Are you ready to start running but don’t know where to begin?  Running is a healthy lifestyle sport that can be picked up at any age, given your doctor’s approval of course.

But how does someone go from non-runner to runner?  

Well, many would agree that we are born to run, so it’s natural and easy, like walking.  However, if you haven’t done any running for quite some time, it’s best to start slowly and listen to the pros on how to do it properly. 

Below you will find a few suggestions to help you take make those first steps a breeze.

Tips to get you started and keep you going:


Slow down!

Many people start out too fast and then stop when their heart is pounding and they’re out of breath. Slow it down to a very easy jog and you’ll be surprised that you can go a bit further with ease.

Running 1 km or slowly jogging 1 km burns about the same amount of calories and improves cardiovascular fitness.  So unless you’re training for speed, why hurry?

Focus on your breathing

You could focus on breathing out for three counts and in for three counts so that it fills your belly. It sounds something like this: “breath in, breath in, breath in, breath out, breath out, breath out.” This helps make sure you’re getting enough oxygen to your muscles, it’s relaxing, it keeps your heart rate in check, and it takes your mind off the running – helping you through those difficult moments.

When it seems tough, remember: just breath.

Keep it interesting

Running can be either a solitary sport or shared. Whatever your preference, keep it interesting to keep it going. Set a goal, try out different routes, find a partner, join a group, run intervals, or train for a race. 

These extra motivators will help you keep it up for years to come.

Train smart

Start small and gradually increase your weekly time or distance. Follow a reputable training plan to help you get off to a good start and prevent over-training.

Remember, marathoners and half marathoners don’t happen overnight.  Be consistent with your running and you’ll see progress. 

Try a training plan like Cool Running’s Couch to 5K.  These schedules include a mix of running and walking.  Starting off with a mix of both allows your body to better adapt to the demands of running and can keep you from having pain.  Doing too much too soon is usually a recipe for injury.

Stay safe 

When you start a new sport or exercise regime, it’s normal to feel some post-workout muscle soreness for a few days. If you feel any unusual pains in your joints, bones, or muscles — during a run or for more than 48 hours following a run, get checked by a medical specialist.  The sooner, the better.  Unusual pains can lead to or be a sign of injury and the quicker you care for it, the quicker you’re back to running. 

Good running shoes can also make a difference.  Buy your shoes from a knowledgeable source who can give you feedback on your foot and running gait.  We recommend De Hardloopwinkel in Amsterdam, our training headquarters.

Join other beginners in Amsterdam

If you’re in Amsterdam, get expert guidance, support and motivation to get you out the door and on the right path.  Join our Start Running! Get Fit for 5K course for beginners to work up toward your first 5K!  Meet others like you and find new running partners to keep you running year-round.

Happy running!

If you get off to a good start, running can be a real joy. Give yourself at least 6 weeks to see some results and for it to feel easier.


Are you just starting to run? What helps you?  Tell us in the comments below.


Laurie is an endurance athlete, a professional running coach & lifestyle coach, and the founder of House of Running. She helps people make running part of their healthy lifestyle through on-on-one coaching and fun group training programs. Read more about Laurie here.

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