Framingham Personal Trainer

beginner running tips | how to start running

beginner running tipsEveryone was a beginner at some point in their running journey!

Looking for beginner running tips?

Through our own experience, and from lots of discussion with other runners, we've collected lots of advice through the years.

And, we're always happy to introduce new runners to the joys of the activity.

Share your best advice on how to start running here.

Everyone Has Been A Beginner At Some Point In Their Lives!

No matter the sport or activity, we've all been beginners at one point or another.

That initial step, into the unknown, can be both exciting and daunting.

be patient with yourselfPractice being patient with yourself!

Bonus tip: be patient with yourself.

As with anything else, there will be ups and downs to be experienced along your journey.

That will be true, no matter the distances you'll be running. Even 100-meter specialists have a running journey!

More on patience and positivity can be found in the running mind section of our site.

Our Top 10 Beginner Running Tips!

Beginner Running Tips - 1) Set Your Running Goals

Setting goals is an important step in your running journey. It is important to be realistic about them, though. Whether performance-based, aesthetically-based, or even based on running a specific distance or race, preparing for each takes time.

We recommend establishing goals; short, medium, and longer-term goals. With clients, we'll often look at what is desired in 3 months, 6 months, and 1-year.

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Write these down, and post them where you'll be reminded of them often.

2) Focus On Consistency

One of our favorite beginner running tips is that a well-designed training program is great to have, but it only works if you do.

We're proud of the running programs that we create for clients, as they're comprehensive, progressive, and fun.

When clients do arrive to us, we often review where they're coming from, in terms of exercise history (among other things).

We often find that those who consistently showed up for their workouts were the ones who had previously seen the greater successes, regardless of the quality of the training program that they had been following.

Workout when you've planned to, and make the skipping of workouts a rarity, and you'll be well on your way to realizing progress toward the goals that you've established.

3) Know What You Can Control

No matter the quality of a training program, the level of consistency established, or attention to preparation, life (and running injuries) happen.

winning attitudeA positive attitude can be contagious!

It is inevitable. And, when Murphy's law is factored in, obstacles to your success will happen at the worst possible times with additional issues to compound the effect.

Twisting your ankle while stepping off a curb, tweaking your back while shutting the car door, or losing your luggage on the way to your big race are all things that have happened before.

And, they'll likely happen again to all levels of runners across the globe.

Many of these things are out of your control.

Knowing what you can control, and reminding yourself of these things in those unfortunate moments, can be helpful in weathering the storm.

We've often said that there are two things that are within your control; effort and attitude.

Effort and attitude won't untwist your ankle, untweak your back, or instantly return your luggage to you, but they can be instrumental in keeping a cool head, and in thinking logically to find a resolution, or game plan, to address the issue(s).

Focus on effort and attitude on a daily basis, both in positive self-talk and in how you interact with teammates, running buddies, family, friends, and co-workers, and you may see positive influence on progress toward your goals and your level of enjoyment along the journey.

Learn More About Positive Mindset:

Available on Amazon (affiliate link).

Beginner Running Tips Continued:

4) Be Wary Of An All Or Nothing Mentality

You're not going to set a world record or personal best in every single workout.

Nor should that be your aim.

We've seen many runners, post-run, discouraged that they hadn't improved upon their time, distance, pace, or other metric from the day or workout prior.

Where disappointment is found, negative self-talk is often following close behind. These are a dangerous combination, as they have the potential to, very quickly, knock you off of your path to success.

Celebrate the daily victories that you're able to, and keep building your foundation (aka stick to the plan), so that on race day you'll be best prepared to achieve your specific goals.

5) Follow A Plan

Many of our readers have heard us mention, "random programming leads to random results."

marathon training checklist"If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail." - Benjamin Franklin

Where specific goals are in mind, it isn't wise to bet on a fitness strategy that doesn't have specific structure.

Your running plan should be comprehensive and progressive.

By comprehensive, we mean that running should not be the only element.

To run well over the long term, an athlete should also consider:

  • General and dynamic warm-up
  • Strength training
  • Flexibility and mobility
  • and, rest and recovery

Where we mention the need for a progressive program, the challenges presented should be appropriate for your level of fitness, and should increase, logically, in intensity through the duration of the program.

Learn More About Marathon and Half-Marathon Training:

Available on Amazon (affiliate link).

6) Running Shoes Make A Significant Difference

asics running shoes

Some running coaches might argue that when your running mechanics are well-developed, then the type of footwear you choose will not matter.

That philosophy is flawed.

It doesn't take into account the importance of the many differences that exist between runners.

Some of those differences might be skeletal, muscular, or connective tissue-based.

Even great mechanics can be negatively impacted by footwear that isn't appropriate for those specific differences.

Be sure to have an assessment of your running gait performed by a qualified professional.

Suggested reading: Best Running Shoes

More Beginner Running Tips

7) Be Excited About Rest And Recovery

Most runners, and other athletes, can rattle off all of their personal bests with little thought.

They know their fastest times for various distances, heaviest weights lifted, and any other individual record.

They'll likely have stories about times they pushed through injury to either continue a running streak, or to show up for race day.

water bottleRest, recover, and hydrate as well as you workout!

As impressive as personal bests can be, the last part is the more concerning.

More and more athletes are becoming increasingly proud of pushing through injury, usually in opposition to the advice of health or medical professionals.

By doing so, they risk increasing the severity of that injury, and they put themselves in position for longer-duration absence from the sport or activity they love.

Some even risk the possibilities of surgery or permanent damage.

We Like to Challenge Our Athletes with the Following:

Be the athlete who excels in:

  • Fueling appropriately
  • Getting a great night's sleep on a consistent basis
  • Hydrating efficiently
  • and, following the plan (especially where it relates to rest and recovery)

Here's More On Athletic Recovery:

Available on Amazon (affiliate link).

8) Get Strong!

We've mentioned the importance of a comprehensive training program.

Most runners love to run, but don't love investing time in the other elements that will lead to success.

strong runnerA strong runner is a happy runner!

Very often, strength or flexibility are the puzzle pieces that are neglected.

Small investments of time in building strength will go a long way toward making you a stronger, faster, and more durable athlete.

Resistance training will result in muscular strength and power improvements.

Your connective tissue and skeletal systems will benefit, too.

Stronger, Faster, and More Durable!

What does that mean, in short? You'll be better able to handle the stresses of the environments and terrains that you'll find while running.

And, you'll recover faster from your running efforts.

Do you have to live in the gym? No, not by any means. We're all about finding harmony between the elements that make our clients the most efficient athletes.

Minus that harmony, you're more likely to find dysfunction. And, that's not what any of us want.

Learn How to Get Stronger Here:

Available on Amazon (affiliate link).

For Those Needing Help with Flexibility and Mobility:

Explore Movement Vault to follow along with flexibility and mobility video routines anywhere. New 15-minute video routine added daily!

9) Announce Your Goals

Setting your goals is one thing. Announcing them to "the world," is quite another.

megaphoneTell your friends (and ours)!

By doing the latter, you are more likely to stick to your plan, and to reach your goals.

We've found that our client and running communities are great support networks.

When a goal is announced publicly, whether online, at work, or in other social circles, your support system grows.

People take interest in the goals that you've set, and they enjoy being an encouraging support for you.

2 Great Places to Make Those Announcements:

Here are two communities of ours where you're encouraged to share your goals.

10) Ask Running Questions

There's so much to learn about running, strength training, mindset, rest and recovery, and more.

It could be overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be.

Ask your running questions here.

With so many resources, it is easy to continue to educate yourself on beginner running tips and more.

Every question is a good question. Don't hesitate to ask. As fitness professionals, and running enthusiasts, we're here (and excited) to help.

Share Your Best Beginner Running Tips!

tell your story

Thanks for reading our beginner running tips.

What's the best beginner running advice you've received?

Share your advice on how to start running here.

We're fortunate to have readers contribute running tips often.

And, we're looking forwarding to hearing from you!

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"Hard work is not punishment. Hard work is the price of admission for the opportunity to reach sustained excellence."
~ Jay Bilas