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Including tips for running outside

Here are some simple running tips for beginners. Find out where to get the right running equipment, how to set suitable targets, and how to keep motivated.

If you’ve decided to give running a try, there are a few basic tips that can help you get started. Like with any sport or activity, practice makes perfect, so if you’re a beginner, don’t expect to be running marathons within your first week!

Build your distance or speed up slowly and watch the magic happen.

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Beginners’ running equipment

If you want to get the most out of your run and avoid injury, you’ll need to have the right running gear.

The most fundamental piece of kit is running shoes. It can be tricky finding the right type for your feet and running style, but Runner’s World has a ShoeFinder application that can help.

The options include:

  • cushioned shoes
  • motion-control shoes
  • performance training shoe
  • racing shoes
  • stability shoes and
  • trail shoes.

The major brands such as Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Asics, and Puma offer a wide selection of running shoes to help you get the most out of your run.

Other important pieces of kit include a decent sports bra if you are a woman (try Shock Absorber and Champion); and comfortable apparel that will allow freedom of movement, protect you from the elements and make you more visible (try Columbia Sportswear, The North Face and Under Armor). Your choice of socks (REI), headgear (New Balance), and eyewear (Quiksilver) may also be important, depending on your running circumstances.

Record your running progress

If you are a beginner, it is important to set realistic targets and stick to them. Build up your running time or speed gradually over time. This way, you will not overexert yourself or become discouraged if it takes a while to find your stride. Some running beginners choose to alternate periods of running and walking at first.

One helpful way to record your running progress is to use a website such as,, or Adidas’ MiCoach site. Sites like this allow you to work out the time and distance of your run. These running sites also provide training logs, discussion forums, and fitness calculators to help you meet your running targets. If you have an iPhone or BlackBerry, these sites allow you to record your progress as you run using GPS.

By recording your progress, you can build a practical running program that challenges you without pushing you too far. You can be encouraged by looking back to your first run and seeing how much you have improved each week, month, and year.

Beginner runners app

There are loads of apps that you can use to help start your progress.

Couch to 5K

We used the Couch to 5K app to start. It’s a free app that starts by taking you for a small jog with walking at certain intervals. Each level has you walking but jogging in between. It’s a great way to start building up your training sessions and means that you don’t have to worry about running all the time. It’s more about building up your stamina.

The app gives you motivational goals and takes you through the process of walking, running, and resting.


You can start using Endomondo straight away. Start by setting up your training plan on the app and let it come up with a goal for you.

It sets you weekly commitments that get you to start running and jogging. This isn’t about distance running at the start. It’s more about getting you moving and getting you to love running. It syncs to your Apple Watch or Health app on your phone and if you want it to, can connect you with other users that use the app near you.

Zombies, Run!

This running app will get you running in no time at all. You put your headphones on and the app plays you a story based on zombies and you trying to survive.

Like the other running apps it starts with easy runs that slowly builds up. This is a creative app that gets your heart pumping really quick. It’s entertaining and the story has been written to up your heart beat and lower it at set intervals at the start so it’s not all scary!

Give your running some purpose

Running can help you to lose weight, tone up, and simply to feel more energized. Research suggests it can also prevent you from developing life-threatening illnesses such as heart disease and cancer. Whatever your motivation, give yourself a long-term goal to aim for.

This goal will completely depend on your fitness level and your dedication to running. Your aim might be to run the New York Marathon, or it might simply be to run without stopping for ten minutes at a time, three times a week. Some people choose to enter races that also allow them to raise money for charity. You could enter a 5K race and also raise money for cancer research, for example.

If you are running to lose weight, you may wish to decide how many pounds you want to lose. Aim to lose weight steadily over time rather than going for a quick win. This way, the weight is more likely to stay off once you have lost it.

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Reaching your running target may be enough for some people, but others need an added incentive. How about giving yourself a treat when you get to where you want to be? This can help you to keep motivated and on track, providing the treat isn’t an all-you-can-eat session at McDonald’s!

Remember, when you do reach your running goal, don’t stop. Find new challenges within running and start working towards them. If you can’t keep the momentum going by yourself, try joining a running club. This will also help you get to know other running enthusiasts.

Laura x

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These are the best tips for running as a beginner. We've included the best apps to help you start and the best footwear to keep you comfy by Laura at My Beautiful Mess

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