As January comes to a close, it’s almost time for February’s 5 by the 5th Virtual race. There are many experienced runners in the group, but also quite a few walkers, new runners and wannabe runners.
I’ve asked several coaches to contribute training tips throughout the series these next few months. My friend Rachelle, from Living the Sweat Life, pulled together eight helpful tips for new runners.
Are there things you wish someone had told you before your first run?
1. Just do it. Don’t wait until tomorrow or next week, or next month. Do it today. Run to the mailbox to get your mail, run to the end of the block, run with your dog until he goes to the bathroom and then run home. Start today and never look back.
2. Don’t start out too fast. This is a common mistake that new runners make. You start out too fast, then feel exhausted, out of breath, and defeated. We don’t want that, so start slow. No, I mean really slow. Slower than you think you need to. If, after a while, you feel like you can pick up the pace, then great, go for it. But, for now, pace yourself, you are in it for the long haul.
3. Get fitted for some good running shoes. Find a running store and get fitted. A good pair of running shoes will cost from $85-$120 but they are so worth it. Take the time to get the right pair. It will save you time, blisters, and injuries in the long run. Here is a great resource for finding the right shoe.
4. Try not to get frustrated. Even the most seasoned runners have a bad run. If one day you have a terrible run, don’t give up, it happens to the best of us. The next one will be better, I promise.
5. If you are running on the road, run against traffic, that way you see the cars and can get out of the way if they don’t see you.
6. Don’t compare yourself to others. So what if tiny shorts lady can run a 7 minute pace. You run at your pace and that’s that. If you want to do speedwork when you have this running thing down, then by all means do it. But do not compare yourself to others. Running is individual. Run for yourself, not for anyone else.
7. Listen to your body! Don’t push yourself….stop if you need to stop, slow down if you need to slow down, and eventually it will all come together and you too will feel that “Runner’s High”.
8. Find what motivates you– whether it is getting faster or losing weight or going to new distances, set a goal and work towards it in small increments.”
For more resources for new runners, check out Amanda’s great post: New Runner Q &A.
I love these tips. I would also add:
- take days off every week
- increase your weekly miles very gradually
- continue to incorporate non-running activities into your routine
- refuel within 60 minutes post run for optimal recovery
Experienced runners, what is one thing you wish you knew before you started running?