It’s essential to take it slow, start with a 25–20 min run, and built up as you go at your own pace. In this 6 step guide, I help you started. Every runner starts as a beginner. It matters that you create the right way. Start easy to grow faster. Make it a habit. You will learn to love it so that it can change your life.
Everyone has a different goal of running. People start running for both losing weight or clearing the mind. No matter what their plan is with running. I want to help you get started with running in this guide.
It’s essential to start at your own pace. Don’t push hard on yourself. Otherwise, you will find yourself not meeting your expectations. When you get started, that is not what you want.
At the end of this guide, you will know how to start running, what you need to get started, and the benefits of running.
When you want to start running, it’s essential to have one or multiple goals in mind. Those can differ per person, so your dreams can be different from mine.
It is essential to define your goals with running. Examples of plans for running can be:
- Clearing the mind
- Doing exercises
- Losing weight
- Building muscle’s
Well, this list can go on and on, but for everyone, it will be different. When I started running, my goals were doing exercises, clearing my mind, and losing weight. Maybe your goal is to become a professional runner.
I work as a developer, so a lot of my work is happening in my mind. I work in an office, so I have to be mindful of my exercise time during the day. And because I sit a lot, my belly overgrows. Because of that, it is essential to clear my mind during multiple runs during the week.
Having your goals clear is essential to setting your expectations.
Some people will start, beat themselves up by having goals that are not realistic. A lot of those people will end their running habit pretty fast.
This is because they can’t meet their expectations, so they stop. Instead, they only had to adjust their expectations or set goals that were easier to achieve.
My most extensive advice is to start easy, go slow, and maintain in the long run.
To start easy, the best thing I have learned is to do interval sessions. Interval sessions are sessions where you run for a few minutes and break it up with walking. This is very beneficial for your body to get used to the running exercises.
In the Netherlands and Belgium, there was a particular podcast program called “Start To Run”. It helped people to get started with running their first 5KM in around 30 lessons. When I got started, I started with interval training too. It was a constructive way to build up the running habit.
Interval training can be as easy as 3 minutes running, 1-minute walking, or 5 minutes running with 1 minute running. If you like, you can build your schedule with this or use the Nike Club app and pick the “Next Speed Run” this run, for example.
At first, you won’t love it. I had that same experience. It did take me a few weeks to love it. Those first few weeks, it took me quite some effort to run.
It’s not weird that it will take you a lot of effort when you get started with running. Don’t blame yourself for it. Just get used to the running.
When I got started, it took me a lot of effort to finish my training. I found it very hard to keep running for 2 minutes. My condition was terrible, so it was very logical that I experienced this very hard.
When multiple runs got by, it slowly became more comfortable with running 2–3 minutes. But I needed those intervals with walking in between the running.
Don’t be surprised or negative about yourself that you will never run more than 2–3 minutes. Don’t beat yourself up. Accept the slow pace and get used to it. It is entirely normal.
Professional runners never start with full speed and running for ours. They also have to build it up. So why expect that from yourself as a beginner, right.
Hard work and putting in a lot of effort will pay off.
When you want to start a new habit, you have to do it regularly. Otherwise, you never will build that habit. Making a habit costs time and energy but has the power of becoming your everyday behavior.
When I started running, I was running every other day. My body needed that day (or 2) of rest between the running sessions.
It’s good to let your body recover for 1 or 2 days. Not only when you just get started with running, but also when you do it for a more extended period.
If you don’t let your body recover, it will hurt. And if you don’t give your body time to recover, you will end up having injuries.
Do it regularly with breaks, and you will have a lifelong habit that is good for your body and mind.
Now that we talked about how to start, it’s time to get practical and get your gear to start running.
No matter how expensive or cheap your gear is, make sure it’s comfortable. Some shoes that will fit my feet entirely maybe won’t match yours.
Make sure they breathe good air in the summer but are still warm in the winter. Some people like to run in a regular shirt or hoody, and some want to run in clothes of a particular fabric.
But in my experience, you can grab every possible comfortable clothing item from your closet. For me, it worked just to use an old shirt and sweatpants.
Be aware that not everything that is listed below is required to get started with running. It’s just what my wife and I do.
It could be that you already have a pair of sports shoes to take a run. If they are good enough to start with, just keep them. I have started on shoes which costs me 20 euros. But make sure they are comfortable while running.
When you run, your body gets a lot of shocks. Your running shoes have to minimize the shocks for your body while running. It’s a good idea to have shoes with a thick sole.
I wear a pair of black Nike Revolution 5 shoes, and my wife wears the Asics Patriot 10. They are pretty comfortable for my feet, minimizing many shocks and ensuring my feet won’t feel sweaty. If you like them, order the Nike Revolution 5 or Asics Patriot 10 at Amazon. But if you want other brands of running shoes more than these, checkout Amazon for other great running shoes.
I like to wear an old gray hoody with old sweatpants in the winter. In the summer I like to wear black shorts with a t-shirt, so nothing special. But my wife prefers yoga pants and a fleece hoody in the winter. During summer, she has yoga pants with a running t-shirt and sports bra.
It’s just a matter of taste. But take the clothing that is lightweight and comfortable for you.
Yoga pants are trendy for women, like these on Amazon. For a man, they also seem popular, but I never tried them out. Amazon has a lot of yoga pants for men as well, but also the sweatpants I like to wear. A comfortable hoody or fleece hoodywill keep you warm during the winter, so I highly recommend that.
In the summer I advise you to pick the most lightweight clothes for running. They also need to take air through it because you’re going to sweat (a lot 😅). I find these running shorts and shirts for men from amazon very comfortable. My wife loves the yoga pants and slim fit sports t-shirts from Amazon.
When I started running, I wasn’t thinking about a running belt. I found that this wasn’t needed because my runs were only about 20–30 min, so I didn’t need any water to take only during hot summers.
I recently ordered a running belt from Amazon with a pocket for my phone and two small water bottles. I did need them because I needed to be visible during early evenings when it’s dark. The running belt has reflectors on it so that cars can spot you sooner.
The second reason was, I couldn’t take my phone with me during my runs, and for the sake of safety, I wanted to have it with me. I track my runs with an Apple Watch, but in the Netherlands, the 4G version isn’t supported. But with the running belt, I can take my phone and even my keys, so pretty valuable for me!
When you track your run, it will tell you how fast you run and progress in distance and speed. But you can also use it to make sure you’re not going too fast.
As I said above, I track my runs with an Apple Watch (series 4). I wear them every day, not primarily for running. I want to make sure that I move enough, so my Apple Watch helps me with that.
I’m using the default Workout app on the Apple Watch for it. Most of the time, I leave the goal open. I make sure that I won’t run too fast. I run at a comfortable speed; otherwise, I won’t run long enough.
Next to tracking my runs with my Apple Watch, I use a set of Airpods pro to listen to music. For me, running without music is not cool. I need music while I’m running. It can be a playlist or a podcast, but music motivates me to run longer and further.
You can order the Apple Watch (series 5, 6, or SE) from Amazon if you like. But you can also track it in another way.
If you don’t own an iPhone, an Apple Watch will be a waste of your money.
So if you have an Android phone, I would highly recommend checking out a nice Android watch with Wear OS. Wear OS is the Android system on Android smartwatches. They also have a pretty good tracking system.
In the early days of the activity trackers like the first Fitbit, they were more straightforward than they are right now. Currently, you can use them as a smartwatch because they all have an app for your phone. These are a bit cheaper most of the time, but you can spend more money on them since they get more advanced.
Your phone on your arm
The most inexpensive way of tracking your run is with a phone in a special running armband. Before I owned an Apple Watch, I used my iPhone with an armband with the app RunKeeper. You can get a arm band from Amazon in almost any color or size.
When I started my run, I started the app and followed everything: my speed, GPS, height, and many more. RunKeeper was the first app I used to track my runs. It’s free and has excellent tracking capabilities. So if you want to track your run before spending money on a smartwatch, I highly recommend this way.
No, it is time to plan your first run. You can be spontaneous and go for a run right away. Some people need a little bit more planning ahead. Both are fine. Do what feels right for you!
Your schedule should have two things. When you run and how long you run.
The first is when you are going to run. When you have put this as an appointment on your schedule, it will be a lot easier to move yourself to it. The second thing is how long you’re going to run. The distance or time can be the thing you pick.
I would advise you to run every two days, so your body can get used to the running exercises you are doing. It will give your muscles the time to repair themselves and be ready for the next run.
From my experience, it’s essential to keep those resting days. Otherwise, you will have pain in all your body. And with that pain, people who are just getting started will decide to quit more easily.
Never do it too long or go too far when you plan your distance or time to run. Listen to your body carefully!
For me, it was enough to run for 18 minutes (with intervals) with a distance of an average of 2 kilometers. After that run, I needed a lot of time to bring my heart rate down. My muscles hurt like hell.
I loved it to run early in the morning, especially when I was working from home. The advantage of that is you will kickstart the awakening of your body and have more energy during the day.
Your running pace is connected to how long you can run for the length in time as in the distance.
When I first started, I was more focused on the length of time. So I was not focussing on the distance. I just wanted to be able to run for 30 min.
My running pace was around 8.52 a kilometer. The intervals running schema looked like this. So I started with 1 minute walking (not too slow, but normal), after that 1 minute running (like jogging, not running full speed), and so on and on.
As you can see, when you get started, start at a comfortable pace. And if you find out that it’s too much for you. Then just do all the intervals with 1-minute walking and 1 minute running and see when you build up from there.
This is a crucial thing for me! It’s so important that if I can’t listen to music, I won’t run 😊. That is how much I enjoy music.
I have a few reasons to listen to music while running. It helps me set a pace because I automatically follow the beat. And I enjoy music so much!
I’ve experienced listening to music helps me relax in my mind, and it motivates me to run longer. I love to listen to electronic music with great beats and melodies. A piece that has a slow pace doesn’t work that well for me, but maybe it’s excellent for you.
Make sure you have great earphones for running because those have to stay in your ears. Earphones that I would recommend for Apple fans are Apple EarPods, Apple Airpods, and the Apple Airpods Pro. If you want something different than Apple, checkout Beats Powerbeats Pro, JBL Reflect Mini 2, Jabra Elite Active 75t, Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, or the Bose Sport Earbuds. All of these can be ordered from Amazon.
Okay, we have covered a lot of how you can get started to run, but one of the most important things to start running is why?
Because why on earth would you want to start to run? Or why do you need to do exercises? Well, there are a few things why running is excellent.
Clearing your mind can be crucial. Imagine you have a day of hard work in the office or at home. You have thought a lot, and you had to solve problems and a lot more other stuff.
But your brain needs time to process these things. You need some time on your own to process these things. Or maybe think about an essential subject very carefully. But at home it’s busy, at the gym it’s even more crowded.
Go outside, take a run for 30/60 minutes, and after it, your brain had the time to process the things of the day.
For me, it’s also the right moment to come up with new ideas for my projects. At that time, I don’t have to think about someone else. That time is my time, and my time only! No, it’s not selfish to think like that.
If you’re not taking time for yourself to think about the things you find important, how can you take care of someone else? I guess you can’t, or at least not at your best.
Take my time often. 👍
This was one of the reasons why I started running. First I only had to order a pair of running shoes, second, it didn’t cost me more than 30 euros. A very cheap way of working outright.
If you run twice a week for longer than a year, your weight can be very beneficial. In one year, I’ve lost 15KG while running two or three times a week.
Yes, you also have to take care of what you eat and drink. But working out is very beneficial.
Next to losing weight, my condition improved massively. Before I started running and I walked the stairs, I was out of breath. But now I don’t have any problem with that.
So if you have to lose weight, make running a habit, and you will lose weight. Even better if you start enjoying running, so it will become a hobby.
Yes, no, it’s time to strap your shoes around your feet and get running!
Remember, start slow and well-paced. Not too slow, not too fast, because that’s that will hurt you both.
I wish you all the luck with your running journey! Hopefully, you will run for a long time. 😊 Enjoy!
After reading this post, I hope you learned something new or are inspired to create something new! 🤗
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