Expert Tips for New Runners Starting Out
Getting into running for the first time? We asked local trainer Teresa Wade from the Sports Barn about her top tips for newbie runners.
When people are just getting started, they often go at it without any breaks. They want to run all the time. But running is like any other sport—you need to have a base fitness level first.
Find your pace.
Some people start running to be with friends. The problem is that either one person compromises her pace, or the other runs too fast and gets injured. A running coach can help you find your pace.
Do active stretches.
Do some calisthenics or ballistic-type stretches—some sort of active stretch that mimics the activity you’re doing. Stretch again at the end of the workout.
Have a pro watch you.
A lot of people run on misaligned bodies—knees locking in, etc. They set themselves up for injury in the future. Consult a running specialist or a coach. We can watch you run on a treadmill and make sure your form and posture aren’t off.
Get the right shoes. There are two really good stores here in Chattanooga where people can look at your body mechanics and help you find the right shoes for your feet.
Don’t only run. Do something else fun that is fitness-based too. Cross-training makes you a better athlete. Take fitness classes or boot camp-type classes to enhance your running.
Watch your calories. Running is just like any other sport. You’ll need to look at calories in vs. calories out. In your mind, you may think that you’re burning a lot when you’re running, but it really depends on how fast you run. I often see people gain weight in marathon training.
Find your motivation. Some people run just to keep their weight down. That’s not going to be that lasting of a motivator. Pick several events throughout the year and train for them, and take record of your mileage.
Listen to your body. If your calves feel tight or your knees are sore, it might be time for a break. Some people get in overtraining mode and later they can’t make themselves do anything. Don’t beat yourself up if you need to take a few rest days in a row.