One of the most common New Year’s Resolutions is to get in shape or start working out. Often times this goal may involve running. In 2021 as there is less access to gyms and fitness centers, I suspect more people who want to get in shape will turn to running to do so, which is awesome! I’m going to share some tips about how to start running in 2021.
Even though running is easily accessible and does not require alot of equipment, starting a running routine in 2021 can be tricky. Depending on if you are starting from scratch or retuning after a break, you may need some guidance as you start running. Some considerations are that you may not have access to a treadmill when the weather is bad, group runs may be cancelled, and you may have some difficulty getting fitted for shoes at a running store. Don’t let these things stop you from running! There are still ways to start running in 2021.
Come up with a plan
Think about what you will need to start running, when you will run, and where you will run. Use a planner, calendar or running journal to plan everything out. A good place to start is doing run/walk intervals every other day, or three times a week. Make sure you don’t do too much too soon!
Do your own research
You can research pretty much anything you need to know about running. Maybe you want to follow a couch to 5k program. Or you need to look up safe routes in your area. Take some time to gather the information you need to start running. These days there are plenty of websites and blogs with lots of information! Just make sure you are getting your information from a reputable source.
Find a good pair of shoes
Running shoes are probably the most important gear you need for running. Ideally, you could go to a local running store and get fitted for shoes. If that is not an option or you don’t feel safe doing that right now, you could try some different shoes from Running Warehouse where you can return or exchange your new or used shoes within 90 days of purchase. Some websites have an online shoe finder and some stores do virtual shoe fittings.
Get the right gear
Next up is making sure you have some good running gear. If it’s going to be cold where you live, you will need to make sure you have layers, plus gloves, a headband or hat, and maybe a neck gaiter (which can double as a face mask if you briefly pass someone on the run). To save some money and time, you can check Running Warehouse for some sales and Amazon usually has some inexpensive running clothes as well.
Don’t worry about getting tons of clothes all at once. Even if you just get one pair of tights and a jacket, you can adjust your layers by wearing different amounts of clothes underneath. Women will probably want to have at least 2 sports bras to start.
Find a virtual running community
Usually I would suggest finding a running group that you could start running with. Some places are still doing group runs with precautions, but maybe you don’t feel safe doing that. You can still get support from the running community virtually! There are so many runners on Instagram to connect with and learn from. This community has really kept me going over the past year.
You could even make a separate Instagram account just for running (if you already have a personal one). If you start following lots of runners, Instagram will start suggesting other runners for you to follow too. You can find me at @milebymile.
Set some goals
Many runners start out with a race like a 5k in mind to train for. As of right now (January 2021) there aren’t many live races happening this spring. However, there are plenty of virtual races to choose from! You could pick a race held by your local running store and sign up to support them (many small businesses are struggling right now) and then do the race on your own.
You could also set other goals like a weekly/monthly mileage goal, find a fitness challenge to do, or run your own timed trial. Here are some other ways to work towards goals without any races planned.
Consider an online coach
If you need more guidance about how to get started running this year, consider working with an online running coach. Most will offer a variety of services like a training plan or 1:1 coaching. Some will also provide supplemental workouts like strength training routine or injury prevention exercises. You will also want to find someone that is a good fit for you personally. Set up a time to have a call with any potential coaches to ask them some questions and get to know them better. You can learn more about my coaching services here.
Focus on injury prevention
As you start running, it’s so important to focus on injury prevention. This includes structuring your training correctly by not doing too much too soon and giving yourself adequate rest between workouts, as well as keeping your body strong, stabile, balanced, and mobile. Little things like core work and foam rolling can really help with this. I have an injury prevention guide that you can download for free when you sign up for my newsletter.
You may also like: How to Make Running a Habit
Good luck as you start running in 2021, and feel free to reach out with any questions or if you need support!
What other tips do you have for someone who wants to start running in 2021?
What are some challenges about being a runner right now?
How have you had to adjust your running routine this past year?
Now it’s time for the Runners’ Roundup! Link up your running and fitness posts below! Join myself, Coach Debbie Runs, Confessions of a Mother Runner, Runs with Pugs , and Laura Norris Running to post your favorite running tips, experiences, race and training recaps, workouts, gear, and coaching ideas.