Cape Town, South Africa
Top Tips for Beginner Runners

1. You are at the beginning so start at the beginning

It is very easy to get so carried away with the excitement of achieving your new running goal that you do way too much in the first few days. You are left too sore to even walk, running does not feel so fun anymore, and often the journey stops there not to continue until the next new Year.

Always start where you are currently at. So if walking once around your local park is your current level, start day 1 with walking around your local park. Then progress to say running 1 bench, walking 1 bench for a lap etc. etc. The secret is to always feel like you could have done just a little more. This way the next level is challenging, but achievable, and you are left excited to go level up the next run.

2. First build consistency

From beginner to elite, consistency is always key. Your first goal is for running to become a lifestyle. Once running is a regular part of your daily routine (no matter how far or how fast) then only start building on more distance, more speed etc.

3. Learn to breathe right

Running is an oxygen hungry sport. Learning to breathe effectively is important for getting the most enjoyment out of your runs and for improving endurance. You can read more in this blog : Breathing Basics for Runners.

4. Learn to use your arms right

A relaxed upper body will help you run a lot easier. Basic things to think of when it comes to arms is: Relax your hands, bend your elbows at about 30 degrees (more or less, find what angle is most relaxed for you), think of pushing your elbows back to create a relaxed swing and don't cross over your mid line.

5. Join a community
Being part of a running community makes training more fun, you have the opportunity to learn from others and there is nothing like the accountability of committing to a running meet up to keep going (especially in winter!)

6. Improve your overall well being

If you general feel "well", you will be more motivated to run and your runs will also be more enjoyable. As you introduce running into your lifestyle, also see where you can make lifestyle improvements in terms of sleep, nutrition and emotional wellness.

7. Invest in good shoes

A good pair of running shoes makes a huge difference. Not only will your runs be more enjoyable, but you will reduce your risk of injury which plays havoc with consistency. It is worth investing a little extra in buying from a knowledgeable running shoe store.

8. Progress at your own pace

One of the universal laws of training is the law of individuality. We all have our own unique physical training history and unique response to training. Listening to your body and keeping a detailed training log will help you to ensure you do the right amount and right type of training for you.

9.Have a goal with a deadline

We all know how effective the pressure of a deadline is in getting us working hard! When setting your goal, add a realistic timeline, and let others know. Even better still, commit to a running event.

10. Have fun

Enjoyment is our greatest motivator. Always remember to appreciate the simplicity of running, the fact that you have healthy legs and the shear childlike pleasure of the wind on your skin.

Onwards and upwards!

Coach Kathleen