Running is an amazing sport for overall fitness. It doesn’t require a huge up-front investment, and you can run almost anywhere: on vacation, out on a business trip, at your local park in the middle of the day, if that’s what suits you. Running is also an excellent investment in your cardio fitness and can help with a number of other sports. While it is simple, getting started correctly is critical to enjoying your relationship with running for a long time to come. Here’s our beginner’s guide to running.

Start with a Goal

What is it that you want to accomplish with your running efforts? You might be focused on overall fitness, weight loss, or running for the sake of running itself. Whatever your reason, set a measurable goal that you can work to attain as you run more often. This might be:

  • To be able to run for a specific length of time
  • To run a certain distance
  • To reach a specific mile time

Before you set your goal, make sure you have a decent idea of your current physical fitness level. It might not be realistic, for example, to decide that you’re going to run a half marathon in the next couple of months if right now, you’re struggling to run for more than a minute or two at a time. (On the other hand, deciding that you want to run a half marathon–or even actually signing up for one–is a great incentive to get out there and get moving!)

Buy the Right Gear

Running as a sport requires relatively minimal gear. If you have a set of basic athletic clothing–comfortable, stretchy bottoms and a shirt that doesn’t restrict your movement–you can hit the trails. However, there is some gear that’s worth investing in.

  • A good pair of shoes. Running can be hard on your joints, especially if you’re running in low-quality athletic shoes. Shop for a great pair of shoes that will give you a comfortable run even as your distance creeps up.
  • Anti-chafe protection. The longer you run, the greater the risk of chafing. Baby powder can be a good start, but many runners swear by anti-chafe sticks.
  • A great pair of running socks for added comfort and protection.
  • Something to carry your stuff. You need a place for your phone and your keys that you don’t have to think about, whether that’s a pouch, a band that wraps around your arm, or simply a deep pocket. The Kavu Rope bag is designed to help your adventure run more smoothly.

Find a Great Place to Run

Some cities are filled with parks and trails: the perfect place for all your running efforts. Others may have a smaller range of options. Take a look at your city. Ideally, you want a place with relatively little traffic and plenty of ground to cover–though you can start running around a relatively small track. Think about what you want out of your run. Ask:

  • How much ground do you want to be able to cover? While you can always run laps around a smaller area, you may want room to stretch your legs, go on autopilot, and enjoy new scenery along the way.
  • How many hills are you comfortable running? As a new runner, you might want to avoid steep hills, while a more experienced runner who is hoping to build cardio fitness and endurance may look for a course that has more.
  • How much traffic is in your area? You don’t want to constantly have to stop for cars, nor do you want to risk getting run over. If you are running in a high-traffic area, look for sidewalks.

As your overall fitness increases, you may find that you want to experiment more with different places to run. Some people prefer sidewalks and streets, while others prefer running on trails. Who knows? You could even get the chance to explore an area of your city you’ve never seen before.

Are you ready to get started running? Start your commitment by buying a new pair of shoes: shop our collection of running shoes at