Jogging for beginners: 11 important tips

Proper jogging takes practice. We have summarised the most important facts and the best tips for beginners

When it comes to running, well-structured training can help you become more efficient. Beginners in particular should pay attention to certain things. Incorrect training can affect both motivation and health when running. It's very important to be sure that you listen to your body. What's right for other runners may not necessarily be right for you. You should, however, avoid the following errors:

Warm up, cool down

Jog the first ten to fifteen minutes at a moderate pace. This gives your body an opportunity to warm up and get used to the strain. Your metabolism and circulation are stimulated. Starting too fast can lead to overexertion, pain and frustration. After warming up, increase your speed. Jog just fast enough so you can hold a conversation at the same time. If you’re no longer able to do this, speed walk for a while. Avoid doing a final sprint. Take it easy during the last minutes of your run.

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Don't train too often

Especially at the beginning, you will be highly motivated. Make sure that your body is able to recover adequately. Your muscles, bones and tendons will have to get used to the strain. Your cardiovascular system will also need some time to adapt to the new demands. Train every other day at the most. Two to three training sessions per week are sufficient. This will make your training as effective as possible while also protecting you against overexertion. If you train too much, your performance level will drop or stagnate and you will be more prone to injuries.

A possible training plan might look like this:

Week Jogging Walking Repetitions Training time
1 2 minutes 2 minutes 10 40 minutes
2 3 minutes 2 minutes 9 45 minutes
3 3 minutes 1 minute 12 48 minutes
4 5 minutes 2 minutes 7 49 minutes
5 8 minutes 2 minutes 5 50 minutes
6 12 minutes 3 minutes 3 45 minutes
7 16 minutes 4 minutes 3 60 minutes
8 25 minutes 3 minutes 2 56 minutes
9 50 minutes 3 minutes
(break after 30 minutes)
1 53 minutes
The right shoes

The right shoes are absolutely essential. If you buy budget shoes, your savings are misplaced. A good shoe supports your joints, provides stability and cushions your movements. You should replace your running shoes every 600 to 800 kilometres. If you run regularly, it is advisable to train with a variety of shoes – your foot should not get too used to a particular shoe model. If you train with various running shoes, your feet and your entire lower-leg musculature will receive different stimuli each time. Your joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons will become more responsive. You will also decrease the risk of injuring yourself while running.

Tip: Many sports shops offer running analyses to help find the best shoe for you.

Breathe correctly

Don't focus too much on breathing during training. If you tense up, problems like stitches might appear. Trust that your body will automatically breathe correctly and adequately while you're jogging. Some people prefer to breathe through their mouth, others through their nose. Pay attention to what works better for you.

Tip: If you have problems breathing in a regular and relaxed manner, just carry a small stone in your hand to distract yourself during endurance training. You will then concentrate on the stone and automatically breathe correctly. This distraction trick works especially well for beginners.

Don't dress too warmly

If you dress too warmly, you will soon be sweating. If your perspiration cannot be wicked away properly, you will start shivering. Choose functional clothing made of light and breathable materials. In colder temperatures, dress in layers so that you can take off a piece of clothing if you need to.

Tip: If you feel slightly cold before you start training, you are dressed correctly.

The right stride length

The right running technique is extremely important to ensure effective training with a low risk of injury. Take small, relaxed steps to optimise your effort. Long steps slow you down with every movement. In the beginning, it might take some time to find the right running technique. With each kilometre, your body will further develop its motor coordination.

Don't just focus on running for your training

Jogging is a whole-body workout. The body's core controls every movement. A generally toned musculature is therefore essential. This will protect against improper and excessive strain and help you make smooth movements. Strength training thus promotes your running performance.

Diversified training

You should add some variety to your training so that it doesn't get boring. Start your jogging circuit in the opposite direction or find a completely new route. Vary your pace. Alternate between slow endurance runs and interval training. Interval training consists of alternating phases of stress and recovery, with the duration varying depending on the training.

Stay hydrated

Avoid drinking large amounts of water directly before training. For a training session under 60 minutes, your fluid reserves are sufficient. If you experience dizziness, cramps or nausea, you have lost too much fluid or haven't drunk enough. In that case, try drinking a little more the next time or stop at a drinking fountain on the way.

More motivation

Set a fixed schedule for your training. If you arrange to meet other runners for training sessions, you'll find it easier to conquer your own laziness. Goals also keep motivation high. Sign up for a run and work towards it. Make sure, however, that the goal is realistic. Otherwise, frustration will soon set in.

Don't ignore pain

Pain is a warning signal. Don't just keep jogging. Abstain from running for a while. If the same pain occurs repeatedly, you should consult a doctor.