5 Tips Every New Runner Should Hear
#1 Build Up Slowly and Gradually
If you were only going to take one thing from this list home with you I would definitely pick this. The urge to go from couch to 5k (or 10k) overnight is real. In fact it might even feel great to burst out of the gate and run until it feels like your legs won’t take you any further! This makes sense, running is rarely associated with acute (in the moment) injuries so chances are you won’t be feeling many negative effects from those first few intense runs. More than 80% of running injuries are associated with overuse . Starting slowly and building up from there will help keep you running longer and help you achieve those goals you’ve set out for yourself.
#2 Set Realistic Targets
Speaking of goals, it’s important to set realistic targets for yourself. If you’re new to running and want to jump right into doing a marathon it’s important to manage your expectations so you don’t get discouraged or even worse, injured. Novice runners who progressed their running distance by more than 30% over a 2-week period seem to be more vulnerable to distance-related injuries than runners who increase their running distance by less than 10%. When you’re just starting out, try to keep your distance progression below 10% per week.
#3 Make Running Part of Your Routine
Part of a good training program is being consistent with your running routine. Not only will you train better by being consistent, but it will be easier to incorporate running as part of your lifestyle if you can make it a habit. That being said, everyone has trouble staying consistent when they’re just getting started, give yourself a break if you miss a day, life happens.
If you do miss a run, try not to double up the next day or add extra time on your next run. I know this can be tempting, but the best thing you can do is stay the course and make not missing your next run your highest priority.
#4 Fuel Your Runs with Good Nutrition Habits
It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (Academy), Dietitians of Canada (DC), and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) that the performance of, and recovery from, sporting activities are enhanced by well-chosen nutrition strategies. Make sure you are eating a balanced diet, eating enough food (you’ll be burning lots of calories) and staying hydrated. Check out these nutrition tips for beginner runners to help you get started!
#5 Make Sure You’re Having Fun!
Because this is what it’s all about ☺ Good luck and get running!
Josh Bellingham – Registered Physical Therapist, MPT, BKin
Josh is a physiotherapist with Physio2U, providing in-home physical therapy services to the North Shore community. His treatment values are rooted in education, exercise, and manual therapy. He empowers lives by imparting the knowledge, skills, and confidence clients need to be active in their own rehab, while supporting them every step of the way. Josh has a special interest in chronic pain, post-surgical, general strengthening, rehab for sports injury and working with children youth and adults with special needs.
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