running for beginners

Running For Beginners | The Pure Running Guide

December 8th, 2022

Are you looking to have a crack at running as a pastime? Or perhaps you used to run but it’s been a while and now you’re wanting to get back into it. Either way, there are plenty of good reasons to start running, but as simple an exercise as it may seem, it’s a good idea to check out these running tips for beginners before you hit the pavement.

What are the benefits of running?

There are pretty well established health benefits associated with running. These benefits include:

  • Cardiovascular fitness
  • Stress relief
  • It releases endorphins
  • It increases lung capacity
  • Increased metabolism
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Aids with weight loss
  • Builds muscle in legs
  • Strengthens bones

It’s also a great way to get outdoors and be among nature, which can reduce stress, relieve anxiety, and boost your mood. And the best part is that all of this comes with a relatively low startup cost.

Unlike many sports and physical activities, running doesn’t come with a lengthy checklist of equipment that needs purchasing. All you need is a good pair of supportive running shoes, anti-slip sunnies, and perhaps a running watch if you want to keep track of your progress. There are plenty of free running for beginners apps that can help you achieve your goal.

running surface

Running surface

As a new runner, it’s a good idea to consider what kinds of surfaces you’ll be running on. For example, you may be running on a treadmill, on concrete or on trails.

A treadmill is going to be easiest on the body impact wise, meanwhile uneven surfaces on trail runs may not be suitable for you if you’re concerned about your knees and ankles. It’s definitely worth assessing your current fitness level before getting started so you can determine what surfaces and training plans will best suit you.

To read more: Running On a Treadmill vs Outside – What’s the Verdict?

Let’s get started!

Well…almost. Before starting your run, it’s important that you stretch. This should always be part of your running routine because it helps avoid injury, and improves the quality of your run. These five best running stretches should be in everybody’s running plan:

  1. Side lunge
  2. Glute and piriformis activation
  3. Arm swings
  4. Bent knee forward swing
  5. Straight leg lateral swing

To read more: The Best Stretches For Running Faster and Better 

Stretches For Running Faster

Run-walk method

This technique is a great way for beginner runners to get started. It may feel like disrupted running, but it’s actually a very effective running workout, and is great for aerobic fitness. As the name suggests, it’s basically just breaking up runs with walk breaks.

For beginners, it’s recommended you run for 10 – 30 seconds, then walk for 1 minute to 2 minutes.

As your running level improves, you may start increasing your running time and decreasing your walking time.

Running duration and frequency

You may have a personal trainer who has created a bespoke beginner running plan for you, but it need not be all that complicated. A simple but effective running plan may look something like this:

  • Run three times a week
  • Run 20 minutes to 30 minutes twice a week
  • Do a longer run on the weekend, around 10 minutes longer than usual
  • Run at a manageable pace
  • Take regular walking breaks if you need to
  • Rest or do other physical activities on your days off

These are overall times, and remain the same if you’re planning to use the run-walk method instead of a constant run.

It’s important to take things slow to begin with. Just go at a steady beginner running pace per km. If your body isn’t ready for more intensive running then you risk injuring yourself which will only set you back further. Don’t aim to win any sprint races just yet if you’re lacing up for the first time. If you have one, use your running watch to monitor your progress.


This is the biggest hurdle for most beginner runners. Some people have a clear goal which may involve competition, and so for them, motivation isn’t so much an issue. But for many of us who just want to run for exercise, it can be a challenge to pick ourselves up from the couch and throw on the running shoes. For many of us, the best way to overcome this is to turn running into a social experience.

Finding a running partner—or even a group—is the best way to add an element of social enjoyment to help keep us motivated. If you don’t know anybody who will run with you, it’s worth looking up running clubs in your area. There will always be people out there at your level who are looking for running buddies. It will help you stick with it and maintain your progress as running buddies are great at holding each other accountable.

Enjoy the process

The most important thing is that you enjoy yourself, so if you need to, mix up your running locations to keep things fresh and interesting. The more you enjoy it, the longer you’ll stick with it.

If you need to pick up some decent running gear before you get started, then jump on our online running store and check out some of our great deals. It doesn’t matter what level you’re at, at Pure Running, we’ve got all your running needs covered!