Written by
Casey Green
Written by
November 23, 2021

We all start somewhere when it comes to running. Few, if any, are born with the ability to run far and race fast without early training. Ultimately, running can be an incredibly physically, mentally, and emotionally fulfilling activity, you’ve just go to start! Starting running and beginning your health and wellness journey takes time, patience, and consistency. Approaching running the right way when you first get started will make all the difference. Following a few easy, effective tips from our Charge Running Coaches will help you start running, keep running, and enjoy running!

6 Tips to Help You Start to Run!

1. Don’t run for distance

This may seem counterintuitive but trust us here. Instead of going out each day as you're starting to run and committing yourself to a set distance, run for time instead. Set a time goal each day of how long you want to be out moving faster than a walk. Telling yourself that you just need to run for 20 minutes seems much more conquerable than saying 2 miles. By choosing a time you also separate your expectations from speed or pace and halt any day-to-day negative comparisons. 

Think of each run time in a non-running framework. Instead of dreading a 30 minute run, think of it as going out and moving for the duration of a sitcom. Before you know it you’ll be back on your couch watching an actual sitcom having taken another important step towards your running and health goals!

2. Don’t run for speed

Similarly, don’t worry about your speed or pace when you’re first starting to run. You won’t be a 4 minute miler out of the gate. Early running is about time on your feet, not the speed of your feet. If you can consistently get out and run at a comfortable pace day after day, you’ll see your speed and pace progress safely and naturally. Focusing on running for longer and longer without taking breaks, no matter how easy the pace is key. As soon as you focus solely on how fast you’re going negative comparisons will begin to arise. Did I run a faster per mile pace today than yesterday? No? I must not be fit. I must be getting out of shape! 

Wrong. Each day is different, but ultimately in distance running, consistency of effort reign supreme! 

3. Rest and recover

Listen intently to your body in the early stages as you start running. Building up to being able to run every day of the week, month after month takes a lot of time. If you even want or need to get to that point as a runner at all. The importance of rest and recovery in between runs is heightened during the early stages. Choosing a manageable number of days per week to run (we recommend 4) for the first few months will help keep you building fitness consistently without risk of injury or burnout. 

Pay special attention to how you rest and recover as well. Non-runners may not need to track their hydration, flexibility/mobility, sleep, and nutrition for recovery, but runners certainly do. As soon as you take those first few purposeful running strides, you ARE a runner, so act like it!  

4. Pick the right running route

Choosing the right running route or routes when you are first starting to run is important for a few reasons. First, you need to pick a route that you know well, is close, won’t get you lost, and seems approachable. Choosing a route that requires a drive, is straight up a mountain, and necessitates a map is a poor choice for a new runner. 

Second, you want to be sure that you choose the right running surface. As a new runner, your ligaments and joints are not used to the continuous impact of running. With that in mind you want to choose softer yet even surfaces for your initial running. A crushed gravel or dirt trail is a great choice. Or even well maintained grass surfaces. Try to avoid too much time on pavement or concrete.

Lastly, choose a route that’s enjoyable. Visual stimulation during a run can keep you engaged, motivated and ultimately intrigued enough to keep you coming back for more. Whether it’s some beautiful natural landscapes or simply an interesting and unique residential neighborhood, find a route that for you is visually stunning.

5. Get the proper gear

While you don’t need to invest in all the latest running gear, technology, and supplements during the early stages of your running journey, be sure to at least get the functional fundamentals as you start running. First and foremost you’ll need the right pair of shoes . Don’t just go online and pick the pair that looks the coolest. Go see to the experts at your local running specialty store. 

Beyond that, getting yourself a reliable digital watch (GPS not necessary right away) is your next fundamental piece of running gear. Here at Charge we stand firmly behind the Timex Ironman watch series. A basic version will cost you less than $50 and is as easy to use, reliable, and durable as they come.

The right shoes and a reliable running watch are really all you need in terms of running-specific gear to get started!

6. Don’t JUST run

As mentioned above, rest and recovery days in between runs are essential as you’re starting to run. During those rest and recovery days don’t simply be immobile. In order to help progress your running, without actually running, you can do a series of cross training activities during these “off days.” Using your non-running days to stretch, strengthen, and develop your aerobic capacity with low-impact movements will help you on your running journey. Bike rides, weight lifting and strength training, yoga, swimming, and other similar activities are great for runners. All of this will help reduce injury risk and gently increase the durability your joints and ligaments. Plus this variety of activity will help avoid any mental running fatigue, keep things fun, and help you maintain the “love of the run!”

Start your running journey off right with Charge Running! Join now and get access to LIVE and On-Demand runs coached by professionals along with a community of global runners!