Tips For NEW Runners

  • Buy a good pair of running shoes & a supported sports bra!
    • I have found that two most important pieces of my running attire are shoes, I like ASCIS, and found very supportive sports bra’s by, Moving Comfort (Fiona Bra) and Nike.  These are the two items I will invest a bit into as they are essential to running comfortably.  Now, you do not need to spend hundreds of dollars but don’t skimp and make sure you get ones that fit you well and last long. 
    • In addition, make SURE to replace your shoes after 500 miles regardless of how good they look and replace your bras once you notice they are not holding you in place as well as they should.
  • Avoid doing too much, too soon.
    • New runners often feel great after starting a new training schedule/plan or workout routine and want to go for the gusto, however doing too much too soon can lead to injuries. 
    • So start easy and increase your mileage by no more than 10% per week. You will be injury free and happier in the long run, if you do so.
  • Try the run/walk/run method.
    • A/K/A, the “Galloway Method” that was invented by the famous marathon runner Jeff Galloway.  Basically you run for 4-10 minutes, and then walk for 1-2 minutes, etc. This gives you time to catch your breath, cool down and let your running muscles rest. 
    • Many marathon runners use this method, running a mile then walking for 30 seconds to a minute and so forth, in order to keep themselves rested and their running steady throughout the entire race. 
  • Fight the desire to STOP!
    • Like many runners have found and “believe” running is all mental.  Well, yes it does require some level of cardiovascular fitness, but the biggest challenge presented by running is simply fighting the desire to STOP!  Over the years I have found the following helped me a great deal in fighting that desire to stop:
      • Bringing your iPod along with you as listening to music while running is fun, gives you a rhythm to focus on and also distracts you from thinking negatively.
      • Running can be a great stress reliever and excellent mediation. Focus on your breathing, the feel of your blood coursing through your veins and the sensation of power pushing through your legs.
      • Always try to “think positive”!  Too many people focus on how difficult running is, especially in the beginning; however you will be amazed how differently you will feel about it once you stop the negative thinking and start thinking positively about running!  
      • Sometimes you are not going to want to run, but you will be amazed how great you will feel after if you just get out there and do it!  Also, if you do miss a day, don’t let it get you done too much; just get back on track the next day.
  • Vary your distance and speed runs.
    • When I first started running in my early teens I ran exactly the same distance all the time. I was running 2-3 miles several times a week. Now I love long runs and the speed work as not only do I want to have a 5K PR (personal record), I also want to be able to complete future 10K, 15K, a ½ Marathon and full Marathon! 
  • Know how to handle hills.
    • I wish I had known how to properly tackle an uphill. Shortening my stride, maintaining a straight back, strong abs, and the same pace while keeping my eyes up has really helped me get over the top. 
    • In addition, running up hill builds your quads and in turn helps increase your speed over time as your muscles become stronger and are able to propel you quicker on your fast runs. 
  • Drink Up! 
    • Drink an adequate amount of water. It is amazing how much more energy a person has and how much further you can run when you’re hydrated properly.
    • Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day & night, not just prior to a run. 
  • Stretch, stretch & stretch again…. 
    • However, be sure to jog lightly for 5-10 minutes to warm up your muscles before you stretch. Stretching cold muscles can lead to injury, so warming up first is important. If you’re pressed for time, wait and stretch after you run. Stretching after you run is more beneficial for your increased flexibility since your blood is flowing and muscles are warm.
    • A good stretching routine will enhance your performance through increased flexibility and stride length. 
  • Rest and recovery days are VERY important to your training schedule!
    • Rest days should be spread out and not taken consecutively. Recovery days such as easy short runs, easy long runs, or easy cross training days should be just that, easy!
    • Save your intensity for the hill workouts, track workouts, tempo runs, intervals and races. 
  • Listen to Your Body.
    • Pay close attention to what your body tells you.  Listen to yourself honestly.  If you’ve been fatigued or sore for several days in a row, then you may need to schedule in some rest and recovery time.  Persistent pain for several weeks usually doesn’t just go away.  Usually, it gets worse.
    • It is always better to deal with these types of problems as early as possible, rather than wait until they grow into something serious. 
  • Track your progress….. 
    • I found that “tracking” my progress (miles ran & how often) on my monthly calendar is a great motivator for me!  As I have progressed month-to-month and saw all my tracking notes on my calendar it empowered me to keep going, as well as motivate me to run farther, longer and more often as well. 
    • I utilize Map My Run to get the approximate mileage I run on my “outside” runs.
  • Sign up for a race!  =) 
    • I love to do races. Races give you motivation to succeed, and it makes your workout schedule have a “point.” 
    • Check out your local running store for races, ours here in Orlando is Track Shack.
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