Day one things feel simple enough, you throw on a pair of shoes (any pair will do right?) and walk out in to the crisp air, head held high and envisioning yourself gliding down the sidewalk as cars pass.
Roughly 100 feet in you begin to realize your brain and legs don’t seem to be connected and by the end of the second block you’d like to clutch your knees, but don’t because the neighbors are waving hello.
Many of the people you look at today who run so far or so fast have a similar day 1 story. The only difference is they didn’t let day 1 define them, they let it motivate them to make day 2 better.
Are you ready to finally get your run on?
WHAT EVERY NEW RUNNER NEEDS TO KNOW
Running isn’t about speed
Running isn’t about PR’s
Running isn’t about how far you go
Running is a process and one that you should definitely enjoy by allowing yourself to go on a journey. You don’t have to run 3 miles on day one, you just have to put one foot in front of the other and then do it again tomorrow.
Now that we understand my philosophy on running, here are a few more tips to help you on the journey! Sure there are a million different training plans, techniques and things you’ll learn along the way…but to start it’s a bit more simple, a few new runner tips:
Wait is my first how to run tip, actually not to run? Yes.
When you are starting out, always walk before you run. Literally warm up to every run with at least a half mile of walking. Then take walk breaks while you run to allow you to get in more time running. Over time you will decrease the breaks, but always keep the warm up.
Stop trying to so far or so fast on day one…or day 30 for that matter!
When you find you can’t breathe, time to slow down.
When you find you just can’t break a distance barrier, slow down.
When running sounds like something awful to do, slow down.
Eventually this all leads to speeding up, but you need a base first.
Many people are afraid to join a running group because they might be the slowest person there. As someone who has moved a lot and tested out a lot of groups, I can tell you there are always walkers, there are always super stars and everyone is welcoming. If you happen upon an unfriendly group, high tail it out of there and find another one. Nothing will keep you showing up for runs like having friends or even acquaintance who expect you to be there.
You probably know that better running shoes are going to make your knees, legs and feet feel better, but could be surprised to find that you really do need some of those expensive socks! Running socks are expensive, but any runner will tell you we learned the hard way how very important they are for preventing blisters and keeping feet happy.
Heading to a local running store can feel intimidating, but trust me they are truly there to help and no matter how speedy they might appear, their main goal to help more people enjoy a sport we love. Finally with winter approaching, it’s worth investing in some good dry fit pants and pullovers, which will make your runs bearable no matter the temp.
So what do you reallllly need:
- Good running shoes
- Wicking socks
- Body glide
- Everything else you’ll accumulate along with the miles.
Stop with the pre-run stretching from school days! Numerous studies have shown that elongating the muscle prior to running reduces the ability of the muscle to create a forceful contraction, which is what you need to push off the ground.
Instead, try a dynamic warm up and then spend some time doing yoga or any static stretch after you finish your run. It’s a great time to reflect on how far you’ve come and allow your body to cool down from the raised heart rate.
Fake it til you make it right? Even in running when you force yourself to smile, I guarantee it will lift your spirits. Take a moment to look around you and enjoy the fresh air, the sunshine and the fact that you are making this choice.
Along with this are the standard mind games every runner plays:
- Just run to the next stop sign…ok maybe the next one
- Just run until you’ve hit a round number on your watch
- Mantras are also key (click here for some favorites)
So you’ve seen gels, heard me talk about Salt Stick tablets or have friends who swear by a pre-workout supplement. Starting out most of this is just unnecessary. These are the pieces that will help you get to the next level once you have a base, spend your energy focusing on just continuing to show up.
Ab workouts aren’t just for those seeking a bikini bod, they make you a stronger runner and can prevent injury. Learn all about your core and how to work it in this post>>After running for 13 years, 8 marathons, too many halfs and 10k’s to count I can tell you all of these tips still apply. Running is a journey! Just put one foot in front of the other and see where it takes you.
What do you wish you’d known as a new runner?
Any other burning new runner questions you’d like answered?
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