Advice for new runners

Haeleigh Bayle, Reporter

With spring right around the corner, people may begin thinking about going out for a run and trying to either get back into shape, or simply prioritize losing weight and getting into a healthy lifestyle. With that in mind, there may be some little tips I can offer new runners who are beginning their running journey. I am an avid runner, so getting others to begin running and feeling great about themselves is definitely something I’d like to do. I am in no way a professional, however, so please take my advice with a grain of salt.

My first piece of advice for new runners is to take things slowly. I know that is basically common sense, but sometimes (myself included) runners try to start running five days a week and quit a few miles within those five days. When you do too many miles too fast, and too soon, you will most likely experience shin pain which can lead to shin splints. Yes, this is very common, but believe me, they are no fun. I have been struggling with them for two years, so make sure to always gradually wade into running, so your body has time to adjust to the demanding physical strain you experience when running. I simply suggest starting out walking if you have never run before for a half an hour each day, or if you are more in shape, then running a light one-two miles three times a week evenly spaced out. I would stick with the lower portion of running for a few weeks, then add a mile or two (depending on if you want a hard workout/run or a relaxing one) and see how it goes. If you begin to feel pain in your shins at all, ease off running, ice, elevate, and relax the muscles to prevent further injury.

My second piece of advice for new runners is to not be discouraged. Just because you aren’t running a 5K in under twenty-five minutes doesn’t mean you are horrible, it simply means you just need to keep practicing and running to build your endurance up. Speed will come once you have your miles up. If you can consistently run three miles, than you can begin to focus on the speed part. Everyone has bad running days. Some days, your body just really does not want to run and feels extremely fatigued, but this does not mean you should just give up. Instead, fight through the fatigue and realize it is okay to not have an amazing run. Even the best runners have their bad days and struggle to run the necessary miles.

My third and final piece of advice is to stick with it and consistently run. If you consistently run, then you will begin to get into a smooth running routine, and your overall health will start to be improved. Even if you are at the stage of simply walking, walk consistently, and soon you will find that the faster and farther you walk, the less terrifying running will be. Being a consistent runner is key because sticking to a schedule may help prevent certain injuries that could be obtained in running inconsistently.

Running is a great habit to get into, and the benefits are many. I personally find running therapeutic and necessary in my everyday life. Though I only have three pieces of advice this time, stay tuned as I will periodically add more advice throughout the rest of this school year. So what do you say? Get outside and start your running adventure!