7 Tips for Beginning Runners

I know, this isn’t a fun beauty/makeup/nail polish related topic, but it is about something very near and dear to my heart. Running! I have never been the athletic type. I am short… like 5 feet tall short, and not super skinny (or even just regular skinny). I’ve had some babies and I like pizza. Starting to jog/run was hard for me! When I finally figured it out and what works for me, I fell in love! After a long winter of half-hearted treadmill jogs, it was warm enough to run outside the other day and I fell in love all over again! During my run I was thinking about how far I had come in a year of running and I wanted to share my tips for success with everyone!

1. Wear the right shoes!

I think every runner will tell you need to wear the right shoes, but I often hear people say they will buy nicer shoes once they get into running more. But I don’t think you will ever really get into it if you are wearing bad shoes that will make your knees, hips and feet hurt. It took me a long time to find a pair of shoes I loved. I tried lots and lots of shoes until I found the ones that really worked great for me. Going to a good running store that really knows what they are talking about and have someone help you find the shoes for you. Don’t bother reading reviews on the internet or asking your friends which shoes they wear, go to a store and find YOUR shoes. Some stores like Nordstrom or REI have a really loose return policy so you can run on shoes a few times (or more) before you decide if they are right.

2. Find your pace

When I first started running I went with a tall, experienced friend. She told me to pick the pace and so I started running what I thought felt comfortable. She quickly asked me, “This is pretty quick, maybe lets slow it down a bit.” I had NO idea I had been running “quick” at all. But on that run when she set the pace for me, I was able to run much further without being completely exhausted. I have since built up my speed quite a bit, but her helping me figure out my pace was a game changer. Start a little slower, you will find you can run further then pick up the pace when you are getting more comfortable.

3.  Learn to push yourself

I feel like part of what I had to learn in order to become a “runner” was that it just sorta hurts. You will breathe heavy, your muscles will get tired, you will get side aches. But those aren’t reasons to stop running and walk, or quit all together. You will find that your body catches up with you pretty quick and you will get stronger and stronger and you will be amazed what you are capable if you push through the pain.

4. Set a goal

The first running goal I set for myself was a 5k. My goal was to run it in a certain amount of time, and to run the whole thing without walking. I was so motivated to get out and run when I knew that I had paid the fee and was signed up to run on a certain day. So start with that, it’s almost spring. Get online and find a 5k and go do it! There is nothing like the feeling of finishing your first race. After that you can work toward  running a faster 5k, or a 10k, or my very favorite, a Ragnar Relay.

5. Increase mileage slowly

I am the champion of running injuries. But from my injuries I have learned! Sometimes I am just loving my run so I keep going and going and then have run further than I was ready for and I am injured. Experts say you should never increase your weekly mileage by more than 10 percent over the previous week. Nothing throws your progress off track quicker than an injury

6. Bribe yourself

I love a good bribe. If you can afford it, put $1 in a jar for every run you do, or even $1 per mile. Save that money up to buy something selfish just for you! New shoes? Pedicure? Whatever. Pick what motivates you and get to it!

7. Find what works for you!

I learned that a lot of things don’t work for me. I cannot run with people. I mean, I can occasionally. But for my every day runs I need to be alone with my music and to get in the zone. Some people love running with a friend, but I am (unfortunately) just not one of them. I also get really bored running on a treadmill or a trail. I love running through neighborhood and up and down hills. Experiment. If you feel like you are falling into a rut or getting bored, mix it up.

Like what you see? Tell your friends!

This entry was posted in Healthy Living, Shoes on by .

19 thoughts on “7 Tips for Beginning Runners

  1. Kirsten


    I agree with so many (if not all) of these, but particularly the last! I’ve tried being the runner that can go with a buddy, but I tell you what, I love my runs SOLO. Just me, my mind, my music, my breathing…PERFECTION!!!

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  3. Patience S.

    Love this article so much. I’ve just started my journey to take care of my body. I never dreamed I could do anything as strenuous as running, but you make it really seem possible. Thank you! I shared this on Twitter and my FB page…good luck!

    1. Heather Post author

      I’m glad you liked the article! It’s hard to start but once you convince your mind that you can do it your body really will follow! Good luck!

  4. Amanda

    Another big one is don’t forget to hydrate! Water is your best friend. Drink lots of it throughout the day and it will make your run so much easier.

  5. Carli

    So I joined a gym for the first time ever. I am 37 and have both moderate (not mild) asthma and tiny scar filled trachea and lungs. My tidal capacity was 60% for my height (very tall) when I was 17 and very, very fit (2 hours of marching band daily plus wind instrument). I can jog at about 6.5 for about 3 minutes now. My exercise heart rate has come down like 40 beats already. It’s been 2 weeks. How can I “grow lungs”? Thank you!

  6. April

    I am returning to running after a ten year break. I used to have my own little things and motivators but I’m having to regroup. What worked ten years ago is not the same now. So I really agree with #7, what works may not be the same over time for the same individual. I’m also starting a 30 day water challenge on March 1 so lots to do!!!

    1. Heather Post author

      Restarting running can be so hard, but it’s always worth it! Good luck with your goals! Thanks for reading!

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  8. Eric

    I like that you have pace yourself next to push yourself. They seem contradictory but the line between the to need to be found. I think the line is drawn in what pain is good pain and what pain is bad that could lead to injury. Running for sure needs to require effort.

  9. Karen Stypinski

    Hi, I just started running again last year I fractured all three of my ankle bones. I have 12 screws and a plate. I am up to running at 25 minutes. Again not a fast pace but plan on doing a 5k at the end of October. I run at least 4 days per week. This week I am going to increase my distance by 1 block. I never thought I would run again the feeling is so good and I too put on my music and zone out. It is the most relaxing part of my day. Like Forrest Gump says I just felt like running.

  10. Gina

    i completely agree with “push yourself”. Our bodies can do more than we are feeling in that moment of pain. I take Barre classes and one instructor always says, ” keep going. I promise your body won’t break by pushing yourself a little more”. SO true!

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