Beginner running tips
Beginner’s Guide to Running: Head to Toe
Think walk, not just run: Frequent walk breaks improve your fitness by extending your exercise time, says John Loftus, a coach in Orange County, CA. Time on your feet builds muscle strength and cardiovascular capacity. (Search: What’s a good walk-run program to try?)
Know the you’re designed to run: Humans can run farther than most animals, thanks in part to our long legs, big glutes, and ability to dissipate heat, says Daniel Lieberman, a professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard.
Run what you can: "Any amount of exercise is better than zero," says Jennifer Burningham, a coach in Portland, Oregon. "You'll avoid the negative mind-set that comes from doing nothing."
Allow for no excuses: "Runners claim a minor mishap as a reason to stop running, but usually something else in your life is going on," says Burningham. If you falter, recommit by revisiting your original motivations.
Be flexible: "Don't be rule-bound by a rigid schedule," says Burningham. "Instead, make a weekly plan that works for you. And if you miss a day, don't freak out. Just run the next day." (Need a plan? Start slow by signing up for our 5-K Jumpstart)
Understand discomfort: Running can be hard, but don't call it pain, says Loftus. "Pain is getting burned by a stove," he says. Some discomfort can lead to improvements in fitness. What's hard today will get easier tomorrow.
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