by CJ Hitz July 05, 2017

A Few Beginner Running Tips

Trail RunnersFirst of all, let me be one of the first to welcome you to the running community! Your choice to take this huge step (no pun intended) will yield many benefits in your life. If you’ll stick with it and give running a chance, you’re going to eventually find yourself being ‘bit by the running bug’ as it’s been called. The rewards you’ll reap are not just physical (more energy, weight loss, etc.) but also mental, emotional and social. Every runner, no matter their level, was a beginner at some point. For me, I picked running back up in the spring of 2008 and I can honestly say I have seen my passion for this sport increase each year.

Here are 5 beginner running tips to help get you started…

  1. Set Aside 30 minutes a Day for Running – We runners have to be intentional about including the run in our busy day. If not, we can easily fill the day with other “more important” activities. Imagine if you were scheduled to run with your boss? How likely would you be to cancel that running appointment? Get into the habit of treating every run like that. Speaking of habits, you’ve probably heard that it takes 21 days to form a habit. In reality, to truly make running a healthy habit, some studies reveal that it could take double that amount of time. Becoming a better runner takes time and consistency.

  2. Walk if You Have to – We have some friends in our local running community who like to mix in walking with running. Studies have shown this can be a positive mental lift for those getting started. If you find yourself struggling to maintain a running stride, try running for 3 minutes and then walk for 1 minute to catch your breath. As your fitness improves, you can increase your running to 4 minutes and then walk for 1 minute, increase to 5 minutes then walk 1, etc. Eventually, you’ll be able to run for 30 minutes without taking any walk breaks.

  3. Find What Works for You – Many runners run all seven days of the week. Others may run twice. Perhaps you might be able to aim for every other day. My brother-in-law has been running three days a week – two weekdays and one longer run over the weekend. Since he began, he’s continued to see huge improvement in his 5k time and he just completed his first half-marathon! Ultimately, find a schedule that allows you to be consistent week in and week out. Aiming for two runs should be the minimum amount you settle for.

  4. Join a Local Running Club – My wife Shelley & I have met so many new friends through local running clubs we’ve been part of. Not only does our membership give us certain benefits like discounts for races or local businesses, but we also have access to weekly group runs and running communities that give us encouragement & motivation. Visit www.RRCA.com (Road Runners Club of America) for a listing of running clubs in your area.

  5. Sign Up For A Race – Nothing motivates me to train consistently like coughing up the cash and signing up for a race. When you put your money where your mouth is, you’re now committed. As a beginner, try finding a local 5k (3.1 miles) that’s 9 to 10 weeks away in order to gain some fitness beforehand. You won’t be setting any records in this race but it’s important to set a goal. What is that goal? You have to decide. It may be just finishing. It might be to run the whole distance without walking. Whatever your goal, make it something that requires a moderate level of effort to achieve but isn’t unrealistic at the same time. As a beginning runner, you’re trying to build confidence in the early stages. Soon enough, you’ll be setting loftier goals that require greater intensity in effort to attain.

We have a local car dealership that has the following motto in many of their advertisements: “Our goal is to make you a customer for life!” As you begin the wonderful, simple sport of running, my hope would be for you to become a Runner For Life.

Let’s enjoy this journey together…one stride at a time!

CJ Hitz
CJ Hitz

After running in the 1988 State Cross Country meet in Eugene, Oregon as a high school sophomore, CJ gave up running for nearly 20 years before being drawn back into the sport. CJ caught the “running bug” in 2008 and has not looked back since. He’s dropped over 50 pounds in weight and continues to set new lifetime personal bests as a national class masters runner. CJ has competed in well over 150 races ranging from road 5Ks to trail 50Ks. He enjoys a fast road 5k or a grueling mountain race with lots of elevation gain & loss. Basically, he just plain loves running. CJ and his wife Shelley reside in Colorado Springs, CO where they are spoiled beyond measure with mountains, trails and sunshine. CJ's Train Well Race Well Coaching site - www.TrainWellRaceWell.com Check out CJ's latest book Smoothies For Runners 2.0 here - https://www.amazon.com/Smoothies-Runners-2-0-Performance-Injury-Free/dp/0692738452


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in CJ Hitz

Clean Sport Pledge
Say Nope to Dope!

by CJ Hitz June 21, 2017

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend an event sponsored by Nuun, a company that specializes in hydration for endurance athletes. Making an appearance was Olympian distance runner Kara Goucher, one of the elite athletes Nuun sponsors.

Just last month, Kara found out she would be upgraded from Bronze to Silver in her 2007 World Championship 10,000 meters

Read More
The Importance of Sleep for Runners
The Importance of Sleep for Runners

by CJ Hitz March 29, 2017

Do you have trouble sleeping? Find yourself tossing and turning throughout the night? Do you wake up in the middle of the night only to have difficulty falling back to sleep? There’s just no getting around the importance of sleep for runners.
Read More
Allow Injuries to Make You Better, Not Bitter
Allow Injuries to Make You Better, Not Bitter

by CJ Hitz March 15, 2017

World-renowned mountain runner, Pikes Peak record holder, and frozen custard shop owner, Matt Carpenter, believes ice cream heals injuries.   “When people are happier, their injuries heal faster and I guarantee when you eat frozen custard, you’re happy.”
Read More
BodyHealth Fitness Newsletter