, some shoes are designed to provide enhanced stability to runners with an uneven tread pattern. Extra-cushioned shoes can offer up to 50 percent more shock absorption than other varieties.
If you're a complete beginner, take the time to try out a few different styles and ask a sporting goods professional to help you to make an informed decision.
Learn How to Warm-Up Properly
Once you've laced up your running shoes, it's tempting to hit the pavement immediately. However, a thoughtful warm-up is essential to avoid injury and make running more enjoyable. Warming up for a run may be a more complex topic than you think! Check out our guide to learn more.
Make Running a Habit
To get the most out of running, you have to make it a habit. Start slow, write down your goals and work toward making them a reality. It's a good idea to schedule your recovery days as well as your workout days, as this will keep you engaged with your routine even when you're not pounding the pavement. Remember, recovery days are important because they give your muscles a chance to rest, repair and grow.
Running can be a joy on its own, but it's even more fun to run for a good cause. The Queen City Marathon in Regina is scheduled for September 7-9. Visit runqcm.com today to learn more.