How to Start Running: 5 Easy Steps

Beginning your running career can be a daunting task and many people will say that running isn’t for them. However, with little bit of guidance on how to start running, almost anyone can become a runner.

Whenever people begin a new sport or hobby, we can be a bit too quick out of the starters blocks. Often we push as hard as we can and over do it too early. Other times we get disappointed that we aren’t progressing as quickly as we’d like.

Before you start running, remember these three rules to avoid burning out and giving up.

  1. Take your time.
  2. It’s not a competition.
  3. Enjoy the process.

Now let’s go through the 5 steps to launch you into your running career.

1. Buy a pair of running shoes

The world of running shoes can be a scary place. Many running stores will insist you walk across a specialised pressure pad once and go on to say you need “extra support” or “pronation control” in your shoes. However, we now know this is a very crude way of deciding on what shoes you need.

First, we recommend you check out our articles on buying running shoes and trail running shoes. We also recommend you choose a shoes shop that allows you to run on a treadmill or within the store. Lastly, if you remember one thing, choose the shoe that is most comfortable for you. Recent research has found that choosing the shoes you find most comfortable actually helps reduce risk of running injuries!

2. Use time as a goal

When you first begin running, any distance can seem daunting. This is why we recommend beginner runners to run to time, not to a particular distance. For example, on day one you may go out with the aim of running for 5 minutes non-stop or you may aim to run non-stop for 1 minute and repeat this 5 times with rest breaks.

3. Join your local Parkrun

Parkrun organises free, weekly 5km timed runs in your local area. These runs are very sociable and are very inclusive. People of all ages and abilities participate, so it doesn’t matter how fast you are. Parkrun is a great way to meet like minded runners, keep yourself motivated and to spark a little bit of self competition, trying to improve your 5km time as you go.

4. Start a training program

Finding a couch to 5k, couch to 10k or beginner running program is a great way to keep yourself on track. Check out our free couch to 10km program here. Although you may be excited when you first start running, remember not to over do it. Running too often is sure way to get an overuse injury. Our couch to 10km program ensures you only run 3 x per week to begin with and includes strength training, an essential component of a running program.

5. Choose a race

Choosing a race is not essential, however it can help keep you motivated in those times when going for a run may seem like a chore. Starting with a local 5 or 10km fun run is a great way to start. Ensure you give yourself enough time to prepare for the race though.

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