What is the best beginner runner guide?

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Answered by: Sarah, An Expert in the Running and Jogging Category
Are you new to exercising and searching for a way to embark on a healthy lifestyle? Or, are you an avid exerciser looking for a change in your tired workout routine? Beginner runners come from all fitness levels, but share one thing in common: They are looking for a mental and physical change not only in their exercise routine, but in their daily life. This beginner runner guide will not teach you how to physically train. That is a personal decision you must make depending on your fitness level. However, this article will instruct you on how to overcome the biggest challenges for a beginner runner: How to fit running into your busy lifestyle and stay motivated long after the initial excitement of embarking on your journey has worn off.

The first step for a beginner runner is to search and sign up for a 5k in your local community. I know what you are thinking. Why sign up for a race before your jogging shoes have even hit the pavement? Setting a goal upfront will keep you motivated and focused. If possible, sign up with a friend or family member. Your "teammate" will encourage you to keep your eye on your goal.

Next, create a schedule for your runs that fits your lifestyle. Are you a morning person, or do you feel most energetic in the afternoon or evenings? Your runs should coincide with your natural rhythm and conform to your day, which will discourage from canceling a run. Set a running schedule of 3 to 5 times a week, treating your runs as if they were a business meeting you would not consider missing. However, in this case, your mind is the "boss" that your body must report to. You should also look ahead at your 5k date and design your workouts to work up to that race. For instance, if the 5k is in 12 weeks, each week should build on the previous until you have reached your goal.

After you have designed your schedule, it is important to reflect on the mental components of running and the goals you hope to achieve through your exercise. Do you plan to eventually run a marathon someday? Or, do you want to use running as a mental break from your hectic lifestyle? Is running an activity you would like to share with friends and family, or is it a personal activity in which you hope to gain some personal alone time? Maintaining a purpose for running and reminding yourself of it daily keeps the importance of your healthy decision at the forefront. Envision your mind and body after a run and reflect on the positive benefits.

After you have signed up for your 5k, designed your running schedule, and created a mental vision, it's time to lace up your running shoes. As a beginner runner, the biggest obstacle is not your body. It is your mind. Keeping your goal, schedule, and vision in mind is the most important step. After you are mentally prepared, your body will conform and follow the motions you set out for it. Congratulations, beginner runner. In taking the initiative to seek out a beginner runner guide, you have already completed the most challenging step.

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