How to Start a Running Routine

While commuting to or from work there’s a good chance that you’ve looked out the window and noticed people going for a run. The next thought going through your head might be, “I should really start doing that myself.” Fortunately, beginning a running routine may be easier than you think. Be sure to consult your physician prior to engaging in any workout activity.

Runner Starting a Race

Stop Putting it Off

The idea of starting a running routine can be daunting. This may be due to obsessing on the months of running ahead of you. Instead of getting preoccupied with the future, simply try to keep your mind in the present. Thinking about running one day at a time can help you get through that first workout. Once you’ve accomplished that, starting your next run becomes much easier.

Get Ready. Set. Go!

Before and after running, there are some best practices to follow which can help prevent unnecessary injuries and increase stamina.

Stretching Before Running

Warming Up

  • Eat a healthy meal or snack about an hour before starting your run
  • Drink some water beforehand and bring some with you to keep hydrated
  • Stretch (consult your physician or physical therapist to find out which stretches will work best for you)


Cooling Down

  • Walk or slowly jog for a brief period after running to help your body return to its normal state
  • Staying hydrated is always important, so be sure to drink some more water
  • Stretch again

Don’t Overdo It

You’ve started your running routine; that’s fantastic and something you should be proud of. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re ready to run a marathon. This may sound counterintuitive, but you should keep your running pace slower and your total distance shorter than you believe you’re physically capable of. You are more likely to cause an injury if you overexert yourself when beginning a new running routine. Ease into your new routine so that when you are ready to take it up a notch, your body will be ready too. Also be sure to take some off days as needed and get plenty of well-deserved rest.

Tired Runner Laying on Grass

Track Your Progress

Running on a consistent basis can be rewarding in itself. Tracking your progress adds to that sense of accomplishment while providing further motivation to continue the routine. After you’ve cooled down from your run, take a moment to write down the speed and distance you ran that day. To simplify this task, you may consider wearing a pedometer such as a Fitbit or downloading a run-tracking app on your smart phone. Some methods may be more precise than others, however choosing how to track your progress is a matter of personal preference so use what works best for you.

Runner Tracking with Fitbit

Keep Going!

Once you’ve been running consistently for a few weeks or more, why stop? At this point you’ll probably begin to notice that you are not only feeling better physically, but mentally as well. Use that boosted positive mentality to keep your running routine going. It’s not always possible to continuously keep up a running regiment. Maybe you need to take a break due to holidays or an unforeseen occurrence. Marking the date on your calendar when you know that you’ll be able to go running again can be beneficial. As previously mentioned, one of the hardest parts of running is starting your routine. Remind yourself that you’ve already accomplished this once. And do it again!

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