Running is one of the most accessible forms of exercise available. It requires minimal equipment and can be done anywhere, making it a great choice for beginners looking to improve their fitness. Whether you are new to running or have been doing it for a while, it’s always helpful to learn from experienced instructors who can provide valuable tips and guidance. Two top Peloton instructors, Robin Arzón and Becs Gentry, have shared their top tips for beginner runners to help you get started on the right foot.
Robin Arzón is a former lawyer turned ultra-marathoner and Peloton’s VP of fitness programming. She is known for her high-energy coaching style and motivational mantras. Becs Gentry, on the other hand, is a competitive runner and triathlete with an impressive background in sports and fitness coaching. Both instructors bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table, and their tips can help you develop good habits and avoid common running pitfalls.
1. Start with a Walk-Run Approach: When you’re just starting out, it’s important to ease into running to avoid injury. Robin recommends using a walk-run approach, where you alternate between walking and running intervals. This allows your body to gradually adapt to the demands of running and reduces the risk of overuse injuries.
2. Invest in Proper Shoes: Running shoes are your most important piece of equipment as a runner. Becs emphasizes the importance of finding a pair of shoes that fit well and provide adequate support for your feet. Visit a specialty running store to get properly fitted and choose the right shoes for your running style and foot shape.
3. Focus on Form: Good running form is crucial for efficiency and injury prevention. Robin suggests paying attention to your posture, arm swing, and foot strike. Keep your body upright, shoulders relaxed, and arms pumping in a forward and backward motion. Aim for a midfoot strike to reduce impact on your joints.
4. Set Realistic Goals: Becs advises setting realistic and achievable goals for your running journey. Whether it’s increasing your distance, improving your speed, or simply staying consistent with your workouts, having clear and attainable objectives can keep you motivated and on track.
5. Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to how your body feels during and after your runs. Robin stresses the importance of tuning into any discomfort or pain and addressing it promptly. Pushing through aches and pains can lead to more serious injuries, so be mindful of your body’s signals and adjust your training as needed.
6. Warm-Up and Cool Down: Prior to your runs, it’s essential to warm up your muscles and prepare your body for the workout ahead. Becs recommends dynamic stretches and light jogging to increase blood flow and loosen up the muscles. After your run, take the time to cool down with static stretches to help prevent stiffness and aid in recovery.
7. Stay Hydrated: Proper hydration is key for optimal performance and overall health. Robin suggests drinking water before, during, and after your runs to stay hydrated and replace any fluid loss. Pay attention to your thirst cues and drink enough to maintain a good level of hydration.
8. Cross-Train: Incorporating other forms of exercise, such as strength training or yoga, can benefit your running by improving overall strength, flexibility, and mobility. Becs recommends adding cross-training workouts to your routine to complement your running and prevent overuse injuries.
9. Find a Running Buddy: Running with a friend or joining a running group can make your workouts more enjoyable and help keep you accountable. Robin encourages finding a running buddy to support and motivate each other as you work towards your running goals.
10. Mix Up Your Routes: Running the same route every day can become monotonous. Becs suggests exploring different routes and terrains to keep things interesting and challenge your body in new ways. Whether it’s trails, hills, or city streets, switching up your scenery can freshen up your running experience.
11. Practice Mindfulness: Running can be a great opportunity to clear your mind and practice mindfulness. Robin recommends using your runs as a time to focus on your breathing, pay attention to the sights and sounds around you, and be present in the moment.
12. Incorporate Interval Training: Interval training, which involves alternating between short bursts of high-intensity effort and recovery periods, can help improve your speed and endurance. Becs encourages adding interval workouts to your training regimen to boost your running performance.
13. Fuel Your Runs: Eating a balanced diet and getting the right nutrients is crucial for fueling your runs and supporting your overall health. Robin recommends paying attention to your pre-run and post-run nutrition to ensure you have the energy you need and aid in recovery.
14. Set a Routine: Establishing a consistent running schedule can help you stay on track with your fitness goals. Becs suggests finding a time of day that works best for you and making it a habit to lace up your running shoes and hit the pavement.
15. Embrace Rest Days: Rest days are just as important as your running days. Robin emphasizes the need for proper rest and recovery to allow your body to repair and rebuild after your workouts. Use your rest days to relax, stretch, and recharge for your next run.
16. Stay Motivated with Music: Listening to music can be a powerful motivator during your runs. Becs recommends creating a playlist of upbeat and energizing tunes to keep you moving and make your runs more enjoyable.
17. Practice Proper Breathing: Breathing efficiently is essential for maintaining your stamina during your runs. Robin suggests taking deep breaths and focusing on rhythmic breathing to optimize oxygen delivery to your muscles.
18. Embrace Hills: Running hills can be challenging, but it’s a great way to build strength and improve your running performance. Becs encourages embracing hills and using them as an opportunity to challenge yourself and improve your running form.
19. Gradually Increase Mileage: When you’re ready to increase your running distance, it’s important to do so gradually to avoid overexertion and injury. Robin recommends adding no more than 10% to your weekly mileage to ensure a safe and sustainable progression.
20. Pay Attention to Your Pace: Running too fast or too slow can affect your running efficiency and lead to burnout or boredom. Becs advises finding a comfortable pace that allows you to maintain a conversation while running, especially during your long runs.
21. Visualize Your Goals: Visualizing your running goals and imagining yourself achieving them can be a powerful tool for motivation. Robin suggests creating mental images of crossing the finish line, reaching a new personal best, or conquering a challenging race.
22. Protect Your Joints: High-impact sports like running can take a toll on your joints, especially if you have a history of joint issues. Becs recommends investing in proper footwear, incorporating strength training, and listening to your body to protect your joints and prevent overuse injuries.
23. Be Patient with Progress: Running takes time and consistent effort to see significant progress. Robin reminds beginner runners to be patient and celebrate small victories along the way, whether it’s completing a longer distance or shaving off a few seconds from your pace.
24. Stay Positive: A positive mindset can make a big difference in your running journey. Becs encourages cultivating a positive attitude, setting realistic expectations, and focusing on the rewarding aspects of running to stay motivated and resilient.
25. Practice Self-Care: Taking care of your body and mind outside of your runs is just as important as your training. Robin recommends getting enough sleep, managing stress, and practicing self-care activities to support your overall well-being and running performance.
26. Learn from Setbacks: Setbacks are a natural part of any fitness journey. Becs advises viewing setbacks as learning opportunities and making adjustments as needed to overcome challenges and keep moving forward.
27. Track Your Progress: Keeping a record of your runs and monitoring your progress can help you stay motivated and accountable. Robin suggests using a running app or a training log to track your runs, mileage, pace, and other metrics to see how far you’ve come.
28. Join a Race: Signing up for a race can provide a sense of purpose and motivation for your training. Becs encourages beginner runners to choose a race that aligns with their goals and gives them something to work towards.
29. Listen to Expert Advice: Seek guidance from knowledgeable sources, such as experienced runners, coaches, and instructors. Robin encourages reaching out to experts for advice on training, nutrition, gear, and injury prevention to help you make informed decisions.
30. Embrace the Community: The running community is known for its supportive and inclusive nature. Becs suggests getting involved in local running groups, online communities, and events to connect with fellow runners, share experiences, and gain inspiration.
31. Use Visualization Techniques: Visualizing your runs and races can help you mentally prepare and stay focused. Robin recommends using visualization techniques to imagine yourself running strong, handling challenges, and achieving your running goals.
32. Incorporate Strength Training: Building strength in your muscles can enhance your running performance and reduce the risk of injury. Becs recommends adding strength training exercises, such as squats, lunges, and core work, to your routine to support your running.
33. Listen to Your Instructors: Pay close attention to the guidance and feedback provided by your instructors, whether it’s in a live class, on-demand workout, or through educational content. Robin and Becs share valuable insights and tips to help you become a better and more confident runner.
34. Stay Consistent: Consistency is key to making progress in your running journey. Becs advises staying committed to your training, showing up for your runs, and prioritizing your fitness to build healthy habits and see improvements over time.
35. Embrace the Process: Remember that running is a journey, not a destination. Robin encourages embracing the process, enjoying the highs and lows, and learning from each run to become a stronger and more resilient runner.
36. Celebrate Your Achievements: Take the time to celebrate your accomplishments, big or small, as a beginner runner. Becs encourages acknowledging your hard work, progress, and milestones to stay motivated and inspired on your running path.
In conclusion, running can be a rewarding and transformative experience for beginners looking to improve their fitness and overall well-being. By following the beginner running tips shared by top Peloton instructors Robin Arzón and Becs Gentry, you can develop the skills, habits, and mindset to become a successful and confident runner. Whether it’s starting with a walk-run approach, focusing on form, setting realistic goals, or embracing the running community, these tips can help you embark on a fulfilling running journey and achieve your fitness aspirations. So lace up your running shoes, hit the pavement, and let these expert tips guide you on your path to becoming a stronger, healthier, and more accomplished runner.