Running Tips for Beginners: 3 Key Lessons from a Marathon Runner

My name is Amna. I am co-captain of the Adidas Runners Delhi running community. I started my running journey 7 years ago. I started with an easy 5k run, followed by a few 10k runs, and gradually progressed to half marathons. Finally, after six years of running, I had the courage to train for a marathon! I’ve completed four marathons and am proud of my slow but progressive running journey. I have experienced and learned a lot of things along the way that can be useful running tips for beginners.

When we start out as runners, there are many things we don’t know. We are happy to sign up for and train for races without prior knowledge of the key factors that impact running.

Important Running Tips for Beginners

Running is a fantastic way to improve your fitness, improve your mental wellbeing and connect with like-minded people. But it’s important to know how to start running in a healthy way. There are three key aspects that any new runner should be aware of. Let’s find out!

Amna Ahmed shares lessons from her own inspiring story as a runner. Image courtesy: Instagram| Aamna Ahmed

1. Listen to your body

One of the most essential aspects of becoming a successful runner is learning to listen to your body. This may seem simple, but it’s something that many beginners overlook. Pay attention to these important signals:

* Start slowly: As a novice, it is crucial to pace yourself. Pushing too hard too soon can lead to injury. Start with a mix of walking and running, gradually increasing your running time as your body adapts.

* Days off: Your body needs time to recover. Rest days are as important as training days. Listen to your muscles; if they are in pain, take the day off.

*Pain vs. discomfort: It’s normal to feel discomfort during a run, especially when it comes to building endurance. However, sharp or persistent pain is a warning sign. Don’t ignore it, it’s your body’s way of telling you something is wrong.

* Flexibility and strength: Incorporate stretches and strength exercises to improve flexibility and prevent injuries. Yoga and strength exercises can be helpful.

2. Nutrition for Runners

Nutrition plays a crucial role in your performance and overall health as a runner. Here are some tips to consider:

* Balanced diet: Aim for a balanced diet that includes carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. Carbs provide energy, proteins help with muscle repair, and fats support overall health.

* Pre-execution fuel: Eat a small meal or snack with a mixture of carbohydrates and proteins about 1 to 2 hours before a race to maintain your energy.

* Hydration: Good hydration is essential. Drink enough water throughout the day and consider sports drinks during longer runs to replace lost electrolytes.

* Recovery after execution: After your run, have a snack or meal containing protein to help your muscles recover and carbohydrates to give you energy.

Running Tips for Beginners
A good diet is also important for new runners. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

3. Stay hydrated

Dehydration can have a significant impact on your running performance and health. Follow these hydration tips:

* Pre-hydration: Start your run well hydrated. Try to drink water regularly throughout the day.

* During the race: Carry a bottle of water or plan your route near watering holes. Drink water regularly during your run, especially in hot weather.

* After the race: Rehydrate after your run to replace lost fluids. Water is sufficient for short runs, but for longer runs, consider a sports drink or electrolyte solution.

* Listen to the thirst: Your body is a great indicator of its hydration status. If you are thirsty, drink.

In addition to the tips mentioned above for new runners, sleeping well is also an important factor!

Other Running Tips for Beginners

Remember that every runner’s journey is unique, so don’t compare yourself to others or get into the pace game. Pay attention to your body’s signals, nourish it with a balanced diet and keep it hydrated. And enjoy the natural, organic progression of your run. Running isn’t just about crossing the finish line; it’s about enjoying the journey while taking care of your body along the way.

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