Last week we talked about preparing to start running with the proper mindset and motivation. But now that you’re ready to begin, there are still some starting tips you need to know before you start fantasizing about winning the next big marathon:

1. Stretch, walk and rest. You have to prepare your body, especially lungs and leg muscles, before you can actually get started. Learn and practice the proper ways to warm up before each run – and you should always cool down to a walk and then stretch again before coming to a complete halt. Graduate to bouts of jogging before you run.

2. Get a routine. Train along a path you’d like to ultimately run, such as a scenic waterfront or local park. Familiarizing with the area is a great idea, because it not only allows you to scout for pitfalls and learn the terrain before you’re moving too fast, but it also lets you find markers that equate with distance – so you can go farther each time or plan rests by benches or water fountains. The scenery can be a powerful encouragement that will enable you to ultimately complete the trek without pause. Shy about running outside? Don’t worry, you can always achieve the same thrill by plotting out inclines, rates and pacing on a treadmill or elliptical at our Greenville gym. Another fun tip is to create a running playlist to boost you up and get you through your run time. Getting further in the playlist is another motivational tool.

3. Set the pace. You’ll want to speak to a professional trainer about the amount of walking and jogging that should be interspersed with rest days (allowing your body to recover adequately) and the exact length you need before you can change your routine. Many individuals take between one and two months of training before they can actually run – and switch to running regularly, without going back to walking after one successful running day. However, once you can jog for at least ten minutes on a regular basis without severely aching or getting too winded, you can typically try a 20-minute run.

Note: Be sure you have all the safest and most suitable apparel and equipment before you start running. Not sure what you’ll need? Just ask the staff at Pivotal Fitness Greenville.