So, you’ve decided you want to start running. Congrats on your excellent life choice! But you should know about some important running tips that I and many of my fellow runners follow.
Firstly, you’re probably imagining yourself on your first run: feeling like you’re flying as your hair blows beautifully in the wind, your neighbors all looking out their windows, all jealous of your initiative and motivation.
However, that’s unfortunately not how your first run will go if you don’t plan ahead. You should know that when it comes to your very first run, it’s not going to be glamorous—at least, not if you jump head-first into it without thinking about it. You might end up having a bad run that will discourage you.
All runners were beginners at some point, and many of them had to learn these lessons the hard way.
However, if you follow these running tips right away, you’ll get a jump start on the rest!
Running Tips for Beginners
1. Hydrate well beforehand
Many beginning runners avoid drinking water beforehand, and you might be tempted to too. You might think that if you drink too much water before you run, you’ll have to pee or you’ll be too full. And this might be the case—if you drink a ton of water right before your run.
Instead, drink glasses of water in the hours leading to your run, or you will end up being dehydrated. After all, you’ll be sweating quite a bit, and you need to replace the fluids in your body. Dehydration will certainly not make you look like a Greek god(dess)—and it will make your run considerably harder, which is not what anybody needs.
Related: 5 Big Benefits of Drinking Water
2. Put your hair in a ponytail
This one’s for the ladies (or hey, maybe men too!). If you put your hair into a nice bun, you can bet that it won’t stay like that. Sorry, but most of the time, the cute hairstyles just don’t work. Put your hair in a tight, sturdy ponytail—and either French-braid or pin those bangs back. In fact, pin any wispy hairs that might fall into your face.
But my hair’s too short to put in a ponytail, so I’m just going to keep it cute.
NOPE. Use a headband. Trust me, you won’t be caring about how your hair looks when it’s flopping annoyingly onto your sweaty forehead.
3. Wear comfortable clothing
I’ve been on a run when I wore clothes that were cute, but not convenient—and that run was the worst I’ve ever had. I ended up giving up way earlier than I normally would have. You want to wear clothes that are comfortable and convenient (bonus points if they look suave!).
Girls, avoid the short shorts, as no one likes chafing. Guys, avoid wearing regular boxers. I won’t go into why, but I will tell you that my male friends who are experienced runners beg of you. For anyone, make sure to wear socks that go above the line of your shoes, and get some comfortable shoes. Nobody likes a blister!
Related: 8 Tips to Start Running
4. Get headphones that will stay in your ears
Whenever I go on a run, I love listening to good music. However, I always used to use those earbuds that came with my iPhone, which seemed fine initially—until my ears got all sweaty and the earbuds would fall out of my ears immediately.
But my ears don’t sweat–that’s disgusting!
Yeah, and I bet your armpits smell like roses too, right? One of the biggest running tips I can give you is this: getting a good jog in is a good work out, and thus makes you sweat in places you didn’t think you could sweat. So if you’re human, your ears will, indeed, sweat.
Avoid this annoying problem right away by investing in a lightweight pair of headphones that will actually stay put, like the kind that wrap around your entire ear. This way, you’ll be able to listen to your tunes without any added distractions.
Related: 7 Ways to Get Motivated to Exercise
5. If on the treadmill, bring the two essentials
If your first run will be on the treadmill, be kind to yourself by taking a water bottle along to keep next to you. It’s an awful feeling to have a dry mouth when you’re working out, and if you have nothing to quench your thirst, it might lead you to stop your run early so you can hit the water fountain.
Even if you’re jogging outside, you can leave your water bottle at a place you might pass by several times (just make sure not to bring a high-quality water bottle in case someone takes it!).
Also, be kind to the people around you by taking along a small towel. Gym etiquette is, indeed, a real thing. In a lot of gyms, if you’re sweating all over the place without anything to mop up your face, people will give you looks. Others have to use the equipment after you, so don’t cover it with your rose-scented sweat.
Related: 7 Steps to Fat Loss
Running is a process and a journey. Just like anything else, you might learn a few things the hard way. However, there are a few running tips you can follow to make your first run everything you dreamed. If you make sure to hydrate well beforehand, keep your hair back tight, wear comfortable clothing, get headphones that will actually stay on your ears, and bring along a water bottle as well as a towel, you will likely have an excellent run—the first of many!
Originally published 1/2014 and updated 11/2014.
Photo by Hearbudz