Anna Evans

Start Running: Five Basic Tips to Set a Habit

If you're one of those people who has always wanted to start running but doesn't know where to begin, this article is for you.


‘I’m going to start running tomorrow… or next Monday’ is the promise that many never get to fulfill. Which is really unfortunate! Running can be a great way to get some exercise, clear your head, and explore your surroundings. But it’s not always easy to stay motivated, especially if you’re just starting out.

Five tips to make running a habit

1Set some goals

Having some goals to strive for will help keep you motivated while you’re running. For example, you could commit to running three times a week. Start by setting some small goals, like being able to run for 10 minutes without stopping or being able to run 5 miles without a break. Then, once you reach those goals, set some bigger ones. Having some concrete goals will make it more likely that you’ll stick with your running habit in the long term.

Healthhack from Healthypedia

It’s important to not give up after the first few days or weeks of running, even if you don’t feel any positive changes right away. According to scientists, it usually takes about 66 days for a habit to be formed. So you should keep calm and carry on with your running routine, even if it seems hard. Eventually, it will get better!

2Start slow and build up gradually

A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that they need to run for miles and miles in order to see results. But that’s not true – even a short run can give you great benefits. Start by running for just 10 minutes a day or by going for a short run around the block. Once you get used to it, you can gradually increase the running time until you are able to cope with a 30-minute or longer run.

3Find a running buddy or join a club

One of the best ways to stay motivated is to find a running buddy. You both can motivate and encourage each other while running.

If you’re looking for some structure and accountability, consider joining a local running club. These clubs typically offer weekly group runs of various distances, so you can find one that’s right for your level of fitness. There are also some social events and other activities organized by the club, so it’s a great way to meet new people and make some friends who share your love of running.

4Get dressed and equipped

When it comes to running, sometimes the hardest part is getting dressed. To make it easier and more fun, pick out some bright, eye-catching clothes that will inspire you to get outside and go for a jog.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but a lot of people don’t realize how important it is to have a good pair of running shoes. Make sure to choose shoes that provide the right amount of support and cushioning. Your shoes are what will help prevent injuries while you’re running. The wrong pair can cause shin splints, heel pain, and ankle problems — all of these could derail your running goals. So before you start, make sure you invest in a good pair of shoes.

Once you’re done with the basics, you can get yourself accessories like watches or GPS devices. Having the right gear will make your runs more enjoyable, making it more likely that you’ll stick with it in the long run.

5Pick a route that’s interesting

If you’re going to run every day, it will be great to choose a route that is uplifting and enjoyable for you. Choose a route with scenic views or one that takes you through different neighbourhoods. This will help keep you motivated and distracted from any pain or discomfort you might be feeling while running.

Bonus round. More tips on how to get into running

  • If you want to mix up your routine once in a while, try participating in fun races or competitive events. Or you could incorporate some cross-training into your routines, such as biking or swimming.

  • It’s also important to remember that running should be enjoyable — not a chore. Listen to inspiring music or podcasts while running.

  • Finally, don’t forget to reward yourself for reaching your running goals. Whether it’s a new pair of running shoes or a massage, find something that will keep you motivated to stick with it.

Rookie mistakes. What not to do if you’re a running beginner

These are some common mistakes that rookies in running tend to make. By avoiding them you can achieve better results and make running a safe and enjoyable routine.

1Setting unrealistic expectations

It’s easy to get caught up in believing that you can run long distances right away, but this isn’t the case. Your body needs time to adjust and build the strength necessary for longer runs. Running too far or too fast can lead to injuries and exhaustion, so it’s important to ease into your running routine.

2Not following a proper warm-up routine

Your muscles need time to warm up before the beginning of any kind of exercise, and running is not an exception. Without warming up, you risk straining or pulling a muscle during your run. To avoid this, try a light jog or dynamic stretching to prepare your body for the workout.

3Overlooking proper hydration and nutrition

It’s essential to keep your body fueled with healthy food and drink before, during, and after your runs. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and cramps, so make sure you have a water bottle or some electrolyte-infused beverages to keep you energized. Eating healthy snacks before and after running will also provide your body with the necessary fuel to keep going.

4Pushing yourself too hard too soon

It’s important to know your limits. Start with a moderate intensity and gradually increase your distance and speed as you get used to the routine. Listen to your body and take rest days when needed. If something hurts or feels off, take a break until it heals up.

Running without quitting: Let’s sum up

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably thought about running at some point but have been intimidated by it. The truth is, anyone can start running with a little bit of preparation. Set some little goals, start slow, get yourself a good pair of shoes, an interesting route, and moral support. Don’t make it a chore but think of running as a reward for your body. With the right attitude and determination, anyone can become a runner.

Hungry for knowledge? Here’s more

Watch this video from an experienced running coach James Dunne who shares the 12 rules for running newbies.

Healthypedia FAQ

Running may help reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and even some cancers. It is a great way to clear your head and release any stress built up over the day. It also leads to improved moods, better sleep, and an improved sense of well-being.

Yes, but don’t do it right before the start. Eating too close to a run can also make your stomach unhappy, so time your meal right or have a snack an hour before if possible. Whatever you do, avoid greasy foods like burgers or desserts because they can make your stomach queasy while you're on the move.

Your pre-run snack should be light but energy-filling at the same time. Whole grain carbohydrates like oatmeal with honey and fruit, or whole wheat toast with nut butter will serve as lasting fuel during long runs. To help power short sprints, eat a banana or dried fruit and nuts.

The number one rule when choosing running shoes is to focus on fit. It's also important to consider cushioning — soft enough to absorb impact but firm enough so that you have plenty of energy return with each footstep. Try different pairs of shoes when looking for just the right fit.

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