Updated: Oct 23, 2021
Running is a great form of exercise. All you need is a good pair of running shoes and maybe a pair of earphones to listen to a good playlist or an interesting podcast. But other than that— running (outside) is free! No gym membership or boujee spin class pass is required. Just you, your feet and the great outdoors (if you’re not using a treadmill).
But let’s be honest, running can really suck. You feel like you’re constantly out of breath, your feet hurt, and in your mind, you’re constantly wondering when the run is going to end. But at the end of a run, your initial feelings towards running can completely change.
You’re more energized, you feel accomplished, and your endorphins are at an all-time high— which is notably known as “runner’s high.”
Incorporating jogs into your fitness routine is a great way to get a sweaty workout in and improve your cardiovascular health. But if you haven’t ran in a while, or if you’re looking to start a running routine, sometimes it can be intimidating to start.
This is why we compiled 6 easy and actionable things to start implementing today if you want to start running on your own!
1 - Start with a walk
Before you go into full-force running mode, ease your way with a walk. Sometimes building up the mental habit of exercise before you go full-throttle is ideal so your mind and body can get used to the idea of you going out on regular walks (and eventual runs). Walking around in your local neighbourhood can help you plan out your running route so you’ll have an idea of where you’re going and how long your running route will be… even before you decide to go on a run.
2 - Get a good pair of running shoes
Having a good pair of running shoes is imperative to run comfortably. With the number of shoes that are currently on the market, it can be overwhelming to find a proper running shoe or know what makes a good running shoe. Here are some things to consider when you’re on the hunt for a good pair of new runners:
As obvious as it might be, make sure you opt for a running shoe. In sports stores and retail shoe stores, they often categorize their shoes with running, trainer, everyday/casual and even sometimes categorized by specific sports. Each shoe is designed to tailor a specific sport so make sure you get a shoe that is specific for running. Your feet will thank you for it!
Cushion. Make sure you have a platform cushion. It will help you comfortably land on your feet when you’re running, and aid in shock absorption with every stride.
Last but not least, try them on. You want to ensure that the shoe isn’t too tight on your foot, and you have a little bit of wiggle room in your toes. Make sure your foot is not sliding in the shoe, and it’s comfortable when your foot is flexed.
3 - Run first, reward later.
Motivating yourself to actually go out for your first run, and every run afterwards can be a tough task. If you’re familiar with Pavlov’s conditioning experiment— try conditioning yourself! After every run, reward yourself. Whether it’s a cup of coffee (if you’re trying to run in the morning), a hot shower, a hearty breakfast, or a delicious post-run smoothie, make sure you continue to reward yourself. This gives you something to look forward to after your run and helps you build a healthy habit by attaching a small “reward” afterwards.
4 - Get a running coach!
Coaches can typically be expensive depending on what you’re working on, what your goals and needs are, and the coach’s experience. But have you ever heard of a running coach? Let alone, a coach that does it for FREE? The Nike Run Club App is a free application for your smartphone and smartwatch (currently only compatible with the Apple Watch), where you can track your runs while listening to a running coach motivate you throughout your run. It’s like having a professional running buddy and hype coach by your side!
5 - Lay your clothes out the day before.
Whether you’re going out for a walk or getting ready for your run, lay out your workout clothes the night before so it is the first thing you look at when you wake up (if you plan on implementing your running routine in the morning), or a gentle reminder once you’re done work for the day.
A tip for the girls: put on a cute workout set that makes you feel cute and confident. Sometimes that’s the motivation you need to get outside for a walk or run!
6 - Get a running buddy.
Sometimes running with a friend will not only hold you accountable but will keep you motivated to stick to a running routine. Make it a fun, social workout date with your workout buddy. If you don’t have a running partner, look for inspiration through athletes and other runners. There are many ways to consume content and gain running inspiration from social media like Instagram, TikTok and Youtube. Follow individuals that inspire you, and soon enough, consuming inspirational running content can motivate you to get up and run yourself. Just remember not to compare yourself and your speed to other individuals’.
Running is a great form of exercise, but it can be hard to form a habit of it. We guarantee that using some of these tips will ease you into running and where you will actually enjoy it.
Once you incorporate some or all of these tips— you’ll be a runner in no time!