Five Runners Share their bes Training Tips for New Runners

Training Tips for New Runners {Just Run Round Up}

At the start of each new year, thousands of people resolve to become runners. While a common cliche states it takes 21 days to build a habit, it actually takes longer to adjust to running. The first few months of running are challenging, as your body needs to adapt and the risk of injury is high. This deters many people from running, but with these training tips for new runners, you can start a lifelong habit of running.

Five Runners Share their bes Training Tips for New Runners

Each month, several running bloggers share their best advice for runners in the Just Run Round Up. This month, we are offering training tips for new runners so that you can start running – and continue to run.

Give Your Body Time to Adapt

You maybe have heard the 10% rule for mileage, that you should increase your mileage no more than 10% each week. While that rule is grounded in common sense, it’s not the best approach for new runners.

When you apply a new training stimulus, such as more miles or higher intensity, your body requires time to adapt before you can apply the next stimulus. Otherwise, you apply load upon load without adaptation until your body is overloaded – and you are mentally burnt out or overtrained.

For beginner runners, it is not only your cardiovascular system that needs to adapt. Your musculoskeletal system needs to adapt as well – meaning that, even if you have a high level of aerobic fitness from another sport, you still need to build up your mileage slowly at the start.

Instead, give yourself two to four weeks at the same mileage before increasing. For example, you may start with three runs of three miles and maintain that mileage for three weeks before adding in a fourth run or increasing your daily mileage to four miles. Read more about how to safely increase your running mileage in this post

Utilize Walk Intervals

For some beginner runners, running one or two miles continuously can be intimidating. However, there is no requirement that you start out running continuously. Walk intervals are utilized by beginner and more experienced runners alike to run farther at a more comfortable effort.

Walk intervals make a run less intimidating. Instead of thinking about running three miles without stopping, you break the run into smaller segments: 2 minutes run, 1 minute walk, repeated for 30 minutes, for example.  As you progress, you can lengthen the run intervals until you do not need a walk interval at all. Or you can keep using them! I coach runners who use walk intervals to run half marathons and marathons. 

Go Outdoors

Many runners – myself included – begin on the treadmill when they start running. However, the treadmill poses a few problems for new runners. First, you have to set the pace – which means you could set it too fast and be convinced that running is too difficult for you. Second, the treadmill is monotonous, boring, and (at least in my opinion) feels more difficult than running outdoors.

That’s not to mention how starting on the treadmill can teach an inefficient running form. Many runners tend to overstride or lean back on the treadmill, and these two form flaws can lead to injury. Running outdoors helps you intuitively learn a natural, efficient running form.

If outdoor running is intimidating to you, find a loop or even a track so that you are never too far from your home or car. Run with a friend, carry your phone with you, use Garmin LiveTrack or Strava Beacon, or whatever you need to do to make those first few outdoor runs more comfortable.

Invest in Injury Prevention

Injuries are common in new runners, as your bones and muscles need time to adapt to the repetitive motion and impact of running. You can prevent injury by smartly increasing your mileage (see above); however, specific exercises to strengthen the muscles used in running will prevent future injury and make you a stronger runner in the long term.

The glutes, hips, and core are the powerhouse of running. Weakness in these muscle groups can cause injury, especially the common injuries that plague new runners such as runner’s knee and Achilles tendonitis. Functional exercises like squats, lunges, glute bridges, and leg lifts will strengthen your powerhouse and reduce the risk of injury. You don’t even need to join a gym – many of these exercises can be done using your own bodyweight or a resistance band at home.  

Try this resistance band workout or one of these six injury prevention workouts for runners. 

For more training tips for new runners, be sure to read the other posts in this month’s Just Run round up:

Carly from Fine Fit Day

Training Tips for New Runners

Allie at Vita Train for Life

Just Run round up: Training Tips for New Runners from Experienced Runners

Nellie at Brooklyn Active Mama

5 Unconventional Tips For New Runners

Sarah at Run Far Girl

New Runners- how to start and keep running

Angela at Happy Fit Mama

Training tips for new runners _

Linking up with Coaches’ Corner and Wild Workout Wednesday

What tips would you offer to a new runner?
If you are a new runner, what has helped you?

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14 Responses

  1. I think alot of people try to start running by using the treadmill and find it so boring that they give up on running. It’s definitely better to start running outside! Its also so true that more time may be needed to adapt to running in the beginning to prevent injury and give the body time to adjust.

  2. You nailed the key to running and it’s basically “patience!” I think that why people either love it or hate it because if you actually make a habit of running you have already invested so much of your time and heart!! Love this round up and this topic!

  3. It definitely takes more than 21 days to get into a running routine but if you can make it the first few weeks it can give a lot of confidence. I think often people try to do too much at first and get discouraged or injured.

  4. It definitely took me more than 21 days to stick with running! I don’t know exactly how long it took but it took some time for it to feel natural. I remember asking a friend who was a runner when it would stop feeling like my brain was being rattled around in my skull for the first mile of every run. I don’t know why that seemed to be my biggest complaint about running!

  5. I definitely agree that starting outdoors is so important! If I had started on the treadmill I am pretty sure I wouldn’t be a runner right now! 😛

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