3 Essential Tips to Help You Prepare for Your First Run
About to go on your first run? Get ready to discover a sport that frees your mind, pushes your limits, and transforms your fitness levels.
The beauty of running is that it doesn’t require too much equipment or a complicated set-up, but nailing down the basics is important.
Running expert Sascha Wingenfeld has some useful tips for getting started as a runner, including how long you should run and how to choose the right clothing.
Here are the 3 best tips for your first run:
Tip 1: Decide how long you should run
For your first run, it’s vital to start off with a realistic duration goal and a reasonable intensity.
If your expectations are set too high, you’ll have a really hard time motivating yourself for further running workouts in the future. “You can always up your pace or increase the duration later on,” Sascha explains.
So, how long should your first run be? “An ideal, and not too overwhelming, duration for a first run is about 30 minutes in total,” explains Sascha. “This also includes the time necessary for a proper warm-up.”
This ensures your muscles are ready for the run session. “Make sure you run slowly – too slow rather than too fast,” says Sascha. When you first start running, it’s hard to assess your running speed. We usually tend to start off too fast. After a few runs, your body will get a feeling for the right pace and speed.
Be sure to track your runs with the adidas Running app so you can get an idea of what your pace is and if you should go slower or can go faster next time.
Doing intervals for your first runs has proven successful.
“You can alternate between running and walking periods. This helps you control the overall strain on your body and prevents you from overdoing it,” says Sascha.
Training plans for beginner runners
The adidas Running app has training plans for runners of all levels. Choose our Start to Run plan and run better in six week or 10 weeks.
It’s simple: you’ll tell us a little bit about yourself like your goal, when you want to start, and more. We’ll devise a weekly plan to get you active and improving with each day. Download the adidas Running app to get started!
Tip 2: Find the right running shoes for your feet
For your first run, your feet and lower body will be adapting to the new strains and sensations of hitting the pavement.
“The most vital piece of running equipment is your running shoes. They constitute the base for your running performance throughout the next months,” says Sascha. “Your first running shoes must fit your feet perfectly.”
Choose them half a size bigger than usual to prevent your big toe from pressing against the front seam of the shoe. This will help you to avoid bruised toenails.
The adidas Running app has a shoe tracker feature. Upload your running shoe, log your kilometers, and track its lifespan. You’ll know when it’s time to get a new pair!
“When it comes to buying the right shoe, your foot type is a determining factor,” explains Sascha. “Make sure the shoe model fits your foot type.”
It’s important to take into account the arch of your foot, whether your foot ‘pronates’, your body weight, and where you’ll be running.
Pronation refers to how much your foot rolls inwards or outwards when it hits the ground. If your feet are unstable, meaning they turn in (pronation) or outwards (supination), you need a shoe to stabilize your feet in the respective direction.
Here are the three basic types of support offered by running shoes:
Type 1: Neutral shoes.
- These shoes are the most common.
- Recommended for people who do not have a pronounced inward pronation. They protect joints with cushioning to absorb the impact of footstrikes.
- This is for people with normal and high arches.
Type 2: Stability support.
- For feet flat or feet that roll inward (overpronate) when running.
- Stability shoes are firmer, with more support in the midsole.
- These shoes feel less cushioned and to keep the foot in a neutral position.
Type 3: Motion Control
- Good for heavier-set runners.
- These are most stable shoes for overpronation.
- They provide extra support in the arch area.
Lastly, consider where you will be running. If you’re hitting the treadmill or flat roads, you might opt for a shoe with a smooth sole. This a wide category, and you’ll find plenty of options here.
If you’re running on trails with uneven terrain, you’ll need something with traction that prevents you from slipping. These shoes are generally stiffer as the foot moves from side to side.
See our complete guide for choosing the best running shoes.
Rule of thumb:
A simple, light shoe ideally trains your foot muscles while promoting a dynamic running technique. However, this is only true if you’ve a certain base condition, fitness-wise.
Tip 3: Choose the right running clothes
The best running clothes will depend on the temperature, but choosing moisture-wicking and quick-drying fabrics are essential across all seasons.
They help transport humidity from the body toward the outside of the shirt or jacket to keep your body warm and dry. Especially during the winter months, this allows us to work out without going hypothermic.
“Generally, I’d say you should wear clothes that seem a little too cool. After working out for a while, you’ll reach the right temperature, but your body will still get enough air to cool down – without cooling too much,” Sascha explains.
Summer running clothes tips:
- Dress lightly.
- Wear lightweight fabrics that move with your body.
- Burn easily? Look for clothes that have an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rating of at least 30.
- Avoid shorts that cause thigh chafing: they should be long enough to cover vulnerable areas of the skin.
- Avoid cotton as this absorbs moisture
Winter running clothes tips:
- In winter, layering up is a must.
- Start with a base layer made out of polyester or merino wool.
- Choose an insulating second layer, such as a fleece jacket.
- Wear a shell layer such as a windbreaker.
- Don’t leave skin exposed: wear gloves or a top with thumb holes and use a neck warmer and headband.
Want more tips? Check out these useful expert running tips for beginners.
Now that you have a bit more information, we hope you are feeling more confident and excited about your first run! It doesn’t matter how far or how fast you go. Just enjoy yourself!