How to Start Running for Beginners | New Year's Resolution

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Beginner's guide to running
First, happy 2016!

A lot of fitness goals are coming out of the closet right about now, and many of you want to start running in 2016. I began running regularly in early 2010. I was studying in the south of London at the time, and hitting the gym became a regular habit during the rainy season there. It didn't take me long to gravitate toward the treadmill, and then the trails when the weather improved as the months wore on. 6 years later, I’m still happiest on the run.

Here's my take on how you can also start running.

1. Identify Your Goal

Whether it’s getting in better shape, cross that marathon off your bucket list, or losing 10 pounds, identify what you want to get out of running. When I first began, I wanted to run 5K in under 25 minutes. Like all achievable goal-setting, make sure your goals are SMART: specific, measurable, action-oriented, relevant, and trackable. Once you identify your goal, you will be able to figure out a detailed workout plan from there.

2. Pick Out Your Gear

Whether you plan to run outdoors or indoors, on a track, the pavement, a trail, or the treadmill, you need appropriate gear. Don’t worry about getting the most high-tech dri-FIT stuff; wear something comfortable and loosely fitting but not falling off of you. I started with just cotton t-shirts and gym shorts from my high school days. The one piece of gear you shouldn’t sacrifice is your running shoes. Make sure your shoes fit well (be mindful of squishing your toes) and provide the right amount of support and flexibility for your foot. The best bet is to get fitted with runners at your local sports door.

3. Create A Playlist

Get hyped up with the right playlist. Running is supposed to be fun, despite the amount of pain one might feel during a run. Curate your own playlist or use something off of a player like Spotify.

4. Plan Your Route

For those running outside, make sure to plan your route so you don’t get lost, and so you can track your distance and work out your pace. The perfect route, for me at least, is one that goes in a loop so I’m not circling back the same way. Something as simple as Google Maps can provide you with both mileage and elevation.

5. Start Running 

Do you remember running around the playground when you were a kid? Everyone can run. If you think you’re seriously out of shape, then start by spending 20 minutes a day, 3 times a week. You don’t even have to run for the whole 20 minutes, start by just jogging, and don’t be afraid to walk. The best way to start is with a 4-minute jog followed by a 1-minute walking break. Continue this for the whole 20 minutes. When you get stronger, you’ll be able to decrease the walking time and eliminate it altogether, not to mention pick up the pace of the jog.

Go forth and start running!

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