Running Tips For Beginners


Whilst I am by no means an expert on running, I am an expert on being a beginner at running. My relationship with running is very much a stop-start affair, as I keep getting injured or generally distracted, so I have picked up a lot of tips along the way that are essential for beginners to know.

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After my posts on walking and how that is how I started exercise before moving on, I have had a lot of questions on how I moved on from walking to running. It might seem like a natural progression, but it is a fairly big leap. But not one that you should be scared to take. If you are just starting out with exercise and you are interested in running, here are my tips on how to get started.

1) Take it slowly – Sure you might want to be able to run a marathon straight away, but that is not realistic, is it?! Start with running for 30 seconds (or even 10 seconds) and then walking for 30 seconds and gradually build your way up by increasing your running time. Don’t focus on speed at the moment.

2) Get the right running shoes – I recently went to Millet Sports to find the ones that are right for me. Not all running shoes are the same and it depends if you are running on roads or trails and what kind of runner you are. If you can, it is always good to go to a shop that you can get a gait analysis done and they will tell you the best type of shoes for you. You can always take that advice and go buy the shoes from somewhere else.

3) Follow a running program – I really like the couch to 5k program as it is easy to follow and fairly gradual, although some weeks have a big jump. The only negative that I find with those programs are if you have the app for it, some of the voices are really annoying and patronising, but maybe that is just me haha.

4) Fuel your body – Nutrition is always important, but especially when you are working out. Before my runs, I eat something that is going to give me a lot of energy, like a banana with homemade peanut butter – generally something carby. After my workout, food is equally important as you need to repair your muscles. This is where getting some protein in is important and I usually go for something like Greek yoghurt, boiled eggs or some grilled chicken.

5) Set a goal – Whilst you want to take it easy in the beginning, there is nothing wrong with setting yourself a goal. It doesn’t have to be a marathon, but by all means aim big if you want to. Perhaps you want to run for 5 minutes without stopping? Run a 5km? Be able to keep up with someone else? Set a goal and it will motivate you to keep pushing forward.

6) Find a running buddy – I know this is not for everyone and some people find working out alone better for them, but having someone there is encourage you might be just what you keep. You can give each other a kick with you want to skip a run and be there to congratulate each other when you reach a goal. I think the important thing here though is to find someone that is at the same stage of running as you. There are also loads of running clubs you can join – check out the Spogo directory to find a running club near you:

7) Find somewhere nice to run – This might seem an odd one, but since I have started running at a new park that has a tree lined road that I can run up and down, I am finding my runs that little bit easier. It is quiet enough for me to not feel crowded, it is pretty to look at and there are a few other encouraging runners around.

8) Listen to your body – When I first started running, I got that runners high pretty quickly. I was so happy that I was enjoying it and that I was improving with it, that I ignored the little pains in my knee whenever I was running. I convinced myself that my knees were just getting used to it. The truth is, my knees are weak from carrying around so much excess weight for so many years. I pushed myself and didn’t listen to my body and just made it worse to the point where I had to take a long time off running and I still get injured a lot now. Listen to those signals and take time off if you need it.

9) There is more to working out than running – that statement might annoy some hardcore runners, but you shouldn’t just focus on running. Weight training is important too, or even make some time for yoga – you will actually find that both will help with your running.

10) Remember that running is not for everyone – this isn’t to encourage you to give up, but I hear so many people that say that are forcing themselves to run, despite hating it. There are SO many different workouts out there, that there is no need to force yourself to do something you hate. Sure, it might take you a while to enjoy running, but if after a while you still hate it, know that is fine and find something you enjoy.


 What are your running tips for beginners? Leave a comment below.



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*This is post is in collaboration with Millet Sports*


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  1. says

    I have just started running with the couch to 5k programme. I wondered if you had any advice on running in poor weather? As winter hits the UK I am worried my desire to run and exercise outdoors is going to disappear!

  2. says

    A huge one is starting out slow. It may seem like you are barely moving, but the first time you run a route without a walk break is such a massive achievement, and it’s only achievable when you’re running slow enough to be able to maintain the run.
    Make it fun as well. When I joined my beginners group at my running club we used to play some child games like Stuck-in-the-mud at the end of a session, and it really takes you back to your childhood – when you used to run carefree, just because you could!

    • Dannii says

      There is a new beginners running club starting near me soon and I am definitely going to join. I hope that there are lots of games like that, as I definitely think that will help me to enjoy it more.

  3. says

    Get a good bra, and a good pair of shoes!
    I like your tip about finding somewhere nice to run- I love the fields, so much more enjoyable than by a smelly dusty road!
    I love daily mile- you can log your miles and it tells you how far you have run in a week, month, year etc, which is really motivating as the miles add up quickly!
    I do not agree with the eating part though- I think if you are running a few miles then your regular meals should easily give you enough energy.

  4. says

    Great feature, top tips and love that spogo website :) thanks for including us! Hopefully people can use us to get more active but if not there are 9 other good beginner tips

  5. says

    It’s so good to see posts like this for PROPER beginners – I’m an amateur running myself (definitely not as dedicated as I should be) and am finding starting off so hard. Thank you for these tips, will give them a go! x

  6. Tegan says

    I never thought I would be a runner, but I started a couple of years go, going for a run/walk twice a week and increased it from there. I do a 10km twice a week now. Great encouraging tips for beginners here!

  7. Beck says

    Did you start running as soon as your started with healthy eating? Or did you do one first and then start the other after a while?

    • Dannii says

      No, I didn’t start running until about 3 years ago, once I reached my goal weight. I wish I had of started earlier though.

  8. Amanda says

    I did my first 5km yesterday – I was so happy that I cried. It is amazing when you start out how you don’t think it is possible. Thanks for all the encouragement.

  9. Claire says

    Do you not find there is a big jump with the minutes of running in the C25K program? I think it is week 7 or something, but it jumps from 8 minutes to 20. That is a huge jump.

    • Dannii says

      Yes, totally! I would say take it at your own pace. Add on a few extra weeks if needed, that’s what I do.

  10. Karen says

    I really like the posts where you share tips for beginners. It is nice to know that although you are no longer a beginner, you are still helping those that are. Thank you for that.

  11. Maria says

    I love the last tip and I think it might apply to me. I have been “running” for over a year now and while I guess I have improved, I just hate it. I don’t get that runners high that everyone talks about and I feel like I could be doing something else that I would enjoy more. Do you just do running for cardio now?

    • Dannii says

      No, I try to change it up as much as possible and I love things like dancing and swimming. There are so many different workouts out there, there that is something for everyone.

  12. Susan says

    The most important tip I could pass along
    is to make sure you drink along the way!
    Water belts and bottles are out there
    and you get used to wearing them-but
    they replace the water your body is losing
    due to exercise and heat.I add a pinch
    of course sea salt to my water to help
    with cramping muscles on longer runs.
    By the time you say to yourself “Hey,Im
    thirsty!” you are already dehydrated.

  13. Leanne says

    I am one of those people that wants to make progress straight away, which is why I always give up when I don’t see the results that I want. I am slowly getting better at this and I know that giving up isn’t going to get me to my goal, but sticking at it will, no matter how long it takes.

  14. Gemma says

    How much carbs do you eat on days that you run? I don’t think I am eating enough carbs, as I never seem to have enough energy.

  15. Kelsey says

    Thanks for sharing these tips. I think my trouble is that I get bored on the treadmill. I need to find somewhere to run outside that looks as nice as your runs.

  16. says

    I definitely agree about getting the right shoes. Gait analysis showed I needed lots of support for my arches, I barely get any niggles now with the right shoes and the right stretches :)

    There is a great website called Find a Running Buddy, where you can search or advertise for a fellow running buddy in your area :)


  17. Tiny Tang says

    I hate running myself;p it’s such a chore, but i guess that’s more because I’m so unfit so I’m just giving myself an excuse:p I hope to get into running though as it is a great way to keep fit and also you pass so many scenic places, like the one you’ve photographed (it’s so pretty!). The first few times of trying is going to suck but i guess it is just sticking at it, and just following all the advice you’ve given :) I love your trainers btw! I saw some nike running shoes i really really liked but because i dont run i had no reason to buy them;p But thank you for these tips I’m definitely going to give this a try :) maybe we’ll both start to love running soon haha, good luck! x
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    • Dannii says

      Just stick with it, and it will improve. But there are lots of other great workouts out there if running is not for you.

  18. Sarah says

    I can definitely relate to pushing yourself too much. I was having back pain when I was running and I ignored it and now I can’t really run at all. It’s a shame, as I was really enjoying it.

  19. Andi says

    I am in a running club and I have met so many great friends though it. It is nice to meet people that share my passion. I am sure that I was boring all my other friends with talking about running all the time haha

  20. Charlotte says

    I like the tip about joining a running club. I am going to look in to that as it might help motivate me to run further.

  21. Alex says

    I recommend setting realistic goals. Even if in the beginning it is just to be able to run for a minute, it will improve over time.

  22. Jess says

    Thank you for this! I am hoping to run race for life next year (I am very overweight, so this year was too early for me) and I am going to start running this weekend. My husband is going to be my running partner, as he is no really a runner either.

  23. Kathy says

    Getting the right shoes is very important. Mine are quite old now and I can feel it when I am out running.