Being a new runner can be challenging, frustrating and let's face it, sometimes confusing. Here are some tips and suggestions to get you started on the right path to your goal...the finish line!
- Set a goal for yourself that is achievable. Goals that are too lofty can sometimes lead to disappointment. For example, try a 5k before attempting a half marathon.
- Whatever your goals might be, it is a good idea to have the proper tools to get the job done. Start with a good fitting pair of running shoes and for the ladies it’s just as important to find a bra that's going work for your activities. Fleet Fleet Sports has top 10 tips for buying running shoes that you should read.
- Join a training group of people with the same or similar goals and hold each other accountable. Fleet Feet has many training groups and a run club - No Boundaries Couch to 5k, and Half and Full marathon training.
- Get out there and run! Start with a short walk outside or on the treadmill and work up from there. Just getting started can help you to get motivated and feel good. Start small. You don't have to run for miles at a time. Even if you run for two minutes, that's a start.
- At first, running will be hard, but once your body gets used to it, it can be a huge stress reliever. You can zone out or can think about all kinds of stuff you need to think about--or nothing at all!
- No matter why you run (to compete, to stay fit, or to relieve stress) do it because you enjoy it or because you get an awesome feeling of accomplishment after. In the long run, it's still just about putting one foot in front of the other.
- Staying consistent with exercise and eating habits is vital to weight loss and over all healthy wellness. Don’t get discouraged if the pounds aren’t melting off. Immediately weight loss and healthy body adjustments takes time.
- A lot of people think they look slow, or fat, or sweaty. Don't let any of that stop you. Among runners, you are golden.
- Run two, three, or four days a week, and don't worry too much about how far or how long you run. You want to get used to being active for several days each week.
- Instead of saying, "I'm going to run three days this week," say, "I'm going to give myself at least three rest days this week." The ol' reverse psychology — it works!
- Vary the places and surfaces where you run so that you spread the physical stresses around evenly.
- Many runners are afraid to deviate from their training plans. Never be afraid to do the run you feel like doing if the one on your schedule isn't going to cut it. And don't forget...having fun is most important.
- Reward yourself. Whatever resonates for you as an incentive to run — a second glass of wine or sleeping in?—do it at the end of each week.
LINKS TO MORE TIPS AND RESOURCES
- Training tips (gear, nutrition, workouts, avoiding injury)
- Training programs
- Organized runs
- Running clubs
YOUR FIRST RACE
You’ve made it! You’ve done your homework and are ready to race. Here are some tips for the day that will change your life.
Drive the Course
Pay attention to hills, turns, mile markers, and road surface. Construct a game plan, then visualize it.
Revel in Anxiety
Battling nerves before a race is not fun. Embrace the feeling; it's part of being a runner.
Focus on Yourself
If you think about other runners, you'll end up thinking, she looks faster than me. Keep things inner directed. Be aware of others, but keep yourself front and center.
Go Faster Each Mile
Start conservatively, and gradually increase your speed through the last mile. You'll feel great after your fast finish.
When you're struggling, count your steps to 100, then start over. This helps take your mind off your troubles.
Whether you're racing or doing a long run, pick it up the last mile. If it's a speed or hill session, do that last repetition hard. This habit builds confidence for running — and life!