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A few Saturdays ago as I was finishing up a
glorious hellish six mile run in the pouring rain, I thought to myself…Why? Why do I do this?
Then I reminded myself that running keeps me thin, healthy, and it lets me escape my children for however long my run is each day. Ah yes. That is why.
Since moving to Virginia a little over a week ago, I have been in a bit of a running slump. I don’t have my daily schedule down yet. There are still boxes to be unpacked. I don’t feel like running is a priority right now…which is horrible timing because I am supposed to run the Princeton Half Marathon on Sunday.
My running partner for the race, Marta, texted me today to make sure I was still doing it. And even though I have only run approximately five miles in the past ten days, I said, “You bet!”
If it was just me running by myself, I would probably bail on the race. But since I am doing it with one of my favorite running partners, I am gonna go for it.
Marta is one of those people who is just so positive and inspiring, she makes you want to, well, run a marathon after having a conversation with her. I don’t get to see her often, so whenever I have the chance to be around her encouraging attitude, I take it.
As you will see in my list of of running tips for beginners, having a supportive friend or family member is crucial. So thank you Marta and I can’t wait to run with you on Sunday!
Here are the rest of my running tips for beginners…
7 Running Tips for Beginners
- Just get out there and start. Like Nike says, “Just do it.” Running is one of the simplest, easiest methods of exercise. All you have to do to get started is walk out your door and start moving your feet. Even if you feel like you don’t want to do a run today, tell yourself you’re just going to go for one block. You’ll be surprised at how much further you actually go. Or maybe you won’t go further today. Maybe you’ll run a block and then walk ten blocks. But you still got out there and tried. It counts.
- Get support from a friend. You can either find a friend to run with or if not, at least find someone who encourages you via text, phone calls, or emails. If you’re lucky, maybe she’ll show up holding a sign with your name somewhere along your running route.
- Don’t feel pressured to spend a lot of money. That is the beauty of running– all you really need are a good sports bra and a pair of running shoes. You don’t need fancy clothes or special sunglasses. Last year I needed a new pair of running shoes but I didn’t feel like spending the typical $100 price tag at a specialty running store. So I went to Kohl’s and got a pair…on sale and with a coupon. They were perfectly good running shoes. Probably last season, but who cares? They felt great and worked great. (Note: If you have any foot issues, I would recommend being properly measured for shoes at a running store.)
- Obey the rules of the road. This is important. If you are running on the street, always run AGAINST traffic. (Bikers go WITH traffic.) This way you can always see when a car is coming towards you, which is especially important if you run with headphones on. (I do not.) Other rules of the road: wave at fellow runners and always always always assume that a driver doesn’t see you, whether he is backing out of his driveway or turning into your path. You’d be amazed at how many times I’ve almost been hit by an inattentive driver and it’s only getting worse with everyone’s smartphone addictions.
- Go slow. My runs are more like what you would picture if I called it a “jog” instead of a “run.” Still, it’s running and I am a runner, no matter how slowly I may “jog.” Head out nice and easy knowing you can always pick up the pace at the end to push yourself.
- Sign up for a 5K to motivate yourself. If I’m not training for a race, I’m always lost when it comes to a running schedule. That’s why I like to have a race in my future– it helps me structure a weekly running plan and keeps me motivated. I like using Hal Higdon’s training plans and Runner’s World always has good ones, too. Finishing a 5K as a beginning runner is something that is definitely an achievable goal. Google one that’s near you and sign up with a friend. The sense of accomplishment you will feel when you’re done is amazing.
- Keep it simple with your pre-run meal. Banana, toast, coffee, and water is my usual go-to before a race. But if I’m doing an easy early morning run sometimes all I’ll have is my coffee. You’ll experiment to see what your body needs, but keep it simple.
Running is such a big part of my life and I love trying to get others hooked on it. It’s an amazing way to let of steam and feel better about yourself.
I hope these running tips for beginners will inspire you to lace up your sneaks and just get out there!