Jen: Tips For New Runners

Today we have a guest post from Jen, who blogs over at Marathon Mom.  She’s a running coach and today she is sharing tips for newbie runners!

Tips For New Runners: 

I think I am asked at least daily for running advice whether it be from those wanting to start running or those wanting to improve. Recently I’ve had many questions from friends and family training for their first races.

I love sharing my passion for running and hope I can pass this on to others as well. I thought about the most frequent questions I am asked and decided to put together a list:

When do I start to like running?

I think this is the most frequent question and I always hate to say “there are some days I still hate running!”

For me the key is to take it easy some days and push myself other days.  Enjoy the surroundings while out and savor the victories whether this is running that 1st mile or a PR. Like anything new it takes work and does get easier.  I still remember when 3 miles was a chore and now I can’t remember the last time I wanted to stop after 3 miles.

When does it get easier?

Everyone is different, but you need to listen to your body and not feel that you need to push right away or on every run. Like I said above it is something new and will get better. Remember it took us more then 1 step to learn to walk.

How do I motivate myself?

Sign up for a race to have a goal and soak in the excitement of the race atmosphere. Find friends or a running group to join. Making that commitment to others is motivation to get started and it is always nice to have company in tough times to push us further.  Then you can go out for coffee afterwards.  Try listening to music or buy some new running clothes and enjoy the fact that you will feel better and have more energy.

What happens when I skip a run?

Listen to your body and if you aren’t feeling it, having pain or need a short break then don’t run.

Missing one run of the training will not hurt you.

Do not make this a routine but don’t be afraid to rest a sore leg, sleep in when you are sick or shorten a run. If something doesn’t feel right and your stride changes then don’t run through it, stop. Do something else instead (swim, bike, elliptical) and see how it feels later.

Don’t compare yourself to anyone else.

Compete and push yourself to improve while accepting that things happen. Life gets in the way and we all have bad days. Learn from these and work through them. Remember we are all different and can’t compare ourselves to someone with different talents and abilities.

What are the best shoes?

Don’t buy what is cute or the brand your friend uses.  Go to a running store for a proper shoe fitting and don’t be afraid to take them back if they don’t work after a run (most stores around here are fine if they are slightly worn).

Please don’t wear that pair of shoes you bought 5 years ago for step class. Most complaints I hear from new runners is that their legs, knees, feet hurt and then I find out they are wearing bad shoes, such a simple solution to prevent frustration.

I have been running about 10 years and was instantly hooked. I have come a long way from those first steps and my first marathon (Disney 2003) where I finished 5:20 to consistently running 3:30 marathons and running competitively. I learned to love the sport and train right. I have coached runners of all abilities for the past 5 years and love it!

Check out my running, food and parenting adventures at Marathon Mom!

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