Whether you’re in it to improve your heart health, sleep, mood, and memory or simply love the thrill of a challenge, there are plenty of reasons to become a runner. In fact, with the many physical and Mental Health Benefits of Running, it makes perfect sense why 50 million Americans participate in some sort of running-based activity.
If you’re a new runner wondering how to start running without giving up, we’ve got you covered with today’s best tips and tricks to keep your running career on track from mile one to one hundred and beyond.
How to Start Running Without Giving Up
Create a Realistic Schedule
Humans are creatures of habit and routine. As such, we need time to adjust to new habits so we don’t burn ourselves out. Running is no different! When you want to learn how to start running, step one is to create a running schedule that realistically fits your life and daily schedule.
Try to find an hour or so within your day that you can take time away from life, work, kids, and other responsibilities to tackle your goals. Then, pick a mental cue that signals it’s time for you to go out and run. This could be closing your work computer, changing into your running clothes as soon as you get home, taking 30 minutes to run on your lunch break, or setting an early morning alarm to signal that it’s time to get up and get after it.
One effective tactic for creating internal motivation is giving yourself a post-workout reward after hitting a goal. This could be something simple, like the feeling of a good stretch after a run, a hot shower, tuning into your favorite show, etc.
Take It Slow
Whether you’re entirely new to running, or it’s been a while since you’ve laced up your sneakers and hit the pavement or path, our advice is the same: take it slow and give yourself time to improve. Pablo Picasso didn’t wake up one of the world’s most prolific painters, so give yourself a break if you’re not exactly where you want to be right out of the gate! Instead, focus on getting 1% better each time you head out for a run. These little victories will compound over time into great strides in your overall success.
Start with short running intervals and avoid running too fast out of the gate. Don’t be ashamed to walk or mix it up where you feel comfortable. Learning how your body moves–what feels good and where you may need to focus some extra time–is all part of the game. Ignoring your body or believing you should be running your personal best in a day, week, or even the first month is a recipe for injury and failure.
When you want to learn how to start running, phone apps like Strava, MapMyRun, and C25K (just to name a few) can get you on your feet with running plans designed for new runners.
Research shows that individuals who set a goal have a 65% chance of completing it if they’ve committed to someone else. Add a specific accountability appointment with that person to your plan, and your chances of success jump to 95%. Long story short, accountability is a crucial component of accomplishing your goals. So, how can you make sure you’re holding yourself (or being held) accountable? We have a few ideas.
For starters, you could join a local running group that meets regularly, or if there isn’t one, create a running community yourself. You may also hire a coach or ask a family member or friend to hold you accountable. Who knows, maybe they will even join you! Another way to maintain accountability is by using an accountability app–some of which offer financial incentives to hit your goals. If making (or losing) money is a big motivator, this may be a good accountability tool to consider.
Set a Deadline or Incentive to Reach Your Goal
Introducing new habits takes work, and learning how to start running without giving up is no different. Aside from the physical challenges you will encounter, there is also the mental challenge of sticking to your routine. Deadlines and incentives can usher in the motivation required to stay on track. Consider signing up for a race like a 5k or a half marathon. Or tell yourself you can finally go on that island vacation if you accomplish your long-term goal of running that half marathon, running consistently for six months, and so on.
Invest in Proper Running Gear
The gear you wear out on your runs can unlock or inhibit performance. Frankly, shoes that hurt, socks that slip, or clothes that chafe shouldn’t even be on your radar when you’re trying to focus on good form and pace.
When you want to learn how to start running successfully, give yourself every advantage you can with proper gear. This includes running shoes that fit and feel great (like custom running shoes from a specialty store), breathable, seasonally-appropriate clothing, and socks designed to reduce blistering and slippage.
For instance, our women’s running socks and men’s running socks are anatomically designed to move with you, not against you. This means fewer chances for socks to slip, blisters to form, or sock-induced discomfort to hold you back.
We offer three running sock collections (Elite, High Performance, Merino 10) available in ultra light, light, cushion, and max cushion, making it simple to find your perfect level of comfort. You may also find comfort in running in compression socks, which can help decrease leg fatigue and improve performance. Find out which Feetures socks are right for you with our sock finder!
Don’t Sleep on Recovery
It takes time for your body and mind to adjust to new physical routines, and proper recovery is crucial to improving in the long term. Not giving your body a chance to recover can lead to injury, so take advantage of that well-earned rest with proper rest days, nutrition, and stretching, like these 5 Easy & Effective Stretches for Runners!
For added support on your recovery days, slip into a pair of men’s or women’s compression socks. These targeted compression socks help naturally increase blood flow, which helps improve recovery and even enhance future performance.
Don’t Wait for Motivation–It Won’t Always Be There
You’ve got your gear, your training plan, your incentives, and your deadlines. Now, let’s talk about motivation and how it’s unreliable.
Motivation is fleeting– it comes and goes. You won’t always be motivated to run, especially in the early days of your training. Weather, life, and everyday stressors make it easy to say “not today.” Even the most dedicated athletes don’t always feel motivated to do the work!
Instead of relying on motivation to get the job done, dig down and find the drive: the power within yourself that allows you to push past the challenges and do it anyway. Remind yourself why you began this journey and what’s waiting for you on the other side. Not long into your run, you’ll be glad you followed through. Keep doing this, and your mind will catch up with your new routine. Soon, you’ll be proud to call yourself a dedicated runner!
Go Further With Feetures
For all of the ways you’re meant to move, Feetures has a pair of high-performance socks built with the technical advantage to take you new distances. Browse and shop Feetures men’s socks and women’s socks today to find your new go-to pair designed to take you further in unparalleled comfort and style. Earn rewards when you do!