Tips to Start Running

Getting into running can be challenging. Here are some running tips to help you get started.

There is a huge amount of advice available online to help you get started in running. Much of this information, while well-intentioned, only serves to cause confusion and may actually become a barrier to getting started in running. Getting the right tips to start running can help enhance your enjoyment, consistency and safety.

Running is an activity with relatively high injury rates, with some evidence suggesting that novice runners have an increased risk of injury.

To help you avoid this increased risk of injury when starting your running journey, we’ll look at some simple tips to help you get started. These tips are aimed to minimise your injury risk and maximise your enjoyment!


It’s easy to get carried away and do too much, too soon when it comes to running. If you’ve come from a different sport or are new to running, it’s important to start easy and take it slow.

A simple and easy tip is to do less than you think you are capable of. Whether it’s running 100m or 500m, make sure you are comfortable with this and then gradually start to challenge yourself more. Doing too much too soon will likely increase your injury risk and could reduce your enjoyment.

Try this: Go for a walk and include 5 minutes of running. Keep the intensity as light as you can, aiming to minimise how heavy your breathing gets. If 5 minutes is too much, start with 1 minute.


So, you’ve nailed a 1km run? Great, let’s do 2km next, not 5. There are plenty of guidelines available to progress your training, such as the “10% rule”, which suggests you should aim to progress no more than 10% each week in training time or distance. Sticking to guidelines like the 10% rule allows your body to gradually improve and adapt to changes week on week, reducing your risk of injury or burnout.

But to start off, keep things simple and stick to small, sensible progressions, both to how fast and far you run.

Try this: If you’ve tried running for 5 minutes a couple of times, try adding a second block of 5 minutes after a 2-minute rest from the first block.


Got a niggle? Stiff? Sore? This may be your body telling you you’ve done too much. Listen to it and back off for a while. It’s easy to ignore these early signs but failing to listen to your body could set you up for an injury.

Try this: If you start to feel some soreness increasing, consider catching up with an Accredited Exercise Physiologist for some personalised advice on how to manage your training.


The right gear doesn’t have to be the most expensive shoes, but the ones that best suit you. Chat to a good local running store and they will be able to point you in the right direction. A nice starting point is picking a shoe you find comfortable. There are lots of factors to look at, but generally, a shoe you find comfortable and supportive is going to suit you well.

Try this: Drop into your local running store and chat with an expert about what shoes may suit you.


For any exercise habit to stick, it needs to be enjoyable at some level. Your definition of fun or enjoyable will be different to others so it’s important to understand what it is that you enjoy about running.

A great way to have more fun when running is to run with other people. For many people, the social aspect of running in a group is more influential than any of the other health benefits in helping them stay consistent. Remember that you may have a different level of fitness or running experience to others, and try to stick to the principle of small progressions as discussed above.

Try this: Consider signing up to your local parkrun! Find out more at

Written by Ben Brockman. Ben is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist at Physiotas.


Videbæk S, Bueno AM, Nielsen RO, Rasmussen S. Incidence of Running-Related Injuries Per 1000 h of running in Different Types of Runners: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports Med. (2015) DOI: 10.1007/s40279-015-0333-8.