how to start running
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Keen to Start Running? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Nike + Run Coach Britt Moran gives us the lowdown.

With stay at home recommendations in place across Canada right now as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the streets are (thankfully) pretty sparse. Though you may have noticed more runners than usual as people are lacing up their shoes to pound the pavement for a little fresh air and exercise. If you’re keen to join the club, but aren’t quite sure where to start, don’t worry – we spoke with Nike+ Run Coach Britt Moran to get the lowdown on everything you need to know on how to start running.

What’s your advice for someone who wants to start running but hasn’t previously?

You can do this! The hardest step is the first one out of the door. So be brave and take that step. Next take it slow, running is all about pacing yourself. Lastly, give yourself a break – you are just starting after all so for the first few runs make it a run-walk.

What are the key considerations to keep in mind for first-time runners?

Key considerations for a first time runner is to not do too much too soon. Running is amazing and can become somewhat addictive. The biggest mistake a new runner can make is overloading their system and ending up injured. So take it slow and ease into it. Running is humbling and no matter if you are a veteran just coming back from a break or a brand new runner, those first few runs are always going to feel tough so be kind to yourself and stick with it. I promise you will not regret it. Everyone’s starting point in running will be a little different so do not compare yourself to others. This is your journey.

What are some of the benefits of running?

There are so many amazing benefits to running. In the current global situation it is a huge benefit because it is something you can do by yourself outside. It is amazing to get out and get some fresh air. Not to mention the health benefits of consistent exercise. Running is a great form of aerobic exercise that gets the whole body moving. It can also help to lower your stress levels. I especially find it nice because it is something I can schedule and control every day, and with all the uncertainty in the world it is nice to have something you can count on. And if you still need convincing, it is a great calorie burner.

Could you provide a basic running plan for someone who is starting out?

As I mentioned above the key is to take it slow.  I would suggest running no more than every other day, coupling it with strength and mobility work on the opposite days. My favourite resource for this is the Nike Training Club app. There are tons of at-home friendly workouts to help you stay active on the days you are not running. And the bonus is you will get stronger which will help your running.

Below is an example run plan:

Run 1: 5 mins walking 10x (1 min run + 1 min walk) + 5 mins walking = 30mins (10 mins running)

Run 2: 5 mins walking 8x (2 mins run + 1 min walk) + 5 mins walking = 34 mins (16 mins running)

Run 3: 5 mins walking 4x (5 mins run + 1 min walk) + 5 mins walking = 34 mins (20 mins running)

Run 4: 5 mins walking 2 x (10 mins run + 1 min walk) + 5 mins walking = 32 mins (20 mins running)

There is nothing wrong with keeping the run a run-walk. Do each run until you feel comfortable to move to the next one. If you get to the 10mins straight and are feeling confident give a straight 20-minute run a try. You can always take a walk break if you need to.

The Nike Run Club app can also be super helpful. It is a great way to record your running journey. The NRC app also has audio guided runs specific for beginners so you can literally have a coach in your ear guiding you on your run.

What equipment do you need to run?

The nice thing about running is that it does not require much equipment. However, a good pair of running shoes is key. My go-to running shoe is the Nike Zoom Pegasus or the Nike React Infinity. These would both be great options for a beginner runner as well. But the key is that the shoe is comfortable on your foot, because you are the one that has to run in them.

Do you need to stretch before/after you run? What are some stretches you would recommend?

I would suggest doing a dynamic warm up which basically means getting the body moving in the way you are going to move during the activity. No static stretching before running. Here is a resource of some run drills:

Post-run, I like active isolated stretching, I find it really helps with decreasing muscle soreness. Check out this video:

Lastly, I want to emphasize that running is a skill. It is something that needs to be learned and deliberately practiced. Think of running as a progression of marching and not walking. And have fun!

Remember that social distancing protocols are in place across Canada, so if you do head out for a run, be sure to keep your distance from others.