14 Things You Need to Know Before You Start Running

A few things every runner wishes they had known before getting started


Running is an individual sport, both in some obvious and not-so-obvious ways.

What’s more obvious is that while there are instances where you might run with a team, for the most part running is an activity you do on your own.

Then, on the not-so-obvious side of the spectrum, what most people don’t realize about running is that a pair of sneakers or a training program that works really well for one runner might not be the best option for another.

Whether you’re running just for recreation or you have goals to break personal bests, success (however you may define it) will require some trial and error; figuring out what does and doesn’t work for you.

This applies to everything from your training program and apparel to nutrition and recovery techniques.  

All that said, there are also some universal running truths: rules or guidelines that, for the most part, are essential for successful running. And unfortunately, many runners don’t learn these lessons until long after they’ve been involved in the sport.

Ask any runner what they wish they had known before they started running and these are a few of the answers you might hear.

Be patient.

Whatever your goal is, it’s going to take time to get there. Especially if you’re just starting out as a new runner, you’re probably going to have to deal with some soreness and the first few weeks of running probably won’t feel so great, but don’t let it discourage you. Every runner was once in your shoes. A few things to keep in mind: increase your mileage slowly and gradually and don’t run too fast. Eventually your body will be able to handle longer distances and speedier workouts, but when you’re just getting started, taking it slow and steady is of most importance. 

It’s OK to walk.

As previously mentioned, for the first few weeks running probably isn’t going to feel so great. If you’re out on a run and feeling particularly winded, don’t be afraid to take a walking break. Try a few workouts where you alternate between bouts of walking and running to help build up your cardiovascular endurance.

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