Some days I still feel like a beginner. There is so much for me to still learn as a runner. Running never gets easier and that’s why I love it. It’s always a challenge. Some runs are great, while others simply just suck.
One of my biggest requests from my friends on Instagram has been to share tips for new runners!
Like I said, I still feel like a new runner even though I have 6 full marathons and 15 half marathons under my belt. I’m going to share what’s worked for me over the last few years and what I’ve learned through my marathon training cycles and working with a few different running coaches.
- Take it SLOW and don’t start out running too fast! In the beginning there is no need to hit the ground in an all out sprint. Take it nice and easy. NO ONE is looking at your pace except YOU! If you feel like you have to stop, ask yourself— Do I really need to stop? Am I tired? How is my breathing? How do my legs feel? You might actually feel fine and it could be just mental. Try to push through unless you are experiencing any pain or your breathing and heart rate are out of control…then of course you should stop and assess how you’re feeling.
- If you have to completely stop, that’s ok! But try to WALK! Keep those legs moving!
- Break your runs into run/walk intervals. It’s OK to walk— don’t be ashamed!
- Eventually once you get used to running more, your running distance will increase and your walking distance will decrease! A good place to start is with alternating between 2 minutes of running and 2 minutes of walking.
- RUN THE DISTANCE YOU’RE IN- focus on the mile you’re in. Don’t worry about how far you’re going or have to go. Just focus on the mile you’re in— this goes for any distance too. I tell myself this whether I ’m running 6 miles or 18 miles!
- 10 Percent Rule for increasing your weekly running mileage—The old “rule” that says you shouldn’t increase your total weekly mileage by more than 10%. This is how overuse injuries happen.
- RECOVERY is key! You’re a new runner so don’t go all out and try to run 5 days in a row! Your body needs to recover from the new demands placed on your body. Start off by alternating your training day followed by a rest day.
- Find the right SURFACE to run on! I enjoy running on the strand because it’s right by the beach. Unfortunately the strand is probably not the best surface to run on because it’s concrete. The constant pounding is hard on your joints. Other options besides the pavement includes- wood-chip or forest trails, the treadmill, the beach. Find what works best for you!
- Strength training- Regular strength training leads to better running performance and helps prevent injuries! Many people forget that running is a full body workout. You not only use your legs, but your arms and core as well. It’s important to focus on all areas of the body as a runner. Check out my article on MindBodyGreen for some exercises to add into your NEW running routine!
- Stretching- Dynamic stretching should be done to warm up your muscles prior to a run! Focus on static stretching and foam rolling after your run.
- Nutrition- During running season, I pay closer attention to my nutrition. If I don’t my running suffers. I take protein powder and collagen to help with muscle recovery and repair, focus on eating good carbs because carbs are FUEL, and make sure I’m drinking enough water! I always have my stainless steel water bottle with me during the day so I never have an excuse not to drink water!
- Running shoes- Invest in a good pair of running shoes (I’m talking to you Danny)! Haha, my 22 year old brother has been wearing the same running shoes since high school. It’s time for a new pair! I am constantly asked what shoes I recommend for running. I always tell my followers to go to their local running store and have them assess assess your running to help determine what shoe you should try! The shoe they recommend might not end up even being the best one for you, but it’s worth a try! It’s going to take some trail and error to find the one that feels the best. I had to switch running shoes a few years ago from a neutral shoe to a stability shoe for more support.
- Join a running group- Joining a running group keeps you accountable! It’s harder to skip a workout when others are waiting on you. Running groups are also a great way to make new friends to help motivate you and push you become a better runner.
Before I typed up this blog post, I reached out to my running friends on Instagram to get their advice and tips for new runners! Here are some of their responses below:
“Accept that it’s hard. Mentally and physically. Once you can accept it, then you can work with it. Until then, the miles and effort doesn’t matter as much- your head has to be in it first. Your feet and body will catch up.
“ONE mile at a time.”
“Don’t feel bad about the bad runs maybe outweighing the good ones initially….it’s a process you must trust!”
“Trust the process and be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
“Just run by feel and focus on consistency.”
“Don’t compare yourself to others OR to your old self!”
Thank you to all my Instagram friends who shared their advice! LOVE all of your tips! =)
Let me know if you guys have any other running questions! xoxo!