26+ Experts Share Their Favorite Beginner Running Tips
If you are just getting into running and are looking for easy to understand beginner running tips, it's hard to find better advice than the first-hand experiences of the running experts below. I have the honor and privilege to share with you their favorite advice for beginner runners. Enjoy!!
Abby Land - Back At Square Zero
"Don't worry about the big picture or you will overwhelm yourself. Set small, manageable goals and focus on those. Something like: workout three days this week. Be sure to celebrate all the little victories along the way instead of waiting until the big end goal. Even baby steps forward deserve to be celebrated."
Nicole Decker - A Journey to A Healthier Me
"Definitely stick to the 10% rule to avoid injury. I am sure you have heard it before but progress is progress. If you ramp up your mileage too fast you will be more prone for injury..
Jill Whitaker - Jill Will Run
"The biggest thing to remember when you are just starting to run (or just returning to running after an absence) is to not compare yourself to others (or you of the past.) Everybody is at a different stage in the journey and everybody has different abilities. Consistently getting out to cover some distance is always working to improve your own running at that moment. Some days will be slower than others, some days will feel harder than others... remember you're still improving in some way. Your cardiovascular fitness, your muscular fitness, or even your mental fitness! Just keep going and be kind to yourself!"
Amy C - Running Escapades
"Join a local running group like She Runs This Town or one at your local running shop. The group will give you a chance to meet people and make new running friends. You will learn everything you need to know about running and training and gear from veteran runners and you'll find support for your best (and worst) runs."
Reid Coolsaet - Reid Coolsaet.com
"Running does not feel that good when you're just starting out. It takes a while to get into the groove get a nice flow. You need to be patient and progress your training methodically."
Lisa McClellan - Run Wiki
"My tip for the beginner runner would be to remind them that the first step out the door is the toughest, and so are the first ten minutes of a run. You really don’t start to get into a rhythm until about 15 minutes in, so be patient, and that results only come if you are consistent, so keep it up.."
Anne Mauney - Fannetasticfood.com
"Start slow, and find a running buddy! I didn't truly fall in love with running until I started running with others - running is such an awesome way to have undivided time to talk. Running buddies have become some of my closest friends for that reason - and the miles fly by!"
Beth - Shut Up & Run
"Many people who are new to running get frustrated when they first start because they try to run at paces that are too fast for them. This not only makes running not-so-fun but can lead to injury. My advice is to pick a manageable distance when you first start such as a mile and be sure to run at a pace where you could hold a conversation if you needed to. Take walk breaks as needed. Gradually (over the span of a few weeks) add on to your distance slowly. The amazing thing about our bodies is that they will adapt to going further and faster if we are patient and give them time to do so. Trust me on this one!"
Rebecca Trachsel - Running with Music
"RUN THE MILE YOU ARE IN. Too often runners, regardless of whether they are new to the sport or have been doing it for years, spend time and energy thinking about the miles ahead rather than the mile they're in. For new runners in particular, it can be daunting to process a full week's plan or to think about the final miles of a long run before you've even hit the road. By taking each mile or interval one at a time you will be able stay focused and in the moment without getting overwhelmed by what's to come. And before you know it, you'll have a completed and successful workout behind you."
Spencer Haws - Runners Goal
"When you are training for a distance running event, eating healthy and sleep is often more important than you realize. If you are eating junk food and then training, you will often feel much more sluggish than you should be. The same goes for being well rested. If you aren't sleeping as much as you should, you are more likely to not train as well, or even just skip your training become you don't "feel" like it. Eat healthy and sleep well, and your training becomes much more effective and enjoyable."
Allie Burdick - Vita Train For Life
"Get proper shoes. Don't do too much too soon. Consult the temperature before heading out so you can dress appropriately. Nothing new on race day. Caution: you may become addicted!"
Courteney O - Run Girl Fitness
"Trust the process!!! Many new runners want instant results of running being easy, fast, etc but we all know it doesn't happen overnight. Trust your training, whether it is a couch to 5k program or a marathon, know that each step makes you a better runner. Don't force the process or you may become injured or end up hating it...and trust me...it is worth the time!! ... Another piece of advice would be not to compare yourself to others. Running is about enjoying the activity and be better than you were yesterday (if that is your goal) but don't compare...just enjoy it!!!"
Sarah Canney - Run Far Girl
"When you first start out it's hard. Your body is adjusting to the new stress of running and before it has a chance to adapt all you want to do is quit. But if you can stick with it for at least four weeks your body will adapt, it will become a little easier. And if you can make it eight weeks set a goal and set your sights on a race. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there and give racing a shot, the atmosphere and camaraderie you'll find there will be so encouraging."
Steve Wagner - Running Spud
"My best advice to new runners is to build a good habit for a lifetime of health and fitness. A steady and consistent progress is important to remaining injury-free, developing fitness and enjoying this terrific sport. On one hand, it can be difficult to curb your -- which can result in runner longer or more frequently than one is ready to do. That can lead to injuries or wildly inconsistent patterns of workouts, making it difficult to develop a quality base. On the other hand, failing to run consistently makes it difficult to develop good habits. All runners should strive for consistency and slowly build their mileage. Consistency helps runners develop a sense of self awareness that will help get them avoid injuries, see the quickest fitness benefits and help get them out the door on the days when its tough to find the time or energy for a workout."
Julie Wunder - Running In a Skirt
"The biggest thing I like to share with beginning runners is that it's important to not just run! You are much more likely to stay with it if you run 3-4 days a week and balance out your training with cross training or yoga. It's also the best way to prevent injuries! And, don't forget to have fun."
Charlie Watson - The Runner Beans
"Ok my fave tip is SLOW down. Most people bolt out of the door when they first start running, and can only make it halfway down the street before gasping for air. Start really really slowly, a pace you feel like you could manage for a while then slowly pick it up to move a little faster. This gradual increase could be within the same session, or over weeks or months.. Pace does not matter. It's getting out there that counts!"
Debbie Woodruff - Coach Debbie Runs
"My first piece of advice for a beginner would be to take it slow. Start with a walk/run program and gradually decrease the walking time as you increase the running. Too many new runners start off too quickly and either end up injured, or simply hating running because it's so hard"
Brian - Pavement Runner
"Have fun with it. Whether you are time chasing, finishing your first, or your twentieth. It's a great community to be a part of. Enjoy the run, and celebrate those around you"
Dimity McDowell - Another Mother Runner
"A best running friend - we call them BRF's around Another Mother Runner - is the most important piece of running gear. They provide motivation, entertainment, inspiration and laughter; what par of shoes can do that? Most of all, they provide accountability. You might opt for your pillow over your workout when it’s just you, but you’ll never keep that friend waiting on the corner for you when it’s dark or rainy out"
Theresa - Neon is My Color
"1. Little steps eventually lead to bigger steps. Walk/Running is the best way to get started. If you have never run before, then skip the running until you are comfortable walking 3 miles in an hours time. At that point, begin to add in 30 second jog intervals. They don't have to be fast, just faster than your walking pace. If that feels OK, then increase your jogging intervals until they match your walking intervals. Eventually get that 3 miles down to 45 minutes, and you'll find the hardest part of the journey is done. 2. Get yourself some decent sneakers. Visit a local running store, if possible. Good sneakers are a must, even for a beginner. Experiment with socks, and clothing. It isn't necessary to spend a lot, but it is necessary to be comfortable. That can make or break your running career before it even gets started. "
" 3. Find a friend to take the journey with. It can even be a virtual one, or a facebook group. Find someone to stay accountable with! Keeping a log or journal will help with this, too. 4. Above all, this should be fun! If it becomes a chore, you are doing too much too soon. Back off, but don't give up. You'll be running that first 5K in no time flat! "
Megan Johnston - Run Megan Run
"1) Get fitted for the right shoes! It makes a WORLD of difference and can either set you on the right path, or, if you're in the wrong ones, can lead to injury and issues. Running stores (Fleet Feet, Roadrunner, etc.) have machines and equipment designed to get you in the pair appropriate for you. 2) You determine what works for you -- follow your own plan, listen to YOUR body, and make decisions on what YOU feel. Some folks can get up off the couch and go run 6 miles without thinking about it. If you're really just getting going, don't compare yourself to that person but do what works for YOU. Your body will thank you and you'll have more fun with your new sport!"
Denise Mestanza-Taylor - Tampa Bay Bloggers
"When training for your first 5K, the most important thing you can do is make appointments with your training runs. Basically, treat your training like a doctor's appointment or a hair appointment and pencil in a date and time and stick with it. Look at your week ahead and schedule your training runs and workouts. However, with sick kids or business travels, life often gets in the way and can really wreak havoc on the best laid out plans. You may find yourself having to "cancel your appointments" and that's o.k. Give yourself permission to move training runs around depending on a given week and forgive yourself when things don't go according to plan. I've found that flexibility in my training plans helps take the stress out of the training"
Thad - Runner Dude's Blog
"Expect Discomfort. Anytime you add new intensity to your current fitness level, whether you’re an Olympian or brand new to fitness, you’re body will feel it and you’ll need time to acclimate to the new demands you’re putting on your body. Your body will be acclimating aerobically and muscularly. Expect your fitness level to actually dip some as you begin your new running. This “dip” is called the “gain threshold.” You start your new running with your current fitness level (good or bad) and then as you put the new demands of running on your body, your fitness level will dip into the gain threshold. You may even feel worse than when you started. Sore. Tight. Tired. That’s normal. It takes about 4-6 weeks to pull out of that gain threshold, but when you do, you’ll realize that you’re feeling fitter and stronger than when you started. The gain threshold is when most new runners quit. Especially runners who are running alone. If you’re in a group, you’ll begin to see some in the group pull out of the dip and benefiting from the newly gained fitness. Actually, just knowing to expect “the dip” usually makes it not as bad."
There you have it! Some really great advice and tips for beginner runners. A big THANK YOU to all of the experts who shared their wisdom.