Running tips for beginners: 3 key lessons from a marathoner

Excited about starting out as a runner? These running tips for beginners, from a marathoner, will help you ease your journey.
Woman running
Follow the right running tips for beginners to avoid mishaps. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Amna Ahmed Published: 25 Oct 2023, 12:30 pm IST
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My name is Amna. I am the co-captain of the running community Adidas Runners Delhi. I started my running journey 7 years ago. I began with an easy 5 km run, followed by a few 10 km runs, and gradually progressing to half marathons. Finally after six years of running, I got the guts to train for a marathon! I have done four marathons and stand proud of my slow but progressive running journey. I have experienced and learned many things along the way that can be useful running tips for beginners.

When we start out as runners, there’s a lot that we don’t know. We are excited to register for races and train for them without prior knowledge of the key factors that impact running.

Important running tips for beginners

Running is a fantastic way to improve your fitness, boost your mental well-being, and connect with like-minded people. But it is important to know how to start running in a healthy way. There are three key aspects every new runner should be mindful of. Let’s find out!

Tips for new runners by Amna Ahmed
Amna Ahmed shares lessons from her own inspiring story as a runner. Image courtesy: Instagram| Aamna Ahmed

1. Listen to your body

One of the most vital aspects of becoming a successful runner is learning to listen to your body. It may sound simple, but it’s something many beginners overlook. Pay attention to these important signals:

* Start slow: As a novice, it is crucial to pace yourself. Pushing too hard too soon can lead to injuries. Begin with a mix of walking and running, gradually increasing your running time as your body adapts.

* Rest days: Your body needs time to recover. Rest days are as important as training days. Listen to your muscles; if they’re sore, take a day off.

* Pain vs Discomfort: It’s normal to feel discomfort during a run, especially when building endurance. However, sharp or persistent pain is a warning sign. Don’t ignore it, it’s your body’s way of saying something is wrong.

* Flexibility and strength: Incorporate stretching and strength training to improve flexibility and prevent injuries. Yoga and bodyweight exercises can be helpful.

2. Nutrition for runners

Nutrition plays a crucial role in your performance and overall health as a runner. Here are some tips to consider:

* Balanced diet: Aim for a balanced diet that includes carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. Carbs provide energy, protein aids in muscle repair, and fats support overall health.


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* Pre-run fuel: Consume a small meal or snack with a mix of carbs and protein about 1-2 hours before a run to sustain your energy.

* Hydration: Proper hydration is essential. Drink enough water throughout the day and consider sports drinks for longer runs to replace lost electrolytes.

* Post-run recovery: After your run, have a snack or meal that includes protein to help your muscles recover and carbohydrates to give you energy.

Running tips for beginners
The right nutrition is also important for new runners. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

3. Staying hydrated

Dehydration can significantly impact your running performance and health. Follow these hydration tips:

* Pre-hydration: Begin your run well-hydrated. Aim to drink water consistently throughout the day.

* During the run: Carry a water bottle or plan your route near water stops. Sip water regularly during your run, especially on hot days.

* After the run: Rehydrate after your run to replace lost fluids. Water is sufficient for short runs, but for longer ones, consider a sports drink or electrolyte solution.

* Listen to thirst: Your body is an excellent indicator of its hydration status. If you’re thirsty, drink.

Along with the above mentioned tips for new runners, getting proper sleep is also an important factor!

Other running tips for beginners

Remember that every runner’s journey is unique, so don’t compare yourself to others, nor get into the game of paces. Pay attention to your body’s signals, nourish it with a balanced diet, and keep it hydrated. And enjoy the natural and organic progression of your running. Running is not just about crossing finish lines; it’s about enjoying the journey while taking care of your body along the way.

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About the Author

Amna Ahmed is a running enthusiast and a marathoner. She is a part of a community of runners and promotes fitness among women. She has been a part of some key marathons across the world. ...Read More

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