How to Start Running: Lace up Your Shoes and Get Moving Today

a runner starting to run on a race track
Image by Skinny Runner

So, you want to start running.

Fantastic!

If you live somewhere that has a large running scene or played sports as a child, then you might already be familiar with some of the basics of how to start running.

However, for many adults who want to take up running for their health or just as an excuse to get out of the house, this transition isn't so simple.

Many people run throughout childhood and into adolescence. Whether they participate in team sports, P.E. classes, or just playground fun, running is an integral part of childhood activity.

a group of men running on a creek of water in single file

Image by skeeze on Pixabay

woman very eager to learn how to start running

Image by RyanMcGuire on Pixabay

But when adult responsibilities take over your schedule, running for fun or for sport often falls to the wayside.

Years later, though, you might find yourself wanting to get back into this hobby.

So what do you do?

Don't worry, because the answer is easy:

You just start moving.

The Basics of Running

“THE MIRACLE ISN’T THAT I FINISHED. THE MIRACLE IS THAT I HAD THE COURAGE TO START.” 

- JOHN BINGHAM

wear proper footwear to protect your feet when running

Image by Wokandapix on Pixabay

Running is great because you can literally put on a pair of sneakers and just go.

But if you really want to get into the running world — whether that be through racing or training for fun — there are a few things you need to know.

First, let's learn some of the main keywords you'll come across in the running world!

RUNNING TERMINOLOGY AND DEFINITIONS


  • Jogging: Running at a pace slower than 6 miles per hour
  • Sprinting: Running at maximum speed for short distances
  • Cadence: Total number of steps taken per minute
  • Strike: How your foot hits the ground, such as heel strike, midfoot strike, or forefront strike
  • Pace: Running speed, normally measured in minutes per mile or kilometer (e.g., 8:00/mile)
  • 5k: Popular race distance of 5 kilometers (3.1 miles)
  • Half marathon: Popular race with a distance of 13.1 miles (or 21.1 kilometers)
  • Marathon: Popular race with a distance of 26.2 miles (or 42.2 kilometers)
  • Ultramarathon: Any race distance over 26.2 miles
  • PR/PB: Personal Record or Personal Best — your fastest total time for a given distance.

Understanding these words will make learning how to start running infinitely easier.

And when you start setting personal records and running races of your own, you'll be able to share your achievements with friends and family using the right lingo!

Before we get into creating your own training plan and stocking up on gear, though, let's take a look at why running is such a popular sport in the first place.

Father running for exercise with his baby on a stroller

Image by pasja1000 on Pixabay

RUNNING THROUGH HISTORY

“IF YOU DON'T THINK YOU WERE BORN TO RUN, YOU'RE NOT ONLY DENYING HISTORY, YOU'RE DENYING WHO YOU ARE.” 

- CHRISTOPHER McDOUGALL

Running dates back throughout the entirety of human history.

Before we started farming for food, our ancient ancestors relied on walking and running to hunt down wild game.

As human civilization transitioned away from hunting and gathering into organized agriculture, running became more of a pastime than a necessity.

First woman in Boston to run in the race and was being ambushed by other runners in the track

Kathrine Switzer being ambushed during the 1967 Boston Marathon. There was no rule in the rule book that a woman could not enter the race. However, no woman ever ran in the race before. Kathrine made history for women. Image via Flickr CC0

Greek sculpture of the origin of marathon race

Image by wallner on Pixabay

And in 490 B.C., a Greek soldier ran over 25 miles to deliver the good news of victory in the Battle of Marathon.

Yep, that's the origin story of today's popular marathon race!

DID YOU KNOW?

OVER 1,100 OFFICIAL MARATHONS ARE HELD EACH YEAR!

But the history of running doesn't just jump from Ancient Greece to the modern day.

There was a lot that came between then and now:

HISTORICAL TIMELINE OF RUNNING:


490 B.C.: Pheidippides runs from Marathon to Athens to deliver news of military victory

1896: First international Olympics Games hold the first official marathon

1897: First Boston Marathon takes place

1908: First London Marathon takes place (the first marathon to come in at 26.2 miles!)

1921: International Amateur Athletic Federation declares an official marathon distance to be 26.2 miles

1972: Women are allowed to participate in the Boston and Vancouver Marathon for the first time

1974: Nike patents their signature running shoe outsole

2017: Eliud Kipchoge and Nike attempt, but fail, to break the 2-hour marathon


While running has played an important role in human history, in many ways, it's just getting started.

As technology advances and new running prodigies enter the sport, we'll probably be amazed by the world records and other achievements that continue to take place.

And if the current popularity of running for health and fitness is any indication, this sport isn't going anywhere!

RUNNING FOR HEALTH AND FITNESS

“RUNNING IS REAL AND RELATIVELY SIMPLE... BUT IT AIN'T EASY."

- MARK WILL-WEBER 

Some runners get into the sport because they genuinely enjoy getting outside and moving.

Most, though, first take up running because they want to lose weight or otherwise improve their health.

And even if you only start running for your health, there's a good chance that you'll eventually learn to love this activity.

But we can't completely ignore the inherent benefits (and, unfortunately, risks) of running!

woman running for fitness while listening to the music

Image by StockSnap on Pixabay

Running of any kind is an excellent form of cardio.

Cardio, or cardiovascular exercise, helps strengthen and condition your heart (as the name implies) and lungs.

If your goal is to lose weight, running is a super efficient way to burn excess calories. However, if you're at a healthy weight make sure that you eat enough food to fuel your new workouts!)

BENEFITS OF RUNNING

“EVER TRIED.

EVER FAILED.

NO MATTER.

TRY AGAIN.

FAIL AGAIN.

FAIL BETTER."

- SAMUEL BECKETT

running with a partner is the best motivation to keep moving

Image by rawpixel on Pixabay

But that's not all:

Running also helps develop the muscles in your legs, hips, and core. 

While you won't look like a bodybuilder after running a few miles, it's a common misbelief that running doesn't make you stronger.

And, going even deeper, running improves your bone density. This is essential for aging individuals and others at risk of developing osteoporosis.

But the benefits of running don't stop at the physical.

Both anecdotal and scientific evidence supports the fact that running can help fight off symptoms of depression and anxiety.

While you shouldn't rely on running as your only form of therapy for mental health issues, it can serve as an excellent supplementary treatment.

Here's the deal:

No matter what you want to get out of it, though, running offers countless benefits for the mind, body, and soul.

The risks of running

On the other hand, there are some inherent risks of learning how to start running.

Like any intense physical activity, doing too much too soon can result in injury. Some of the most common running injuries include:

BENEFITS OF RUNNING

“SOME SEEK THE COMFORT OF THEIR THERAPIST'S OFFICE, OTHER HEAD TO THE CORNER PUB AND DIVE INTO A PINT, BUT I CHOSE RUNNING AS MY THERAPY."

- DEAN KARNAZES 

COMMON PHYSICAL RUNNING INJURIES:


man suffered from Shin Splints while running

Image By comzeal

SHIN SPLINTS 

Pain caused by small tears in the tissue surrounding the shin bone

RUNNER'S KNEE 

Tenderness or pain on or around the kneecap

tight IT Band on the knee could also cause injury

Image By Africa Studio

IT BAND SYNDROME  

Pain in the outer knee that is the result of a tight IT band

Plantar fasciitis is an injury or accident that might happen while running

Image By comzeal

PLANTAR FASCIITIS 

Dull pain or aching in the foot caused by torn ligaments

fractured ankle is one common injury caused from running

Image By Y's harmony

STRESS FRACTURES 

Serious but gradual fractures in the shin, ankle, and other leg bones

This list might seem scary but, fortunately, most of these injuries will just keep you from running for a few weeks or months.

Without proper care, though, running can pose a serious risk to those with pre-existing conditions or otherwise poor health.

This risk is of particular concern for those who have weakened immune systems or serious heart conditions.

What's the bottom line?

If there is any reason you think running might put you at risk of injury, no matter how minor, consult with your doctor before starting a routine.

WHERE TO RUN, YE, YOU HAVE OPTIONS

“JOGGING IS VERY BENEFICIAL. IT'S GOOD FOR YOUR LEGS AND YOUR FEET. IT'S ALSO VERY GOOD FOR THE GROUND. IT MAKES IT FEEL NEEDED."

- CHARLES M. SCHULZ

One of the biggest personal decisions a runner goes through when learning how to start running is deciding where to run.

While you don't need to relegate yourself to one surface — and, honestly, you shouldn't — most runners strongly identify with where they choose to run.

For instance, someone who primarily trains and races on single-track trails probably won't call themselves just a runner. They'll refer to themselves as a trail runner.

woman prefers to  Run on rough surfaces

Image by sasint on Pixabay

Many runners switch back and forth between different surfaces, even if they have a heavy preference for one in particular.

In a single week, you may take a quick lap around your neighborhood's local roads, run on a treadmill when the weather is poor, and then drive out to a state park for a long run on the trails.

But choosing to run most of your miles on a single surface is totally fine, too.

Meep Meep?

When most people think of a recreational runner, they picture someone jogging down a sidewalk or on the side of the road.

adventurer's like to run on a trail

Trail running. Image Image by Free-Photos on Pixabay CC0

For most people, road running is the most accessible way to get in their weekly miles. Just step out of your front door and start running.

And since most races take place on asphalt or concrete, this is the best surface to run on if you want to participate in these events.

However, there are some obvious downsides to running on the road.

Vehicles are a serious hazard to runners. Even if you stick to the sidewalk, there will be times when you need to cross intersections in order to continue your route.

City running people need to cross bridges or intersections to continue their route

Urban Running, Image by Free-Photos on Pixabay

General road running safety includes using high-visibility and reflective clothing, especially when running at night or early morning.

You should also consider leaving behind the headphones. Or only use one earbud so that you can hear oncoming traffic with your other ear.

One benefit to running on the road is that, if something goes wrong, you have almost immediate access to help. If you trip and twist an ankle, you can flag down a passing motorist with relative ease.

In general, most people spend at least part of their running time on the road.

Hitting the Trails

If you love nature and running on technical surfaces, trail running will probably be exactly your cup of tea.

Trail running takes place on, you guessed it, trails.

These trails can range from gravel fire roads to single-track trails covered in roots and rocks.

woman on trail running to appreciate the beauty of the nature

Trail Running, Image by skeeze on Pixabay

Most trails are much more technical than running on asphalt, meaning that you need to watch your footing to avoid tripping or twisting an ankle. Trail runners often wear shoes with greater traction and support than road shoes to help prevent foot injuries.

The biggest challenge in trail running is finding suitable places to run.

If you live in an urban or suburban location, you might not have any trails close enough to your home to run every day.

“IT'S NOT WHERE YOU TAKE THE TRAIL. IT'S WHERE THE TRAIL TAKES YOU."

- UNKNOWN

horses running freely on the field

Image by skeeze on Pixabay

Many trail runners in this position spend their weekends driving to nearby trails. But if you live near a large park or another natural area, you might find that there are suitable trails practically in your backyard!

Mixed-use mountain bike tracks can also make great running trails.

DID YOU KNOW?

THERE ARE OVER 193,500 MILES OF STATE TRAILS AND OVER 42,500 MILES OF FEDERAL TRAILS IN THE UNITED STATES.

While you don't need to worry about being hit by a car when out on the trails, there are some risks to this style of running.

Look:

Wildlife is one of the biggest threats to runner safety. If you live in an area with a known bear or mountain lion population, then you should carry bear spray and take other necessary precautions.

It's also a good idea to leave at least one ear free to hear your surroundings, though forgoing the headphones altogether isn't a bad idea.

And if you injure yourself when out on a trail run, contacting help might be a serious problem. Many wilderness areas have limited if any, cell service.

Those are all things you should consider before going out on your first run.

WHEN OUTSIDE JUST WON'T CUT IT

Finally, there's the trusty treadmill!

While runners often poke fun at this machine by calling it the "dreadmill," the treadmill is an extremely useful tool for any dedicated runner.

If you live somewhere with dangerously cold winters, you might find yourself turning to the treadmill for several months out of the year.

Or if you're not a fan of running in the rain, having access to a treadmill could be the thing that keeps you committed to your training plan during inclement weather.

And if you are worried about the safety of running on roads or trails, the treadmill can be a much safer alternative.

But there are some things to take into consideration before jumping on this machine.

One of the biggest issues when running on a treadmill, at least if you are concerned with your pace, is that a runner's pace on a treadmill is not equivalent to their pace on a traditional surface.

"IT WAS BEING A RUNNER THAT MATTERED, NOT HOW FAST OR HOW FAR I COULD RUN. THE JOY WAS IN THE ACT OF RUNNING AND IN THE JOURNEY, NOT IN THE DESTINATION. "

- JOHN BINGHAM

Since the treadmill belt is moving with you, it helps propel your feet forward.

And since you are not actually moving, you do not have to worry about wind resistance slowing you down.

To get a better idea of how your pace on a treadmill compares to running on asphalt or trails, you can reference a treadmill pace chart:

an example of a treadmill pace chart

As you can see from this chart, adjusting the incline of the treadmill directly impacts your actual pace. For most treadmills, using a one-percent incline is the best way to mimic running on roads or trails.

With a little fine-tuning and practice, running on the treadmill can be a great supplement to your regular training plan.

UNDERSTANDING YOUR TRAINING PLAN

For some people, running has no real rhyme or reason.

But if you want to get the most out of this activity, you should choose and follow a trusted training plan.

people running with a training plan to follow

Image by skeeze on Pixabay

There are countless running training plans out there. And these plans cover every possible fitness level and goal.

So when first deciding to learn how to start running, we wholeheartedly recommend finding one of these plans to follow.

runner with artificial feet running in the race

Image by Pexels on Pixabay

“RUNNING IS NOTHING MORE THAN A SERIES OF ARGUMENTS BETWEEN THE PART OF YOUR BRAIN THAT WANTS TO STOP AND THE PART THAT WANTS TO KEEP GOING."

- UNKNOWN

Running training plans are designed to achieve a certain goal.

For instance, C25K, arguably the most well-known training plan, is designed to get someone from the couch to completing a 5k race.

Depending on the given training plan, rest days, mileage, and more can vary greatly.

But when looking through prospective training plans, you're bound to come across some of the following training methods:

BASE RUNS

The sole purpose of these runs is to build up mileage.

The further and longer you run, no matter at what pace, the better your cardiovascular endurance will become.

Base runs rely on running a moderate distance at an easy-to-moderate intensity.

“EVERY RUN IS A WORK OF ART,  A DRAWING ON EACH DAY'S CANVAS. SOME RUNS ARE SHOUTS AND SOME RUNS ARE WHISPERS. SOME RUNS ARE EULOGIES AND OTHERS CELEBRATIONS."

- DAGNEY SCOTT BARRIO

GETTING A RHYTHM

Tempo runs, also known as threshold runs are similar to base runs, but with increased difficulty.

With these runs, you want to run for a moderate distance. But instead of taking it easy you want to push yourself to your race pace or maximum speed for that distance.

a group of runners running on rough surfaces

Image by 12019 on Pixabay

As the name "threshold run" implies, you want to push your body close to its limits on these runs.

These training runs help build up your muscular endurance and delay the onset of fatigue caused by lactic acid.

“WHAT I'VE LEARNED FROM RUNNING IS THAT THE TIME TO PUSH HARD IS WHEN YOU'RE HURTING LIKE CRAZY AND YOU WANT TO GIVE UP. SUCCESS IS OFTEN JUST AROUND THE CORNER."

- JAMES DYSON

man pushing himself to finish running on a river of water

Image by Gabler-Werbung on Pixabay

Not all training plans will include tempo runs. And if they do they will probably be limited to only one day a week.

But you'll often see these runs in plans for half marathon, marathon, and ultramarathon races.

On again and off again...

Interval runs are any type of training run that involves intervals of intense and easy effort.

Many training plans implement these runs to build up from little running endurance or as a way to build speed for longer distances.

Many different training runs fall into the category of intervals.

Here are some of the most common ones you'll see:

All about sprints

Even non-runners know what sprinting is. At least to a degree.


In track, sprints last for a distance of 400 meters (just under a quarter-mile). But many training plans refer to any short, full-effort running as sprinting.

Because of its high-intensity, sprinting builds leg and glute muscles more efficiently than most other types of running. Instead of endurance, this type of training run relies on sheer power.

If you want to do strict sprints, a track is the best place to train. But you can practice these interval runs on any flat terrain.

Sprinting is great for adding speed and power to your runs, especially during the last leg of a close race.

HILL REPEATS

If you run on trails or hilly roads, then elevation will be a natural part of your day-to-day runs.

But hills can also be utilized for a type of interval training called hill repeats.

Young couple doing trail running workout

Young couple running on incline country trail. Image By Jacob Lund

These interval runs are pretty much exactly what they sound like: running up and down a hill multiple times.

When going up the hill, you want to move at as fast of a pace as possible without completely losing proper running form.

This type of training is great for those who regularly encounter hills in practice runs and races. But these intervals can also build strength and agility in runners who typically run on flat terrain.

For more on hill repeats, watch the short video below:

FARTLEK

Fartlek intervals are sometimes prescribed in training plans. But this type of run is, by nature, unstructured.

A fartlek run can mean increasing your pace for one minute every ten minutes of your run.

man doing the pace increase running or fartlek intervals

Image by skeeze on Pixabay

STRIDES

Strides are a less popular form of interval training, but they are a favorite for many experienced runners.

athlete doing a running strides

Image by ogmentry on Pixabay

“FOR ME, RUNNING IS BOTH EXERCISE AND A METAPHOR. RUNNING DAY AFTER DAY, PILING UP THE RACES, BIT BY BIT I RAISE THE BAR, AND BY CLEARING EACH LEVEL I ELEVATE MYSELF."

- HARUKI MURAKAMI

To complete a stride, you start out jogging and gradually increase your speed to a full sprint. You should reach full speed in 30 to 60 seconds, and then come back down to a jog.

These intervals help you nail down your running form, especially at faster speeds.

They are also an excellent way to add speed training to a more distance-focused training plan.

Strides are a great type of interval training to incorporate after a base run or as part of your warm-up. When practiced after a base run, strides can also serve as a dynamic stretch for your legs and hips.

For more on how to perform strides, check out the video below:

RUNNING GEAR

Just like most things when it comes to learning how to start running, you can take a minimalistic or complicated approach to your gear.

When we say running gear, we mean everything from the shoes you wear to the water bottle you carry.

runner with bandages as foot injury

Image By cunaplus

While shorter runs, such as a 5k or 10k, can be run with little thought for what you wear and carry, longer distances require a bit more consideration.

After all, when you're spending hours on the road or trail, your gear is responsible for keeping you comfortable and safe.

The most important thing

It's no secret that your feet take the brunt of the wear and tear during a run. And wearing the right footwear is essential to avoiding injury and maintaining your foot health.

Before we go through the basics of finding the right running shoe for you, we want to start out by saying that the best way to shop for quality running shoes is to go to your local professional running store. The staff at one of these stores will be able to perform running form checks, including looking at your foot strike style, and recommend the perfect running shoe for your biomechanics.

But if you don't have access to one of these specialty shoe retailers, you can find running shoes through a little research and trial-and-error.

When shoe shopping, you'll come across a couple more unique terms, including:

Running Shoe Terms

Drop: The difference, measured in millimeters, between a shoe's heel and toe height

Neutral pronation: You evenly distribute weight across your entire foot

Underpronation: You put more weight on the outside of your feet

Overpronation: You put more weight on the inside of your foot

If you know how your feet strike and where you land on the pronation scale, you can narrow down your selection of running shoes pretty substantially.

a quality made running shoes

Image by Couleur on Pixabay

DROP

Your strike style comes into play when looking at a shoe's drop measurement.

If you're a heel striker, you generally want to stick with running shoes in the 10mm to 12mm drop range.

Hoka One One Clifton shoes for heel striker runner

Example of 12mm drop. Hoka One One Clifton, Image By Hoka

But for those who consistently land midfoot, a 4mm drop is typically best.

Those prone to knee injuries might find some relief with a smaller drop, as well. These shoes send more of the impact up through the legs and hips, sparing the knees.

In general, though, these guidelines are just that: guidelines. Many heel strikers find that a 4mm drop suits them well, and vice-versa.

CONTROL

Most running shoes will be labeled as either "neutral" or "motion control." This is where your foot pronation comes into play.


Overpronation sneakers for motion control while running

Image By Brooks Bedlam

While some level of under- or overpronation is natural, too much can cause instability or put you at risk of injury. In these cases, motion control shoes can help your feet land more evenly.

This control is achieved through the shape and structure of the shoe's upper and midsole.

Your feet won't be forced into neutral pronation. But they will help prevent lateral movement of the foot.

Neutral shoes, though, don't offer any motion control. In these shoes, your feet will strike as naturally as if you were running barefoot.

SURFACE

One last thing regarding running shoes: the surface you run most on matters!

The first question you should ask yourself when shopping for new running shoes is if you plan to use these shoes on asphalt or a treadmill or on trails.

Running Trail Shoes for trail runners

These trail running shoes have pronounced tread to grip dirt and rocks. Image By Salomon

Road shoes are often more flexible and lighter than trail shoes.

Trail shoes, though, offer increased support and traction. This will help stabilize and protect your feet when stepping on roots, rocks, and other uneven surfaces.

“RUN WHEN YOU CAN, WALK IF YOU HAVE TO, CRAWL IF YOU MUST; JUST NEVER GIVE UP."

- DEAN KARNAZES

tread on the shoes are important when running on trails

Image By Salomon

While nothing is stopping you from wearing road shoes on the trails, you'll probably end up with sore feet and might struggle to keep from slipping.

And as a common courtesy, you should delegate a specific pair of shoes to indoor running on tracks or treadmills. Otherwise, you'll end up tracking dirt and debris from outdoors into the gym.

If you're running through mud or snow, you can also invest in removable cleats for the bottom of your running shoes.

DID YOU KNOW?

MOST RUNNING SHOES SHOULD BE REPLACED AFTER 400 MILES.

One last thing regarding running shoes: the surface you run most on matters!

The first question you should ask yourself when shopping for new running shoes is if you plan to use these shoes on asphalt or a treadmill or on trails.

GADGETS

Fitness wearables are super popular right now. Look at the average person's wrist, and you'll probably see a Fitbit, Apple Watch, or another tracker.

man looking at his Jogging Stopwatch Sport Watch Time Fitness Clock

Jogging Stopwatch Sport Watch Time Fitness Clock, Image by Max Pixel CC0

But runners have been using fitness watches for years.

While you definitely don't need one of these gadgets, they can be useful for tracking your distance, pace, and other stats.

Some more advanced models even offer GPS directions, so you'll never get lost!

If you're just getting into how to start running, though, we recommend foregoing these gadgets at first or investing in a used model.

Newer running watches can cost close to $1,000, but you can find used models for $50 or less that work just as well.

If you reach a point in your running career where you want to be more competitive and track your progress more easily, you can then invest in one of these newer models.

runner wearing Hydration packs on his body

Salomon Hydration Pack designed for running. Image By Salomon

OTHER ACCESSORIES

When you start running longer distances, you also need to start taking hydration and nutrition into consideration.

The general rule of thumb is that you can run up to a half marathon without needing to carry food and water with you.

But on hot days, you should have water with you no matter how short of a distance you plan to run.

For water, you can find handheld water bottles or invest in a hydration belt or vest at your local running or outdoor retailer.

Most of these packs also have small pockets for snacks.

athletes enjoy running on hot day

Photo by RUN 4 FFWPU from Pexels CC0

The food you carry on a run is entirely up to you, but popular options include:

  • Peanut butter sandwiches
  • Baby food pouches
  • Gummy candy
  • Bananas
  • GU products

Even if you don't end up reaching for these snacks during your run, it's important to have them with you just in case.

MASTERING YOUR RUNNING FORM

"RUNNING IS THE GREATEST METAPHOR FOR LIFE, BECAUSE YOU GET OUT OF IT WHAT YOU PUT INTO IT."

- OPRAH WINFREY

You have your training plan.

Your closet is stocked with new running gear.

Now let's talk about your running form.

When lifting weights or performing other strength exercises, proper form is essential to preventing injury.

The same is true for running.

Most running injuries can be traced back to a subpar foot strike, posture, or other factor.

a beginner running on the side of the road

Photo by Rosemary Ketchum from Pexels

Of course, you shouldn't beat yourself up if your form isn't perfect right out of the gate. In fact, your form will probably never be 100-percent perfect.

In addition to injury prevention, proper running form will also help you run more efficiently. And, therefore, faster.

The best way to learn what correct running form looks like is to see it for yourself. Check out the video below to learn how to start running with proper form:

RUNNING APPS YOU SHOULD TRY

strava

Image by Sportyjob

STRAVA

Running might be the most tech-obsessed sport in the world.

And out of this obsession have come countless gadgets, gear, and apps.

If you love tracking your running data or having your entire training plan at your fingertips, we recommend testing out some of the following software:

Strava is the social media heavyweight of the running world.

But the ability to share and view your friends' running feats is only a fraction of what this website and app have to offer.

One of the best Strava features is the Heat Map.

This lets you see where other people are running in your area — or, really, anywhere on Earth. If you're struggling to find new routes in your area, the map will show you running spots based on popularity.

The Heat Map is also great for finding hidden trails that you would otherwise never know about. For trail runners, this feature is an absolute gold mine!

C25k

Image by iTunes

C25K, or Couch-to-5k, is the name of a super popular training program for those wanting to learn how to start running.

While you can follow a spreadsheet or other guide for this plan, you can also download a slick app.

This program tracks your progress through the plan, offers audio prompts during your runs, and other useful features.

If you're someone who needs a little extra structure and motivation in your workouts, and you have little to no past running experience, we definitely recommend this training plan and app!

mapmyfitness

Image by ibm

MapMyRun is a very basic run-tracking app, without the heavy social media aspect offered by Strava.

If you just want a basic place to keep track of your running history, this is a great app.

And if you use MyFitnessPal for your nutrition tracking, then you might choose MapMyRun over another app because of its built-in integration.

While this app is built more for those who run to lose weight or otherwise improve their health, it is still a great app for the casual runner.

For more competitive runners, though, we recommend giving Strava a try first.

HOw TO START RUNNING: TIME TO HIT THE ROAD

athlete warming up and getting started to run

Image By Unknown via Pixabay CC0

For some people, running is just another cardio exercise. But for others, it is a hobby, sport, and lifestyle.

Running holds an important place in human history. Without our ancestors' endurance, we never would have been able to hunt down wild game.

"WHEN THE SUN COMES UP YOU'D BETTER BE RUNNING."

- CHRISTPHER MCDOUGALL

And if Pheidippides hadn't made the journey from Marathon to Athens in Ancient Greece, the running scene of today would likely be much different!

Today, more and more people are getting into the sport of running to improve both their physical and mental health. While this activity does have some inherent risks, they pale in comparison to the wealth of benefits that running can provide.

people happily join a city run for a cause

Photo by Lukasz Dziegel from Pexels

If you're serious about learning how to start running, one of the best things you can do is commit to a training plan. No matter what your running goal is, we promise there's a suitable plan out there.

Once you have your training plan picked out, all you need are a good pair of running shoes and somewhere to run!

Whether you choose to start your running journey on road, trail, or treadmill, the tips and tricks in this guide are sure to serve you well.

So what are you waiting for? It's time to get moving!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here