After seeing Danger Prone's set of swim tips, I figured I'd offer a set of tips for beginning runners.
-- Get a pro to fit you with some quality running shoes, soles, and socks. Don't even go to the running store with any inhibitions about how much money you are going to spend, brand you are going to buy, or color of apparel. Just let an expert fit you with whatever works the best and it will be your best investment possible for training. Since doing this a few weeks ago, I have not had any shin splints, there is less soreness in my legs, my recovery time is faster and I have had no blisters or hot spots on my feet. All of that has basically added up to make the run more enjoyable and make me less hesitant to go out and do it.
-- Set goals. Every time I run, I try to set a goal for how far I want to run, how fast, or what heart rate I want to maintain, etc. This keeps me from stopping and walking or thinking about giving up. This also pushes me to have a more productive workout and I feel an awesome sense of accomplishment each time I complete one of them.
-- Don't give up. I have found running to be a huge mental game for me. I literally went from setting goals to just increase my distance by 1/2 mile each time I went out until I got to 4 miles and I decided the next time I would go and just do 6. Doing 6 ended up being a lot easier than I thought and now that I have gotten past that mental block it feels like I could do 10 or 12 if I really wanted.
-- Have fun. I am sure I am not the only person that dreaded running before they started doing it and won't be the last. When I can, I try to run with a buddy so we can talk during the run, but if I can't do that I try to at least enjoy my neighborhood and notice something new each time I do a few laps around it.
-- Stretch. I'm not too big on a bunch of pre-run stretching, but I do try to do about 10 minutes of post run stretching. Whenever I don't do this, I feel really tight the next morning and it takes a while for my body to warm up for that days activities. By stretching after the run it seems to keep my body loose and speeds up my recovery time.
Thanks for the great blog idea Kirsten!