Running tips for beginners: 3 important lessons from a marathon runner

My name is Amna. I am the 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 moved up to half marathons. After six years of running, I finally have the courage to train for a marathon! I have run four marathons and am proud of my slow but progressive running journey. I have experienced and learned many things along the way that can be useful running tips for beginners.

When we start out as runners, there is a lot we don’t know. We are excited to sign up for races and train for them without prior knowledge of the key factors that influence running.

Important running tips for beginners

Running is a fantastic way to improve your fitness, boost 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 important aspects that every new runner should consider. 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 important aspects of becoming a successful runner is learning to listen to your body. It may sound simple, but it’s something that many beginners overlook. Look for these important signs:

* Start slowly: As a beginner, it is crucial that you set your pace. Pushing too hard too quickly can lead to injuries. Start with a mix of walking and running, and gradually increase your running time as your body adapts.

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

* Pain versus discomfort: It’s normal to feel uncomfortable while running, especially as you build 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: Add stretching and strength training to improve flexibility and prevent injuries. Yoga and bodyweight 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 with carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats. Carbohydrates provide energy, proteins help with muscle recovery and fats support overall health.

* Fuel lead: Consume a small meal or snack with a mix of carbohydrates and protein about 1-2 hours before your run to maintain your energy.

* Hydration: Good hydration is essential. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and consider sports drinks for longer runs to replenish lost electrolytes.

* Post-run recovery: After your run, have a snack or meal with protein to help your muscles recover and carbohydrates to give you energy.

Running tips for beginners
Proper nutrition 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 consistently throughout the day.

* While running: Bring a water bottle or plan your route around water stops. Drink water regularly while running, especially on hot days.

* After running: Rehydrate after running to replenish lost fluids. Water is sufficient for short runs, but for longer runs consider a sports drink or electrolyte solution.

* Listen to thirst: Your body is an excellent indicator of hydration status. If you are thirsty, drink.

In addition to the above tips for new runners, a good night’s sleep 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 and organic progression of your running. 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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