Running can be an awesome exercise that can contribute to a healthy lifestyle. We know that running is good for your mental health. Many people have the desire to add running to their routines, but they don’t know where to start. Running can be very difficult when you first get started or if you are out of shape.
Thankfully, getting started with running can be easy if you follow the right steps. I learned all of these lessons myself in my own running journey.
If you’re interested in learning how to start running when out of shape, you can follow these tips to help you build up your endurance and stamina. You can enjoy the benefits of running no matter what your starting point is!
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Know Your “Why”
The most important thing to do when you first start running is to identify your “why”. Running is hard, and consistency is even harder. When things get hard, you need to have your “why” clearly determined in your mind. When things get tough, the “why” is what you will need to hold on to to keep going.
For me, my “why” is that I know that running is good for my mental health and helps me to manage anxiety. When I don’t feel like I am in the mood to run, I remember how much better I will feel after I run. This helps me to have the motivation to run even when I don’t want to.
Set a Goal
After you get clear on your “why”, you will need to set a goal. What is it that you are working toward? Do you want to be able to run consistently without stopping for 30 minutes? Do you want to run a 5k? Do you eventually want to run a longer race like a half marathon?
Setting a goal is a great way to identify what you are working towards. What is your ultimate goal? What do you want to achieve? Identifying your goal can help you to see whether you are on track with your fitness routine.
Get Good Running Shoes
As I always say, before you get started running, the most important thing that you should do is get a pair of high-quality running shoes that are right for you. I recommend getting a professional shoe fitting at a running store (the fitting is usually free!). Invest in a pair of high-quality running shoes to make sure that you are getting the best possible fit and support!
If you are looking to save money on running shoes, you can check out my secret hack to save money on running shoes. The right running shoes don’t have to break the bank.
When many people run for the first time, they have a lot of motivation. They are ready to go out and run as hard as they can! This can lead to injury or burnout. When you first start running when you are not in shape, it is critical to start slow. It will take your body some time to adjust.
I learned this lesson through personal experience! When I was in college, I wasn’t exercising at all. I decided to go out for a run, and I literally sprinted around campus as fast as I could. After that run, I nearly passed out and my entire body was sore for a week. I gave up after that run because I thought “Running is just too hard”.
Later, I learned that I had gone about it all wrong. I realized that I needed to start slow and allow my body to adjust. When I did this, I was able to comfortably add mileage and eventually complete a marathon!
When you first get started with running, a great way to transition into running is to start with run/walk intervals. When I coach new runners or runners who are getting back to running after a long break, I will typically prescribe run/walk intervals. This helps your body to adjust to running gradually.
Do Some Light Stretching When You’re Done
When you’re done with your run/walk intervals, it’s a good idea to do some light stretching. I recommend stretching after your runs when your muscles are warm, but not before. Stretches target areas that are tight after a run and they can improve your flexibility, comfort, and performance.
Track Your Progress
As you begin your new running routine, a great way to stay motivated is to track your progress. You will notice that over time, you will begin to improve. Running will become easier. You will be able to run for longer periods of time.
If you write this down in a fitness journal or track it using a running watch, it will be easier for you to clearly see how much progress you are making. It can be reassuring to see visible progress and growth.
Be Patient with Yourself
Remember, establishing a sustainable running routine is more like a marathon than a sprint! (no pun intended!) It takes time to see progress and you need to be patient with yourself. Like everything else, you shouldn’t expect huge changes overnight. You will see improvements gradually over time.
The good news is that if you consistently put in the work, you can greatly improve your fitness through running. You can train to run longer and faster. With patience, determination, and consistency, you can build a healthy lifestyle through running!
How to Start Running When You’re Out of Shape
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Interested in getting one on one run coaching and support? Check out my most popular coaching option. I provide runners of all levels and abilities with motivation, guidance, and accountability to achieve their running goals. I believe running can be an amazing supplement to a healthy lifestyle. I use my training, knowledge, and research to help runners progress in a safe and healthy way while reducing the risk of injury.
The Best Running Blogs of 2021
I am super excited to share that Running for Wellness has been included in a list of ‘The Best Running Blogs of 2021’ by fellow running blogger, Runnin’ for Sweets! Maggie is the blogger behind Runnin’ for Sweets and she shares really awesome tips and motivational content all about running! Please go check her site out!