Running can be a fun and exciting sport. However, beginners should take necessary precautions to avoid injuries. For novice runners, there are a number of things to keep in mind.
Use your own starting point
If you are new to running, start slow. The tendons in and around the foot are susceptible to injuries until they get used to the constant impact. If you are sedentary, it may be a good idea to start walking for the first few weeks, then gradually work up to a slow jog.
Buy a good pair of running shoes
Ditch the discount specials and go with a trusted brand. It is a good idea to have an experienced runner look at your gait while walking. This will give you some idea if you are over-pronating. There are a wide variety of specialty running shoes designed to correct the problem. Strengthening the glutes prior to your first run will also help with over-pronation.
Warm-up before each session
Never try to run while your body is cold, especially if you are over the age of 40. The tendons in your legs and feet tend to shorten while at rest. By getting your body loose before your run, there is a lower chance of injury.
During the first week of running, your body will eliminate excess toxins. For this reason, it is important to hydrate with clean, filtered water a few days prior to your first run and then 30 minutes just before.
It usually is not necessary to rehydrate during any run under a few miles. However, everyone is different and should monitor their own heat tolerance. Keep a bottle of water on you (or close by) to avoid heat injuries.
Stay away from sports drinks, at least at the beginning. The salt content is high, which may cause fluid retention. As you build more mileage into your program, it may be necessary to supplement with a watered-down version later on.
Stretch after each run
The more adept you are at running, the higher the degree of flexibility you will attain. Until then, it is necessary to train the muscles of the legs to lengthen enough so you can obtain the proper stride. You do this by gently stretching the leg muscles after completing your runs.