I’ve had a love/hate relationship with running. Before I moved to Virginia, I’d never run more than a mile or two at a time. I signed up for my first 5K in December of 2010 and then ran on and off for a while. In 2012 I ran my first half marathon. The problem is, I’ve never been very consistent with running so every time I pick it back up, I’m starting from scratch. The first few runs feel awful and I’m convinced that my lungs are going to explode and my legs are going to give out on me. And then after a few weeks of consistent training, I start feeling like maybe I could enjoy it. Maybe.
Since I’m still trying to get the hang of this whole running thing, I reached out to my running-expert-blogging-friend Hollie, and asked her to share a few tips for new runners. Hollie is amazing and I love reading about her races. I’ve been reading her blog for years and even though we haven’t actually met in person, I feel like I know her well! So without further ado, I’ll turn it over to Hollie!
Thanks to Liz for allowing me to take over her blog for a day. Liz was one of the first bloggers I started following about five years ago.
My name is Hollie. While I’m a Virginia native, I went to college in Upstate NY and now reside right outside of Philadelphia. I’ve been blogging for about five years now. I work at a local running store and run anywhere between 50-70 miles with my favorite distance either the 5k or half marathon.
I see a lot of new runners that filter through the running store. To be honest, starting to run can be both overwhelming and confusing. Where do you start? What do you do? How much running is too much or even too little?
So you made it through the hardest part, and you’ve decided you want to start running, now what?
It’s a great hobby and one you can take up at any age or place in your life. Some people run as a peaceful time to reflect upon on the day. Others run because they need to get away from aspects of life. Ultimately we all have different reasons to run, but it’s a sport we can do that.
When you first begin running, there are a few things to keep in my mind. Things I wish people told me. Here are four lessons I’ve learned along the way:
1. Get fitted for a pair of running shoes
There is no “best” running shoe or brand, but there is the best shoe for your foot. It’s important to get properly fitted for your first pair of shoes.
You are going to cover hundreds of miles in a pair of shoes, and it’s important to make sure your feet are well supported. I recommend checking out your local running store, and they’ll help you out. Without proper footwear, you are setting yourself up for an injury!
2. Build your Running Gradually
There are several great training programs out there. The couch to 5k program is one of my favorites, and I’ve seen a lot of people have success with it. It focuses more of time versus miles which is an important factor. (Note from Liz: I used this free training plan for my half marathon and it was great!)
3. Train Easy
Every mile does not have to be your fastest and in fact, it shouldn’t be! There is a common misconception that we must run our fastest all of the time to improve. You should focus on getting out there instead of pace. My range of pace is anywhere between a 6 minute and a 12-minute mile. Each mile serves a different purpose. The easier miles allow you to run faster miles.
4. There is No Secret to Success
Gaining speed and fitness takes time.
Running fitness is built over time. The best piece of advice is: give running time. If you are consistent, you will see improvement. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was running fitness!
What’s a recent hobby you’ve recently started doing?
What advice would you add?