So, you want to become a runner. You may not consider yourself “sporty” or athletic, but that shouldn’t stop you. Anyone can run! It is probably the most universal sport out there, because you don’t need any special equipment, there are really no rules, and you can just do it for the fun of it.   

Pre-Conceived Notions

Before you start, it is important that you get rid of any pre-conceived notions about runners. You don’t have to be rail-thin to be a runner, in fact, many very successful runners are not even thin at all, but they are still very healthy! You also don’t necessarily have to be fast. Sure, if you want to win the Boston Marathon, maybe you do, but simply to complete a race you just have to have a little determination and make it to that finish line.

Proper Shoes

One thing you do need, though, is a good pair of running shoes! A good pair of shoes will help prevent some of the many injuries that can come with starting to run: shin-splints, pulled muscles and knee problems can all be avoided if you will invest a little bit of money in some nice shoes. Go to a running store and ask a clerk for some help. Try on lots of shoes and run around in them and make sure that they give you the support you need to run comfortably. Since this is one of the few costs of running, it is worth putting some money into.   

Pace Yourself

Don’t try to jump right into running all at once, or you may injure yourself, or even worse, burn out mentally and decide that you don’t like to run after all. Get used to moving your body for prolonged periods of time by going on a few longer walks. Then gradually start to work in five minutes of jogging into your walks until, before you know it, you are running more than you are walking. This is the best way to ease yourself into the runner’s lifestyle.   

Fuel for Running

Make sure that you are fueling your body properly. When you run a lot you will need extra calories to power your body and to help your muscles heal after your runs. However, this doesn’t mean that you should pig out on junk food; you should make sure that the extra calories you eat each day are nutrient-rich calories. A combination of protein and healthy carbohydrates is best after a workout, such as an apple with peanut butter, or some cheese and whole-wheat crackers.   

If you follow these tips and listen to your body, you will be a runner in no time. Running is a great sport for the mind, body and soul. Whether you run indoors or outside, alone or with a group, in silence or with music, you will find your groove. Never give up and always try to achieve a little more than you did before.