New runners in the running community are the like the “newborns” from the Twilight Saga (the movie)—you know in terms of enthusiasm and passion. They are constantly looking for beginners running tips and zealously suck all the 'know-how' to improve performance. But what they do not learn from these “beginners running tips” is when to stop or take a break.
With picking up a new, healthy habit most running beginners tend to get carried away with it. The idea of doing something fitness oriented coupled with the thrill urges them to push, sometimes too further. While runners can every day of the week, the question is- should they?
If that’s got you thinking then stay with us to know more about jogging for beginners.
- How Often Should Beginners Run?
- Beginners Running Tips You Need to Know
- Basic Q & A by Beginners
- Take Away
How Often Should Beginners Run?
If you have just entered the running society or are looking to step up your training to a more competitive grade then you may have wondered how often I should run. For beginners, experts recommend running three to four days a week. But if you have been running for a while and know how to pace yourself then you may stretch the bracket to five days a week. However, until you reach the advanced level, you'd probably be better off sticking to the three to four days a week and including some cross-trainings one to two days a week.
Learn all about How to Start Running
A good runner will always keep a balance between how much they should run and how much they should rest. Rest is an integral part of your training plan. Your body will need rest and recovery days mixed in with your exercise days.
Rest and recovery days are as essential to our training as the exercise itself. It is during the downtime of a rest day that our bodies become stronger. During the rest phase, they adapt to the physical stresses we have placed upon them. Without rest and recovery, we risk over-training syndrome, injury, and burn out.
Rest days and recovery days are different. REST means no running or exercising at all. Period. RECOVERY days refer to easy exercise days that help facilitate circulation so they can aid recovery from more intense exercise days. Keep your exercise intensity level at a very easy level on a recovery day. Recovery days are not intended to facilitate cardio-respiratory fitness per se, but rather, their intention is to facilitate circulation or blood flow, which in turn assists the recovery process by delivering fresh oxygen and nutrients to muscles while also removing waste products.
Know all about the Walking to Running Program: The Perfect Training for New Runners
Running Tips for Beginners
Running is a lifelong endeavour, not just a race. So, train for long-term, not for immediate events. If you have been active for a while, you may know all the basics of running. Maybe you can check out our tips for advanced runners on how to build endurance and stamina for long distance races.
Running requires little equipment. All you need is to find that good pair of running shoes fitting your foot type perfectly. This is first and foremost important tip. An ill-fitting or "not running appropriate" set of shoes will cause damages that you may not even think.
- Know what type of trainers (running shoes) will suit you. You can either get advice from a specialist or decide for yourself with our guide on how to choose running shoes.
- Remember to replace them. The shoe's structure wears out over time, especially with regular use. Learn when to replace your running shoes.
- Women should consider using a sports bra, which is sturdier than a regular bra and provides additional support. Get tips on what to wear when running in the cold.
- Plan your runs. Keep a track of when and where (the exact route and time) you're going to run.
If recovering from injury or worried about an existing condition, consult a physician before you start running.
For tips on nutrition, read on Running Nutrition Tips for New Runners
It is essential to ease yourself into running. Increase your pace and distance gradually over several outings. That way you will avoid injury and enjoy the experience
- Start each run with a warm-up and stretching session of at least five minutes.
- Initially, keep alternating between running and walking during the session.
- As you get comfortable, make the running intervals longer.
- Take some time to cool down after each run.
- Post-run, do some walking and a few post-run stretches.
Regular running for beginners means getting out at least twice a week. Your running will improve as your body adapts to the consistent training stimulus.
It's better to run twice a week, every week, than to run six times one week
Self-motivation is the key to keep it going. There shall be times when you would find it hard to get out of that couch but those are just hurdles that you need to overcome until running becomes a habit and not a choice.
- Set a realistic goal
- Challenge yourself every day.
- Join a 5K race or a charity run to stay motivated.
- Run with a friend
- Keep a record of your runs. Note down each run, including your route, distance, time, weather conditions and how you felt.
- Improve your running. Try new workouts and tactics to your running technique, speed, and stamina.
Still looking out for a motivation? 16 Proven Strategies to Make You Run!
Mix it up
Doing the same stride on the same track through the same route can get monotonous. Hence, mix up your running routine to keep it fresh and inspiring.
- Do not follow the same pattern or route.
- Throw in some cross training activities.
- Change the playlist every day
- Join a running club.
Beginners Running Tips: Basic Q & A
- How long should my first runs be?
During the first week, 15 minutes is plenty. Gradually increase the time and distance.
- What should I do if I can’t run non-stop for 15 minutes?
Never mind, keep running daily and follow a training plan for yourself.
- How often should I run?
For beginners, three or four days a week. between running and rest days. This will give your body time to recover and adapt to the stresses you’re giving it.
- How far should my runs be?
Begin with one mile and gradually step it up.
- How fast should I be running?
If you have just started out, then speed shouldn’t be a concern now. First get comfortable with the pace. Avoid going out of breath. Running too fast too early does not build the proper cardiovascular improvements you need to be a successful runner.
- How do I know if I’m running correctly?
Try to land on our mid/forefoot.
- Should I stretch?
Avoid static stretching before running. You may try dynamic stretching instead. It is better to warm up slowly by walking Stretching after five minutes of easy running is more advisable than stretching before running. Stretching after you run is always a good thing. Yoga can also be very beneficial to runners.
- Should I change how I eat now that I’m running?
For beginning runners running under an hour a day, nutrition is not a big issue. You really do not need to add anything special to your diet. That said, if your nutritional habits were poor before you started running, this is a good time to fix them. Water is a runner’s best friend. Drink water before and after you run.
- I am taking up running to lose weight – how much can I expect to lose?
Running is at the top of the list of activities that burn maximum calories. So, it is a good choice to include it in weight loss strategy. While you are likely to lose weight by running 30 or so minutes three times a week, however, it is also likely that pronounced weight loss may not happen until you are running more frequently and for longer durations.
- What should I eat as a runner?
Load up on carbs and protein with a bowl of green salad. Include iron-rich foods and sports drinks too.
So, the basic answer to how often beginners should run is three/ four times a week, mixed with some cross training activates. Incorporate strength and flexibility training into your regimen to achieve health and fitness goals. Rest enough or else your muscles will not fully recover, rebuild, and get stronger. Be on the lookout for fatigue, lingering muscle soreness, grumpiness, lack of motivation, etc. and if you experience any of these signs, you are in need of more rest days. You will gain more in the long run by resting than you will from over-training. The message is to stick it through as a beginner and you’ll reap the benefits in much greater quantity for the rest of your running career.