Tips for the Newbie Runner

Happy Friday!

There was such an HUGE response to Project TRANSFORM!  I am sooooo excited!  A big group of you are doing the Couch 2 5k as your health goal so I asked Hiker Mom, Rachelle, to pop over and give us all some beginner running tips!  She is a wife and mother of 2 active boys.  She is a certified running coach and is currently in the process of getting certified as a personal trainer. Her style of writing is fresh and witty with a healthy dose of encouragement to get you up and moving. Be sure to pop over to visit her and let her know in the comments. Thanks so much for guest posting, Rachelle! You inspire me!  She blogs over at Livin The Fit Life.

running tips for newbies

Hey all you new runners out there!  Welcome to the club.  It is an exclusive club that only runners can belong to.  Only a fellow runner will understand what you are going through, why you would want to lace up your shoes and head out at 5am to get your run in.  Only a runner will understand why you need to get to bed early on Friday night so you can do your long run on Saturday morning.  Only a runner will understand chaffing, pit stops, race fuel, and fartleks.  Oh sorry, did I scare you?  Let’s look at it this way, only a runner will understand how you feel when you run a PR (personal record), the feeling of the elusive “runner’s high”, the accomplishment of running a distance you have never run before.  Running will help you get healthy, lose weight, gain confidence, and reach goals you never thought attainable.  How does that sound?  Do you want to be a part of this club?  I know I do!

Believe me these things will come, maybe not immediately, maybe not next month, but sometime in the near future you will understand.  So for all of those who want to join the club, here are a few tips for when you are just starting out.

1. Just do it.  Don’t wait until tomorrow or next week, or next month.  Do it today.  Run to the mailbox to get your mail, run to the end of the block, run with your dog until he goes to the bathroom and then run home.  Start today and never look back.

2. Don’t start out too fast.  This is a common mistake that new runners make.  You start out too fast, then feel exhausted, out of breath, and defeated.  We don’t want that, so start slow.  No, I mean really slow.  Slower than you think you need to.  If, after a while, you feel like you can pick up the pace, then great, go for it.  But, for now, pace yourself, you are in it for the long haul.

3. Get fitted for some good running shoes.  Find a running store and get fitted.  A good pair of running shoes will cost from $85-$110 but they are so worth it.  Take the time to get the right pair.  It will save you time, blisters, and injuries in the long run.  Here is a great resource for finding the right shoe.  Personally I wear Brooks and find that they are a great option.

4. Try not to get frustrated.  Even the most seasoned runners have a bad run.  If one day you have a terrible run, don’t give up, it happens to the best of us.  The next one will be better, I promise.

5. If you are running on the road, run against traffic, that way you see the cars and can get out of the way if they don’t see you.

6. @marathonmom10 says “Don’t compare yourself to others.”  So what if tiny shorts lady can run a 7 minute pace.  You run at your pace and that’s that.  If you want to do speedwork when you have this running thing down, then by all means do it.  But do not compare yourself to others.  Running is individual.  Run for yourself, not for anyone else.

7. Kathy says “Listen to your body!! Don’t push yourself….stop if you need to stop, slow down if you need to slow down, and eventually it will all come together and you too will feel that "Runner’s High". 😉

8. Christy says “find what motivates you whether it is getting faster or losing weight or going to new distances, set a goal and work towards it in small increments.”

Remember, running is hard, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it.  Like I have said before, I used to hate running.  I would always go out too fast and feel terrible (as referenced in #2).  As you age, you tend to learn patience, and when I needed to lose weight after my second child, I came to running and asked for a second chance.  Running agreed, and we are now best friendsJ Running has not only helped me lose 30 pounds and keep it off for over 9 years, it has also given me peace, sanity, and confidence, among many other things.  So, to those who say, “but I hate running”, I say “you can grow to love it”.  As Ed would say “don’t worry it will become fun!” and I agree.  It will be hard in the beginning, but I promise it will change your life.

It is worth it, for your health, sanity, and your booty.  Now, get off that couch, lace up your new shoes, and hit the road.  You won’t be sorry!

I am an RRCA certified running coach and have been running for over 9 years.  Please ask me anything, I will either know the answer or be able to find it. 

Have a great day and happy running!

You can read more at:


Thanks sooooo much Hiker Mom!!!  I am going to check out the running shoes and use these tips for the couch 2 5k.

To keep up with our Project: TRANSFORM and Couch 2 5k

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12 thoughts on “Tips for the Newbie Runner

  1. Hi! You have some truly lovely advice! I have been running for about a month now and I do very much enjoy it. In the beginning my shins would hurt really badly and now it’s much less but still present. I have the right shoes, I’m just not sure if I’m landing on my feet right. I try to land on the ball of my foot ( like im running on my tippy toes/ not ballerina style lol) I only go heel to toe when I’m running down hill or when my shins hurt and I feel the need for a change. Can you try to explain where on my foot I should land? And also some tips to avoid cramping up? I hate having to walk so the cramps go away. I went out for a run, not a walk! Thank you so much in advance.

    1. Hi Dede! Great job on the running! I am going to ask Rachelle from Livin’ the Sweat Life for advice. She is a running coach and knows her stuff!

  2. I ran my first 5k in April and wasn’t that successful. I know now that I didn’t train hard enough and didn’t choose the right first 5k. I also have asthma and am fearful each time I run that I will have an attack, i think it’s more my mind that takes over but I’m still scared to push even harder because I begin to fill like I’m sucking air through a coffee straw. What is the appropriate way to breath? I feel like I get anxious and psych myself out of it.
    Thank you 🙂

  3. i started jogging back in march, and even though i’ve tried running i have very bad asthma which makes it very hard. and i live in the middle of no where surrounded by nothing but hay fields. (trust me that does not help the breathing situation) do you have any tips to help me work out my lungs to make this a less scary thing to start doing?

  4. Thank you so much for the tips! I am very much a newbie and really want to be able to just “pop out for a run” ( and enjoy it!!!) I am feeling really motivated but a little tentative as every time I have tried to run in the past I have had to stop after a few minutes because of pain in my shins. Any advise on how to stop this pain would be greatly appreciated : )

  5. I started running a couple weeks ago. This article has really helped me continue, even though there is 3 feet of snow. But I know if I keep at it now, even through the cold days, it will be a lot easier when spring comes around. Thanks for the encouragement and great advice!

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