30 Running Hacks for Beginners
12th June, 2021
Running is one of the best ways to lose some calories and boost your heart health . It doesn’t just keep you healthy and fit but also alleviates depression and stress. No matter how old you are, running on a daily basis will make sure that you feel energetic and jovial. Although it can be quite difficult in the initial stages to get into the mindset of going for a run every day, the rewards are completely worth the effort. So, to help you take those hesitant first steps, we’ve listed the best practical tips that will build momentum.
Just get started
This is probably the best advice any new runner can receive. Browsing across the Internet too much will only make you procrastinate, and you might never even start running. Just get out there and go!
Being sufficiently hydrated before the run is quite important. Drink at least half a liter of water about two hours before running. You can also drink water during your run, but make sure to drink only in small quantities.
Age is never a factor
When it comes to running, no one is too old. Scientific evidence shows that your endurance tends to peak as you grow older. So you can take up running even after you're above 50 years of age.
Explore new surroundings
Sometimes, running around the same neighborhood or park can become a monotonous experience. You can try running in new and different areas like through the woods, along the beach, or even an open field. This will help you stay motivated and maintain momentum. By trying new places, you will explore different running surfaces and realize that a different form is employed for each type.
Make running addictive
Running is pure joy! If you just eat the right food, choose an appropriate location, and push yourself a little more every single day, youâ€™ll notice how your personality transforms. Make your goals more challenging and keep breaking your own records.
Engage in other sports
Playing a variety of sports like swimming and soccer will reduce the stress on your joints and spine due to running. It’s also a great way of bringing variety in your activities and keeping your love for running alive. You can even hit the gym.
Use a running app
Running with the help of an app and/or a wearable device is a great way to make running more enjoyable. They can track your speed, distance, calories burned, and even map your route. These apps can also coach you and keep you motivated with the right music.
Strength training exercises are great for boosting your performance, reducing recovery time, and avoiding an injury. Some of the best strength training exercises for runners are barbell squats, split squats, box jumps, and burpees.
Avoid using the treadmill
Running on a treadmill is not exactly challenging, and it can be extremely boring. Running outdoors will strengthen your muscle tissue and prepare you for more challenging runs. It’s advisable to use one when the conditions outside don’t favor running.
Find a running partner
It’s easy to miss the daily running sessions once your motivation starts declining. Find yourself a running group or friend who loves running and even push you to exert yourself more. This will help you maintain a good rhythm.
Once you’re able to do a 5K run without much exertion, it’s time to up your game. And the best way to do this is to either increase your total distance or the number of runs per week.
Train for distance, not time
It is not important to decide your pace in the beginning. Be patient and slow it down. Running at high speed is not the fastest way to get fit, but it surely is the quickest way to drop the activity a bit too early.
Know when not to run
If you’re experiencing pain in your shin, hip, or any other area that can impact your running, then take a break from the activity. You must rest or visit a physiotherapist if the pain lingers for a few days. It’s a bad idea to run when you’re in pain as it can aggravate the condition.
Donâ€™t stop midway
It’s totally fine if you cover a short distance, you’re better off setting a realistic goal before you start running. If you try covering too much too soon, chances are that you’ll end up stopping midway, which will make reaching your goal a lot more challenging. Start at a slow pace, gradually build up speed, find your rhythm, and keep at it.
Donâ€™t worry about side aches
It’s pretty normal to experience side aches when you just start running. This is because your sides are experiencing stress after a long period of time. Whenever you’re struck with such pain, slow down or stop entirely, take deep breaths, and don’t start running until the pain has gone. Gradually, the side aches will almost disappear.
Make a running schedule
Ensure that you create a realistic running schedule and stick to it no matter what. Also, remember that it can take a few days to make a habit out of it. Just follow the schedule and soon you’ll fall in love with running.
Fuel your run with carbs
Consume a carb-rich snack at least two hours prior to the run. This will give your body enough time to digest the nutrients required to nourish your muscles. Remember that it must be a light snack just and not an indulgent one.
It’s often noticed that running increases your appetite. But this doesn’t mean you need to eat a pizza because you have reached your goal. Instead, stick to carbs and proteins, and build your body for another higher goal.
Program your mind
Before you step out, programming your mind every day to become a runner can help you achieve daily goals and cover greater distances over time. This mindset can be the best motivation during the entire session.
Focus on your breathing
Paying attention to your breathing while you run will create a deeper awareness of your body, which will help you run longer distances. You can try different breathing patterns and switch between breathing from the nose and mouth, or even from both. Your best breathing technique will develop by itself over time.
Stay well rested
Experts say that beginners should not run for more than three to four days a week. Resting is absolutely necessary as it allows your body to recover from any new form of stress or muscle pain. It will take a few sessions to condition the body for regular bouts of such activity.
Put on those earphones
When running starts becoming a bit challenging, this is when you need high-energy songs to keep you going throughout the session. There are hundreds of powerful running playlists across different music platforms that you can select as per your preference.
Donâ€™t run too fast
Trying to be the Road Runner will be quite a painful mistake; you’ll feel tired and sore in the first sprint itself. You need to let your limbs and muscles get used to the new kind of stress it will be going through, which will take some time. It’s advisable to run at a moderate pace, perhaps at a speed where you can easily hold a conversation.
Run, walk, run
Okay, so you’re just about to start running a distance set for today. Just to make sure you make it, you’re better off not running the entire distance in one go. Once you start feeling out of breath, you can gradually slow down until you’re now walking a little briskly. Now that you’ve got your wind back, start running again at a steady pace.
Donâ€™t forget to cool down
Don’t press the brakes as soon as you’re done with the run, it’ll definitely make you feel dizzy or lightheaded. This is because the body will experience an abrupt drop in heart rate and blood pressure. Rather than being inert, slow down so that you reach a walking pace and your breath normalizes.
Wear the right clothes
Cotton won’t work here; it does hold sweat but the skin doesn’t benefit from it while running. Technical fabrics are designed to survive varying weather conditions, endure stretches, and dry quickly after a wash. Attire made with technical fabrics may be a bit steep, but avoids chafing and discomfort.
Invest in good running shoes
A good pair of trainers will provide sufficient midsole foot cushioning and arch support that will help boost your performance and protect you from injuries. Beginners tend to lose the motivation to run once they start experiencing pain in the knees or calves, which getting the right pair for your feet and joints is so important.
Take short steps
Long, powerful strides will take a lot out of you if you’re new to running. Instead, taking short, easy steps is a more effective form of running that you can adapt to as it’ll loosen up your muscles. The trick here is to adjust to a rhythm while you’re running.
Always start with a warmup
The purpose of starting with a warmup is to raise your muscle temperature and remove the stiffness in your body. Brisk walking and jumping jacks are some great warm-up exercises. But remember, it’s just a warmup, there’s no need to go too far or you’ll be tired before even starting your running.