Beautiful scenery, a higher calorie burn, and a toned lower body are just a few things to look forward to when you start running outside.
Beautiful scenery, a higher calorie burn, and a toned lower body are just a few things to look forward to when you start running outside. But if you don't play it safe, then you can just as easily be looking at a slew of new injuries, frustrations, and unmet expectations. Stay safe and make sure that your first outdoor runs are your best yet with these tips.
No. 1: Pick the Road More Traveled
When starting out, the last thing you want to worry about is getting lost. Before even lacing up your sneakers, do some research: ask friends where they like to run, use online running forums to find popular routes, and check to see if your park has designated trails. The more popular and visible the trail, the better. Well-used routes tend to have clearly defined pathways, they are often well-lit, and there's safety in numbers by choosing a trail that's populated with fellow runners. If you're feeling nervous, then opt to walk the route first, or ask a friend to go running with you. Wherever your run takes you, make sure to follow these basic running tips that will help keep you safe and out of harm's way.
No. 2: Start Slow (and Soft)
Aside from having to deal with what nature throws at you, running without the momentum of a treadmill is also more taxing on the body. The muscles have to work harder to push the body forward, and the joints take more of a beating from running on uneven (and harder) terrain. When you first begin running outdoors, don't expect — or even challenge yourself — to run as fast or as long as you do on a treadmill. Give your body time to adjust by gradually replacing treadmill runs with some that are outdoors, and keep your first few runs on the shorter side. You can pick up the pace and add mileage as your body acclimates. To make the transition easier on your joints and avoid injury, start by running on softer surfaces like grass, a track, or a wooded trail.
See the last running tip after the break!