There is no natural high better than the one achieved through a good run. All you need to become a runner is a good pair of shoes and a safe place to run. The sport can often be challenging for new participants, so here are four tips to help get you started on your running journey.

Focus on Distance

A common mistake that new runners make is focusing too much on time rather than distance covered. For beginning runners, it is wise to set goals that are based on distance and not the time it took you to hit your mileage goal. Slow down, be patient, and focus on how you feel rather than trying to beat an arbitrary time goal. Your speed will come naturally once you build up endurance and stamina.

Related: 6 Rules for Figuring Out How Many Miles to Run a Week

Embrace Cross-Training

Once you get a taste of that coveted runner's high, it can often be hard to want to do any other type of exercise, especially when you realize that running is a great way to lose weight. However, even the world's fastest marathon runners recognize the importance of incorporating cross-training into any exercise routine. Cross-training can incorporate exercises such as swimming and biking and take a load off your feet while a long walk will work the lactic acid out of your muscles.

Related: A Beginner's Guide to Running for Weight Loss

Log Your Miles

Logging your miles and time can serve as a great motivator in your running adventure. Not only will this show you how far you have come, but it will also provide you with the opportunity to set reasonable goals based on past achievements.

With these tips in mind, new runners can hit the road with the confidence needed to get this new way of life started on the best foot possible. The only thing left to do is lace up your shoes and hit the pavement!

Related: Running 101: Keeping A Training Log

Choose Shoes Wisely

The most important piece of equipment for any runner is a solid pair of running shoes. The wide breadth of choices available can often be overwhelming for new runners. It is recommended that those new to running visit a specialty running store to find the ideal pair of shoes prior to hitting the road. Running store professionals are well-equipped to find the best shoe for your foot type and pronation proclivities. Many running stores will even offer a complimentary treadmill test to ensure that your shoe is a good fit for your gait. And of course, once you find the perfect shoes, you’re going to want to find the perfect socks.