There is strength in numbers. You have probably also heard that 2 heads are better than one.

This is true in part because humans were built to socialize. Studies show that people live longer, happier and even healthier lives when they spend time around other people. Aside from the fun, social aspect of running with a partner, there are health rewards to be had as well.

When you join someone else in any type of pursuit, you have a sounding board. There is someone you can talk to while you journey through your running education. Also, on those inevitable days you don’t feel like running but you are scheduled to, your partner is there to motivate you.

This means that you run more often, and won’t justify skipping a day every now and then. It helps you stick to your running schedule. If you can, try to find someone who has been running longer than you have, and knows what they are doing. Even if this person can just spend 2 or 3 days each month running with you, their knowledge and expertise can’t help but rub off.

There are also some benefits to choosing a running partner that is a beginner just like you. You won’t be intimidated or embarrassed by your partner’s running experience and ability, and the opposite is true as well. Consider finding a running partner for the majority of your training that is equal in experience to you.

Then add a more experienced partner for a few sessions each month, and before you know it, you won’t feel, or look, like a mere beginner.

Learn Proper Form First

What’s that you say? You already know “how” to run?

Actually, you do and you don’t. You know how to run if a lion is chasing you. You aren’t too concerned about your form, and are more concerned with simply outdistancing yourself from the hungry predator that is chasing you.

However, running for fitness is different.

Every type of exercise you undertake has certain physical requirements. There is a very specific way you should perform different swimming strokes to get the best results. The same is true with running. There is a basic form you should be practicing to limit your injury risks, achieve the most health rewards, and simultaneously enjoy the experience.

Check out some online running forums or websites of running gurus and teachers. If you want, you can browse YouTube and other free video sharing sites as well. Your goal is to understand what proper form looks like.

The next step is to get a friend or partner involved. If you have a running partner (an important running tip for beginners covered in your next email), have them videotape you running from the front and the side. Then you can do the same for them.

After that, a simple comparison will show you what you are doing right and doing wrong. Perfect form is crucial when you are first starting out. Most runners simply start running. If you ensure that you are running “the right way” when you start, you won’t have to change an ingrained, incorrect process down the road, and you will suffer fewer sprains and strains along the way.