7 Beginner-Friendly Tips to Start a Running Routine and Stick with It

7 Beginner-Friendly Tips to Start a Running Routine and Stick with It

Starting a new running routine can be an exciting journey, but it's not without its challenges, especially for beginners. It's easy to get motivated and inspired at first, but then hit road blocks that cause you to lose steam and fall off the wagon. If you're looking to start running and make it a habit that lasts, here are 7 beginner-friendly tips to help you get started and stay consistent.


1. Set Achievable Goals

When you're brand new to running, it's important to set small, achievable goals for yourself. Things like running for 20 minutes without stopping or completing a 5K race. Checking off those initial accomplishments will keep you motivated to continue pushing yourself and growing your running endurance.

As you progress, you can gradually increase the difficulty of your goals, whether it's running farther, faster, or completing a longer race. But those early small wins are crucial for building confidence and staying encouraged, especially on the days when you're feeling less than enthusiastic about lacing up your shoes.


2. Start Slow and Gradually Increase

One of the biggest mistakes new runners make is trying to do too much too soon. This can lead to burnout, injury, and loss of motivation. Instead, start with just 10-15 minutes of running a few times per week. This short duration will allow your body to gradually adapt to the new physical demands without becoming overly fatigued.

As you build endurance over the first few weeks, you can slowly increase the duration and frequency of your runs. A good rule of thumb is to only increase your weekly mileage by no more than 10% each week. This gradual approach will help your body adjust and reduce your risk of common running injuries like shin splints or runner's knee.


3. Celebrate Small Wins

Remember to take the time to celebrate your progress, no matter how small it may seem. Whether it's running your first mile without stopping or completing your first 5K, treat yourself to something special or share your accomplishment with loved ones.

Recognizing and appreciating your hard work will help keep you motivated and inspired to keep going. Running can be challenging, so don't forget to give yourself credit for sticking with it and improving over time.


4. Do Something Else When Conditions Are Unfavorable

There will inevitably be days when the weather, your energy levels, or your schedule make it difficult to get out for a run. Instead of skipping it altogether, have a backup plan ready. This could mean doing a strength training workout at home, going for a brisk walk, or trying a different type of cardio like biking or swimming.

Maintaining some form of physical activity, even if it's not running, will help you stay on track and avoid completely abandoning your routine. Plus, cross-training can actually improve your running performance over time.


5. Run with a Buddy

Running with others can make the time pass more quickly and provide a sense of accountability. See if you can find a friend, family member, or join a local running group to join you on your runs.

The social aspect of running with others can be hugely motivating, especially on the days when you're feeling less than enthusiastic about lacing up your shoes. Your running partners can offer encouragement, camaraderie, and healthy competition to keep you going.


6. Mix Up Your Route or Type of Run

Doing the same run over and over again can get monotonous and make it harder to stay motivated. Try changing up your route, running at different times of day, or incorporating different types of runs like intervals, hills, or tempo runs.

Variety not only keeps your workouts interesting, but it also challenges your body in new ways, leading to improved fitness. Exploring new running routes in your local area can also be a great way to discover new sights and keep your runs feeling fresh.


7. Think of It as 'Me Time'

Rather than viewing running as just another thing on your to-do list, reframe it as "me time" - a chance to step away from the stresses of daily life and focus solely on your physical and mental well-being.

Use your runs as an opportunity to clear your mind, boost your mood, and get some much-needed alone time. Listening to empowering music, podcasts, or simply being present with your breath can help make running feel less like a chore and more like a rewarding act of self-care.



Starting a running routine takes dedication, but if you follow these beginner-friendly tips, you'll be well on your way to making it a sustainable habit. Just remember to start slow, be patient with yourself, and find ways to make running an enjoyable part of your lifestyle. Before you know it, you'll be running stronger, feeling better, and reaching new fitness goals.

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