A Beginners Guide to Start Running

by team nuut

Kickstart Your Running Journey with A Bang

New to running and not sure where to start? Whether you're itching to boost your fitness or dreaming of crossing that marathon finish line, diving into the world of running can be as thrilling as it is daunting. But don’t sweat it! With the right approach and a sprinkle of confidence, you'll be pounding the pavement in no time.

With all the hype around running these days, many of us are raring to start our running adventures but might feel a bit overwhelmed by the challenge. Here at nuut, we get it! That’s why we’ve whipped up the perfect Beginner's Guide to kickstart your running journey with a bang. Ready, set, go!

Why Start Running?

Why start running, you ask? Well, let’s break it down: Running is an amazing way to boost your overall fitness, mental health, and well-being. Plus, it’s super versatile and only requires a pair of good running shoes and a dash of motivation. Check out why running is a top choice for beginners:

Cardio Champion: Running is a heart and lung workout that slashes your risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Mental Health Magic: Regular running can zap stress, anxiety, and depression, leaving you with a natural high.

Calorie Crusher: Running is a fantastic way to burn those calories and keep your weight in check.

Fitness Boost: Its amps up your endurance, muscle strength, and flexibility.

Community Builder: Join a running group or sign up for races to connect with fellow runners and build your fitness fam.

So, ready to hit the ground running? Let's go!

Our Top Tips for Starting

Invest in the Right Gear

Getting the right gear can totally transform your running game. Here’s what you’ll need:

Get Good Quality Running Shoes: A good pair of running shoes that offer support, cushioning, and a perfect fit for your foot type. They’ll improve your performance and reduce injury risk, plus you’ll look fly in your new kicks!

Before your first run, a professional can help you find the perfect shoe based on your gait and foot strike. With the right gear, you'll be ready to hit the pavement in style and comfort.

Comfy Clothes: Go for moisture-wicking, breathable fabrics to stay cool and comfortable. Think lightweight, multi-directional stretch for unobstructed freedom. If you’re running in the sun, don’t forget a hat for extra protection.

Find the Perfect Playlist

As a beginner runner, you'll face some mental hurdles as you push your distance and speed. That's where your favourite beats come in! Crafting the perfect playlist can help keep your mind occupied and your spirits high as the kilometres fly by. So, plug in those earphones, hit play, and let the music fuel your run!

Don’t Obsess Over Your Pace

New to running or getting back into it after a hiatus? Don’t stress about your pace. It’s easy to feel inadequate comparing yourself to seasoned runners, but remember, they’ve probably been at it for years. You’ll get there too!

So, chill out and go at your own speed. Slowing down and running at your own pace is still an awesome workout and fantastic for your cardiovascular health. No need to push yourself to the limit every time. Just enjoy the run and have fun!

Set a Goal

Setting goals is your secret sauce to running success. It gives you purpose and keeps you motivated. Use the SMART framework (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) to craft goals that are both challenging and realistic.

Aim high, but not impossible! Break your big goals into smaller, bite-sized steps, and celebrate those wins along the way. Remember, progress is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s totally normal to take time reaching your goals, so be patient and enjoy the journey.

Start Slow and Steady

Listen up, future marathoner! This is your sign to take it easy and avoid injuries by not going too hard too early. Running long distances takes months of training, so don’t expect to conquer a 10k in your first week. If you’ve never run before, start small. Aim for a long run of 1-2km in your first week, and then increase by no more than 20% each week.

As a beginner, forget about pace or distance for now. It’s all about finding a manageable range that won't leave you exhausted. Your body needs time to adjust to the new stresses of running, so focus on keeping your heart rate between 50-65% of your max exertion. And don’t be afraid to mix in some walking with your running. Slow and steady wins the race!

Prioritise Your Recovery

Crushed your first run and itching to go again? Awesome! But hold up – make sure your body has had enough time to recover. Recovery is just as crucial as the run itself. Running involves repetitive high force, with each heel strike generating a force equal to 3-4 times your body weight. That’s a lot of shock for your system and pushing too hard too soon can lead to injury.

Proper recovery means fuelling your body right, taking rest days, and getting a solid night’s sleep. Your body will crave slower days, fewer kilometres some weeks, and extra stretching. Listen to those needs! Rest and recovery reduce injury risk and improve overall performance, so don’t skimp on it. Your body and future PBs will thank you.

Keep Up the Strength Training

If you're diving into running, don't forget to keep up your strength training! Running puts immense strain on your body and building strength will not only boost your performance and efficiency but also help eliminate the risk of injury. Common running injuries like shin splints, stress fractures, and muscle tears can really throw a wrench in your plans.

Starting anything new means your body will be adapting to using different muscles. You might notice your feet, knees, calves, hip flexors, or glutes feeling extra sore or tender after your first few weeks. So, take it easy at the beginning and make strength training a priority.

Focus on strengthening your lower body muscles to avoid injury – think calf raises, RDLs, and glute abductions. Becoming stronger will help you run more efficiently and keep you on track to achieve your running goals!

Make Running Fun and Social

Running solo can be peaceful, but running with a buddy? That's a game changer! Grab a friend to join your running journey. It's always more fun doing something new with a pal and having a buddy can hold you accountable and make the miles fly by with good conversation. No friends up for the challenge? No problem! Join a local run club and meet some new running enthusiasts.

As a beginner, it's all about keeping things exciting. Change up your routes and have some fun. Running is a beautiful sport that can take you anywhere – along the beach, on a path, around a track, or through scenic trails. Mixing it up keeps things fresh and motivates you to stick with your new routine. So, lace up, find a buddy, and make every run an adventure!

Fuel Your Run

Pre-Run Fuel

To power through those kilometres, let's talk about carb loading and timing your meals just right!


Carbohydrates are your body's go-to fuel source. Opt for complex carbs like whole grains, fruits, and veggies before your run to sustain energy levels. A small bowl of oatmeal with berries or a banana with nut butter is ideal for moderate runs.

Timing is Key

Eat a snack or light meal 1 to 2 hours before your run. This gives your body enough time to digest and convert nutrients into energy.

Eating During a Run

For longer runs, you might need a boost – energy gels and fruit chews are your new running buddies. Keep them handy for quick, on-the-go energy.

These handy packets act like mini power-ups! Loaded with easily digestible carbs, they're perfect for mid-run energy boosts, especially during marathon training sessions.

Using energy gels and fruit chews during half-marathons (21 km) and marathons (42 km) can significantly enhance performance.

Post Run Fuel

Congratulations on conquering your run! Now it's time to refuel and treat your body right.

Prioritise Balanced Nutrition

After your run, aim for a meal rich in protein, carbs, and healthy fats to replenish and repair.

The size of your post-run meal should align with your run's distance. For longer runs, opt for a substantial meal; for shorter ones, a smaller balanced meal will suffice.

Carbs replenish energy stores, protein aids muscle recovery, and healthy fats help reduce inflammation and support overall recovery!


Stay hydrated by sipping water during and after your run. Electrolyte-rich drinks can help restore your body's balance.

Find out how the nuut team likes to fuel their workouts here.

Hydration Specifics

Wondering how much to drink?

Before a Run: Aim for 500-700 ml of water 1 to 2 hours before your run to hydrate without overloading your bladder.

During a Run: For runs under an hour, focus on hydrating post-run. For longer runs, mix water with electrolyte drinks to replenish lost minerals.

After a Run: Keep sipping water to rehydrate. Add electrolytes to maintain hydration levels, aiming for at least 500 ml for every 0.5 kg lost during your run.

Now armed with evidence-based tips, you're ready to fuel your runs and make every step count.

Need more ideas for pre- and post-run fuel? Check out our amazing recipes in the nuut Journal!