Do’s and Don’ts for Beginners

Running is a simple activity, but the following guidelines will help you succeed at it.

Don’t begin a running program without a full medical exam.

Don’t attempt to train through an athletic injury. Little aches and pains can sideline you for weeks or months if you don’t take time off and seek medical advice.

Do dress correctly. If it’s dark, wear white or, better yet, reflective clothing. If it’s cold, wear layers of clothing, gloves or mittens, and a wool ski cap to retain heat. Sunblock, sunglasses, a baseball cap, and white clothing make sense on hot days.

Don’t run in worn-out shoes (check them for broken-down heels or very smooth areas where you push off on your strides). Don’t run in shoes that are designed for other sports, such as basketball or tennis sneaks.

Do tell someone where you’ll be running and when you expect to return. Carry some identification and your cell phone.

Do some light stretching exercises prior to your run/walk workouts to reduce muscle tightness and increase range of motion. You should do even more stretching after the workout.

Do watch out for cars, and don’t expect “drivers to watch out for you. Always run facing traffic so that you can see cars approaching. When crossing an intersection, make sure you establish eye contact with the driver before proceeding.

Do include a training partner in your program, if possible. A training partner with similar abilities and goals can add motivation and increase the safety of your running.

Don’t wear headphones when running outside, whether you're “training or racing. They tune you out from your surroundings, making you more vulnerable to all sorts of hazards: cars, bikes, skateboards, dogs, and criminals.

Don’t run in remote areas, especially if you are a woman running alone. If you don’t have a partner, run with a dog or carry a self-defense spray (first ensuring it’s legal to use where you run). Don’t approach a car to give directions, and don’t assume all runners are harmless.”

Excerpt From: Burfoot, Amby. “Runner's World Complete Book of Running.” Rodale, 2009. iBooks.

 

 

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