Tips for Beginning to RUN

Tips for Beginning to RUN

Running is an awesome sport, and offers the body great exercise. Starting out can be somewhat difficult and uncomfortable for your body. It can take some time for running to feel comfortable and natural for you. The key to becoming a runner is to have patience, and take it slow, gradually increasing speed and distance.

Here are some basics to help you get started running:

1. Start out slow: Do not try to increase your weekly mileage or time by more than 5-10% at a time.

2. Intervals: Start out with a walk/run regimen. Try 5 minutes walking and 2 minutes running, then begin increasing the running and decreasing the amount of walking. Eventually you will be able to run without walking.

3. Change up your routine: Try different routes, and run at different intensities. Following a hard run, do an easy run the next day.

4. Rest: Is different for everyone. For me, it’s hard to run more than 3 days in a row straight without having a break. You can cross-train or do core training on off days, or just rest!

5. Cross-training: Do activities like biking or use the ellipitical or stair master, or try swimming. These activities work your muscles but with lower impact.

6. Weight training: Helps build stronger muscles and works your core. Stronger muscles will mean you can run faster!

7. Work on your running form: Good posture is important.

Look ahead: eyes should be focused 10-20 feet ahead of you.
Land midfoot: and then roll to the front on your toes. This will decrease amount of fatigure and avoid your calves from getting tight.
Try to keep your hands at about waist level, and with a 90 degree bend in the arm.
Posture should be straight and erect. Head should be looking forward, your back straight, and shoulders level.
Try to keep shoulders relaxed, and your arms should swing from your shoulder joint.

8. Warm up/cool down: Remember to warm up for 5-10 minutes and cool down. And always stretch. This will help you avoid injuries. Also it is helpful to run for a few minutes before stretching your muscles with then be warm.

9. Local running clubs are great motivators to get you running and keep you running. Look in your area for beginner running groups, or groups that will train you for your first 5k, 10k, etc…

WHAT GEAR do I need?

You have got the idea in your head that you want to compete in your first triathlon. Maybe you are just thinking about it, maybe you have decided on a race, and you have started to research training plans, and then you think…WHAT GEAR do I need.

You see the ads for all the expensive bikes, wetsuits, running shoes, cycling shoes…and you are wondering if you really need all of that.
My advice would be that if this is going to be your first triathlon, keep it simple.  It can get expensive to buy all the GEAR, but really you just need the basics.

What you have to have:

  • Running shoes:  go to a local running store.
    • Have someone watch you run, and fit a shoe just for you.
    • Very helpful at preventing an injury as you are just starting your tri career.
  • Triathlon top/bottoms, or trisuit, or swimsuit
  • Swim goggles
  • A bike–doesn’t have to be fancy, just has to have two wheels and get you to the finish
  • Bike and helmet:  You don’t need a fancy bike, any bike will do!
    • Obviously a road or tri bike will be helpful, but you can compete on any bike.  (I did my first triathlon on a mountain bike.)
    • Get your bike tuned up at a bike shop.
    • The pedals with straps are handy at making your pedal stroke more complete.
  • Bathing suit, goggles, cap for training
  • Race suit or tri top and bottom
    • The bottoms have a small pad to help cushion on the bike, they dry quickly for the run
  • Miscellaneous:  Sunglasses, sunblock, hat, water bottles, energy gels

That’s all you need to get started to try your first tri!

Other helpful tips:
Check out your local running store, a lot of them sell triathlon gear.  And they can be very helpful at getting you outfitted with shoes and what you need for your race day.