10 Things You Need To Know If You Want To Become A Runner

Starting a new type of workout can be scary. If you’ve never done something before, it’s tough to confidently jump right in without second-guessing yourself and your fitness level. But every workout has its own quirks (and perks), which is what makes mixing it up so good for your body—and, obviously, fun.

Running is one of the most intimidating workouts of all. If you don’t run, chances are you look at people who actually like to do it with total awe (and secretly wonder if they’re crazy). But anyone can be a runner. You just have to have the confidence to start.

Here are some of the most important basics to know if you want to add “runner” to your list of bad-ass self-descriptors. It’s time to stop wading in self-doubt and start jogging toward your first 5K.

1. Investing in a good running shoe is a non-negotiable.

Everyone’s foot is different, Andrew Kalley, founder of Kalley Fitness and NYC-based triathlon coach and personal trainer, tells SELF. So the sneaks that are best for you may be different from what your BFF likes. “Some runners pronate, like I do, where your foot rolls in. Some supinate, where you foot rolls out,” Kalley says. Most shoes are either neutral, stability, or minimalist. Kalley recommends heading to a running store for a gait analysis to find out what your feet need. Here are five things you should know before you buy sneakers.

2. Don’t lace up your sneakers like a corset.

You want to tie your shoes firmly so nothing’s slipping and sliding, but feet tend to swell during running, Kalley says. “Always leave a little room for swelling, especially if you are planning longer runs.” That’s also why it’s also recommended to try running shoes a half to full size bigger. Try this simple shoe-lacing trick that’ll help keep your heels in place.

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