Beginner Runner


New to Running? Here’s How to Get Started

Get ready for a transformative experience.

By Karen AspOctober 26, 2021

So you’re considering donning running shoes and hitting the Peloton Tread for the first time. Great idea! Running has so many physical and emotional benefits. But of course, you want to make sure you start off on the right foot, so to speak, so that you don’t get injured or burn yourself out. Not to worry. Just follow this expert advice from Peloton instructors Jess King and Chase Tucker. You’ve got this!

Why Run?

Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of running is its ability to drastically improve your fitness levels, even if you’re already working out in other ways. That was true for Jess, who added running to her training routine a couple years ago. “My heart and lungs are stronger now, and my cardiovascular endurance has improved tremendously,” she says.

It’s done amazing things for her mental health as well, as she’s been able to unlock what people often refer to as the runner’s high. “It’s a real and transformative experience,” Jess says, “and the curiosity of what I will discover in that elevated space is the motivation that keeps me lacing up.”

Plus, she adds, running can also be a good complement to other Peloton classes such as cycling and strength training. “Not one is better than the other. They all work together to create a holistic, happy body.”

Outside or Inside?

Running outside certainly has its unique benefits, but if you’re just getting started, you might have some advantages running on the Peloton Tread. The most obvious? You’re in a controlled environment where weather and traffic doesn’t matter. Plus, it can be gentler on your body. “Not only do I consistently hear this feedback from others, but I personally appreciate these benefits as someone who has a prior knee injury from playing soccer,” Chase says.

On the flip side, running on a treadmill might be more mentally challenging for some people—but that’s where Peloton’s engaging classes can help make running more fun and inspiring.

How to Start Running Safely

Whether you’re already in good shape or just starting an exercise program, progressing slowly is key, so you don’t get injured. Start with Walk + Run classes—and take them easy. “Don’t go as hard, as fast or as long as you can when you first begin,” Jess says. (We know it’s tough to hold back, but it’ll pay off in the long run, we promise.)

You’ll want to take those classes until you’re able to jog the majority of the walk portions, Chase says. Then, increase your time and intensity by about 10 percent every four to six weeks. But if you feel any sharp pains, he warns, that’s a sign to dial it back.

Need some help with your running form? This guide has you covered. And don’t forget to strength train. “To support the ballistic nature of running, it’s imperative that you put the work in on the mat,” Jess adds. “Strength training with a specificity for running has been the number one thing that has accelerated my performance and prevented injury.” (Pro tip: Check out Peloton’s Strength for Runners classes.)

Shifting Your Mindset

Like anything new or difficult, running can create as many mental struggles as physical ones. You might find pessimistic thoughts like “I can’t run” or “I’m not a runner” popping up in your brain. It happens to all of us—but there are ways to shut those unhelpful feelings down.

“I challenge any negative thoughts with ‘I wonder what my resistance to trying is about?’ or ‘I’m so curious as to what is on the other side of this thought/feeling and who might I become if I try,’” Jess says.

If you’re still intimidated by running, that’s okay. Dive in and embrace that fear. “Explore your hesitation or reluctance to run as a means of your own personal development, both mentally and physically,” Jess suggests. “I feel a greater sense of pride and accomplishment after a run because it doesn’t come easy to me.”

And remember that your body is capable of so much more than you give it credit for. As Jess says, “It’s a matter of showing up, trying and trusting in our magnificence.”

Lace up your shoes and count yourself in for a running class on the Peloton App today!

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