If you’re a total beginner when it comes to fitness, running is a great place to start. You don’t need a fancy gym membership or any high tech equipment to get started. A good attitude and a decent pair of running shoes are all you really need. Here are some of our ultimate tips for breaking into the world of running:

Walk It Out

Just as a baby needs to crawl before he or she can walk, you must walk before you can run. Even experienced runners still spend a few minutes power-walking before each run. If you’ve been toying around with the idea of running, why not start with walking laps for the first week or two? After a couple of weeks, you can then slowly incorporate running. For example, if you’ve been walking four laps, try walking for three and running for one instead. Even if you spend several weeks only running one-third of the time, you are still running. Don’t be deterred if your progress is slower than expected.

Start Slow

You probably don’t picture yourself running at a snail’s pace when you envision your future marathons. However, that’s exactly what you should be aiming for — at least in the beginning. During your runs, focus on your breathing and just staying in motion. Speed is something you can gradually increase as you get more comfortable. For now, running slowly is best.

Invest In Good Running Shoes

Remember how I told you decent running shoes are really one of the only things you need to get started? I meant it. It’s worth it to shell out the money for quality sneakers before you ever begin running. Why? Well, if you try to run in shoes not meant for running, you’re going to have a pretty terrible experience. You could get even get hurt. It’s imperative to set yourself up for success — not failure. Many runners recommend specialty running stores for quality sneakers. Be sure to ask for help when trying to the best shoes for your feet.

Talk With Other Runners

It may not seem like talking to fellow runners is all that important but it truly is. Every runner was once where you are now. If you know someone who runs as his/her primary form of exercise, start a conversation. It’s no surprise that runners love talking about running. If you don’t personally know anyone who runs, you can visit online running forums or you might even want to consider joining a local running group. It’s encouraging to receive advice from those who remember exactly what it’s like to be in your (running) shoes.

Plan a Run Routine

Motivation is great but it doesn’t always last. Therefore, where you lack in motivation, make up for in planning. Get out your calendar and pencil in runs at least three days per week. But don’t stop there. Make sure to allocate a certain amount of time for running on each of those days. Even when you’re feeling less than motivated, follow through with your plan. If you do, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a runner.

If you follow these five tips, you’ll be able to call yourself a runner in no time at all. Eventually, you won’t even be a newbie anymore. That’s right — full marathons may very well be in your future. Now, what are you waiting for? Get out there and run!