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A beginner's guide to running | 7 tips for getting started

Updated: Apr 23, 2023

The summer is fast approaching, and we all need to become more physically active. Getting ready for summer activities like hiking, camping, canoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding, swimming, tennis, beach volleyball, and much more might feel like too many plans and so little time. That's why we love to jog even more when the weather is nice. Although we do it year-round, there's something special about it when the sun gets warmer, and the flowers bloom.

Runner in the sunset as part of a healthy lifestyle

We are developing the beginner runner guide to help you start your running journey after receiving many questions and myths about the sport. Keep an eye out for a program to help you become a runner step by step. We also offer personal coaching if you want to achieve a specific goal.

Here are 7 tips to help you start running this summer

1- Gear up for success

We live a minimalist lifestyle, as many of you already know. Rather than acquiring new tools, matching sets, or colors to try something new, our minimalist philosophy encourages people to use what they have. We will take a different approach this time around. Running requires some good gear to avoid injuries and to be comfortable. We know the importance of wearing good shoes after hearing countless horror stories.

Tying running shoes before a run as part of a healthy lifestyle

Seeing people running in big winter boots or hiking shoes makes us cringe. The purpose of winter boots is not to run long distances but rather to protect your feet from the environment and help you walk steadily on snow. On the other hand, they created hiking shoes to keep your ankles and arches stable when hiking on various terrains. As a result, they don't provide the range of motion and lightweight that your feet and knees need during a run.

Asics gel nimbus is one of my favorite running shoes. They're comfortable, and several physiotherapists recommend them. Although expensive, they've never disappointed me and have helped my knees.

In addition, you will need some suitable clothing. The key is to be comfortable, not to spend hundreds of dollars at a sports store. It would be best if your jeans stayed at home! Choose leggings that breathe, socks that allow your feet to breathe, and a shirt that won't suffocate you. Cotton breathes and feels light on the skin, which is why we love it.

It would be best to consider the weather in your area when running. You will require different gear throughout the year, depending on the season. You will need eye protection such as a cap and sun protection during the summer. Layer up if it is cold in the morning if you prefer to run before the sun rises. Raincoats with breathing holes are necessary if you plan to run even when it's raining. Wearing warm leggings and a warm coat may be needed if it gets frigid in winter. Plan ahead and find a warm jacket that isn't too heavy, protect your face, and wear a pair of double-layered leggings.

Running in a wet street as part of a healthy lifestyle

I like to listen to music when I run, but be careful! Playing music too loudly for safety reasons is not a good idea. Paying attention to my surroundings, including strangers and wildlife, is very important to me. If someone calls out or honks at you, it could save your life. I usually use one earplug to stay fully aware of what is happening around me. Some runners wear a small Bluetooth on their waist or neck.

Regardless of what you decide, be sure to consider your safety first.

It is important to drink water before you run and to bring water with you if you plan to run for a long time. A fanny pack with a water bottle attached could be a good option. Be sure to drink another glass of water when you get home.

2- Warm up and cool down properly

With your gear in hand, you're eager to start your first run. As soon as you get dressed, you run out the door. No, stop! Come back here! It is beneficial to warm up your body. This is like giving it a heads-up about what's to come. When I worked at the hospital and fitness center, I saw many injuries that could have been prevented with a good warm-up. When you run, you don't want to suffer from cramps, muscle tears, or knee injuries because your body isn't ready.

Activate your muscles by stretching dynamically before you begin. Kick one leg after another higher and higher to get the full range of motion. Warming up only takes a few minutes. If you are relatively new or have stopped running for a while and want to return to it, start walking for 5 minutes and then increase your speed as you go to feel your heart pump. It is sufficient for those with some experience to do a few dynamic stretches and jumping jacks before they start running.

At the end of your run, take a short walk. Consider picking a route that finishes a block away. This way, you can walk home when you're finished. After you get home, do some stretches focusing on your legs and core.

3- Interval training

If you want to run more miles, you should do interval training. Our family attended 5K, 10K, and 15K run events. I couldn't run 15k five times a week when preparing for those. It wouldn't be possible for anyone with a family, a job, and a life to do that. Instead, we used interval training, which is better for cardio training. Interval training is similar to HIIT workouts. As a result, your heartbeat goes up and down multiple times, building your cardio. You benefit from this because your heart can handle more and more over time.

Morning run in a park as part of a healthy lifestyle

As a beginner, you might walk for five minutes and then jog for 30 seconds. The 30 seconds may seem insignificant now, but they will make a massive difference over time. Eventually, this will turn into sprinting and jogging. My favorite way to keep track is to set the alarm or play a playlist that matches my interval times. All I have to do then is focus on my breathing.

4- Pay attention to your form

It's common for me to see runners with terrible postures. Whether you are walking or running, pay attention to your posture. Maintain a straight back with shoulders down, keep your knees down, keep your chin up, and keep your elbows close to your body. Make your landing as if you were a feather, not a rock. To prevent back and knee injuries, you need to understand that posture. When you get tired, maintaining your form becomes more difficult. Try slowing down a little and getting that good posture back before you resume those intervals if you are having trouble.

5- A pace that works for you

It is essential to start slow to be sustainable in the long run. We sometimes get so excited that we run 2 hours at 5 am the first week. Getting up that early is only for some, and you might not have the time to do two hours daily. Consider your schedule and start slowly. Interval training requires little time. You can see good results by running three times a week for 20 minutes.

Running down the road as part of a healthy lifestyle

Start by walking for five minutes, jogging for 30 seconds, walking for five minutes, and so on. You can always find 20 minutes of spare time or wake up 20 minutes earlier, which isn't so bad. Slowly incorporating it into your schedule will make it more sustainable. Even after a few years of doing so, sometimes I only go for 20 minutes when swamped.

6- When is the best time to run

Whenever I talk about jogging, this question frequently appears in our DMs. Our mentality is one of sustainability and there is no one size fits all approach. No matter what research you've read or heard, the best time to run is the one that works best for you!

According to research, evening runs are better for preparing for marathons, while early morning runs before breakfast are ideal for teaching the body to use stored energy efficiently. If you aim to be in the Olympics or have a specific goal, that might be helpful information, but it does not matter for everyone else.

running in town during lunch as part of a healthy lifestyle

Nurses who work different shift schedules will not have the same "best time" as stay-at-home mothers. People who work night shifts will have a different best time than those who work 9-5. Now you see what we mean! It's up to you to decide what time is best for you. Take a look at your schedule. Could you spare 20 minutes in the morning, early in the afternoon, maybe even at lunch or after supper? There are a variety of working hours and workout plans among our clients. All of them run at different times and intervals. One of our clients runs before breakfast on Monday mornings since they start work later. The other two times are in the afternoon since they have to be at work before 7 am, and they feel it isn't feasible to do it in the morning.

running in the evening as part of a healthy lifestyle

Start by asking yourself how often you wish to run each week. Try doing it three times for beginners, but if you can only do two right now, that's okay. If you want to run 4 or 5 times, plan these days. Give your body some time to recover by taking at least one day off a week.

After you've scheduled those days, decide how long you'll run. Our recommendation for beginners is 20 minutes but plan accordingly if you want to do 30 minutes or more. I choose different lengths for different days. Since I have more time, I run a long stretch once a week. I make my intervals count when I have a busy day with a shorter run. You can use this to get some ideas, but don't compare your schedule to your neighbor's. Your daily schedule may change if you decide to run all year round. If you work shifts or have a complicated schedule, plan your runs every month. Running at any time is fine as long as you do it regularly.

7- Stop comparing, with one exception

Ozeya Life aims to change the way we compare everything in this world. It is important to us that we become a support group and that people enjoy their personal journeys. The beauty of life is that what works for you may not work for everyone. Enjoy your own journey and don't compare it to your neighbor's. You might benefit from jogging with a friend or getting a coach to push you toward your goals. When you run with a friend, encourage one another and keep your personal goals in mind.

However, there is one exception. We want you to compare yourself only with one person. Can you guess who it is? It's all about you. Make sure you beat your time and compare where you were when you began to where you are today. Only at this point do we want to hear comparisons, and we love them.

running with a partner at sunset as part of a healthy lifestyle

Here are some Q&A we received
  • I'm 14 weeks pregnant and would love to run. Is it safe for me to do so?

If your doctor cleared you and you do not have any underlying issues, there should be no problem. Due to the additional weight, you may be unable to run until birth. Consult your doctor before making any decisions. Remember that you are more sensitive to heat when pregnant. If it is very hot outside, don't go for a run. Be sure to listen to your body, whether you are a beginner runner or an athlete. Make sure you drink plenty of water.

  • I saw a mother running with her toddler in a backpack carrier. Can I do the same?

We don't recommend this for several reasons. To begin with, this is different from a weighted vest, where the weight is evenly distributed. There is a lot of weight behind you, and the child will most likely be moving around. In addition, your knees will eventually become unforgiving. You have a higher risk of getting injured. Thirdly, it is unsafe for the child. We don't mean you'll fall; their heads will bounce around. A backpack carrier is designed for walking around and does not provide head support for bouncing. Getting a good stroller is essential if you want a good run with your toddler. Some of them are excellent for this purpose, and there are various choices on the market. Runs will be fun and safe for the children.

  • When I jog with my dog, I slightly hold one arm out because of the leash. Does this pose a problem for my posture?

It's great if your dog is used to jogging with you. As well as protecting you, this is excellent for your pet's health. Bringing your dog should be done after they have been well-trained. You can find great resources online. We recommend changing your leash if you want to feel more comfortable and have a better posture. Instead of always holding the leash, some leashes attach to your waist. Try one before you go on your run so that your dog gets used to it. We've had clients use dog strollers for smaller dogs. They were designed to run comfortably, and some even used chariots.

It is always recommended to look for a secondhand one, but sometimes you cannot find what you need. If this is the case, check this place to find waist leashes with coupon codes ;

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  • When I run, can my children join me?

Sure, why not? Adjust your pace based on your child's age and fitness level. Creating a schedule with them and one for yourself might be a good idea. If you don't have more time, consider finding a park with a track. This would allow them to run at their own pace, and you could push yourself harder afterward. In one case, we worked with our client to make it work by having her leave earlier to do 30 minutes herself, run back home where her children would be waiting, and she would go with them for an additional 20 minutes. After her workout, this was her way to cool down. Trying different ways can help you determine what works for your family.

Will you start jogging this summer?

Let us see your pictures by tagging us @ozeyalife on Instagram or @ozeyalifestyle on TikTok and using the hashtag #ozeyalife.

***Ozeya Life uses affiliates who align with our company's values. There is no additional charge for you. Many offer free trials and discount codes. As a result of these affiliates, we have been able to continue our volunteer work. Thank you for your support.

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