If you’re looking for start running tips when you have never run before, this is the place to be. Let’s get something out of the way, though…
So you want to be a runner…congratulations! Welcome to hell.
Before you close this window and vow to never think about starting a running program again, hear me out.
Before I had any start running tips… I just got out there!
Maybe you are like me.
I was never a runner growing up. I played basketball, volleyball and golf but I was not superstar. I had a cosmetic bag with THREE separate inhalers in it to make it through the practices. Once high school was over I did not run or exercise at all for 7ish years. The words athletic and me did not go together. So, even the idea of a start running program wasn’t crossing my mind during school!
Enter adulthood. Job. Marriage. Children.
Those darn children WRECKED my body. Having 3 all at the same time can do that to a person. Yes you read the correctly I have triplets. We are out of the fog now that they are almost 10. Exercise became a NEED, not a fun thing to do.
My running beginnings started simply when a friend asked me to run a 5K with her. At that point I was going to the gym to try and lose the baby weight so I thought WHY NOT. I can cardio kick box for an hour and do an hour on the elliptical so I should be able to run 3.1 miles.
The day of the race I was so nervous. But I was ready in my cross-trainers and cute new leggings. That was the hardest 3.1 miles EVER. I wanted to walk when I had run less than a mile. I was huffing and puffing. Everything hurt. It took me almost an hour to finish that race. I was SO annoyed. Who knew running could be SO HARD! At that point I wished I had looked into some type of start running program before I ran that race!
I am a competitive person so I vowed to run another 5K and run the entire thing. Welcome to my new addiction…running.
And welcome to hell.
How I formed my start running tips: I ran with a plan
You see no one TELLS you that starting a running program isn’t fun. It SUCKS. It’s frustrating. It’s exhausting. Muscles hurt that you didn’t even know you had. It’s a total HEAD GAME.
I started a running program because I am stubborn and wasn’t satisfied with my performance in what I thought would be my ONLY 5K. My running program wasn’t one of the ones you see on the internet. No couch to 5K or Galloway method for this girl. I knew I had to be able to run 3.1 miles by X date and that was it.
My plan was simple. Run to here. Walk to there. Run again. Now walk a little. Yesterday I made it to this intersection running, the next day I would try to make it another block before having to walk. When I got to the point I could run an entire mile without stopping I was ecstatic!
So I changed my plan to now I have to run 5 minutes without stopping. Now 10. Now 20. You get the point. It was a test of will and staying out of my own head to build up the time I could run. “you’re legs are fine. Take deep breaths you are fine. You look so strong. You can do this.” I wasn’t worried about speed. I just wanted to be able to run long enough to complete a 5K.
The darkness was fading on the thought of running and I actually looked forward to running once I got to a place that I could run 45 minutes without stopping which was a 5K for me. Hell was over….for the most part. From there I just kept building my distance. I ran a 5K, then a 7K, then a 10K then a 10 miler and finally a half marathon all in the span of a year. I have gone on to run a Spartan, Ragnar, Warrior Dash and finished a full Marathon this year. So much for not being a runner.
My running program never changed. Run X miles by this date. I focused on running for a certain amount of time and had an idea of how long each distance would take me.
I tell you this story as PROOF that you can become a runner. It won’t be easy but you CAN do it if you just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Here are my top start running tips for beginners
- Buy running shoes. Spend the money on the. I promise you won’t regret it. I ran for way too long in my cross trainers. I had terrible foot pain which made running even more unbearable that it already was early on. Once I was fitted for the proper shoes it was so much better! Once you know the style of shoe you need you can look for bargains for future pairs (because you will be replacing them every 6 months!)
- Don’t feel like you have to follow a program. This is one of the most important start running tips I can give you. If couch to 5K or Galloway method works for you, awesome! For me personally I didn’t like the idea of a training plan. It took the fun out of it. And honestly some weeks I could only run 1 day so following a training plan wouldn’t work and I would have felt like a failure. Read more about when I TRIED to follow a training plan here. My start running program was to get out there, run, and improve my overall fitness through cross training…
- Cross train. For the first 3 years of my running career I only ran. I would go to the gym occasionally but my focus was on running. I was over 200 pounds and needed to lose weight. Running was NOT helping me lose weight. Once I added in cross training running got SO much easier and cross training took up a lot less time than running.
- Don’t give up. Like i have said multiple times starting a running program is HARD at first. But if you can get to the point you can do 3 miles without stopping it gets easier! I PROMISE!
- Sign up for races. It will keep you pushing forward and the race atmosphere is SO MUCH FUN! That is definitely what hooked me on running.
- Stop saying I am not a runner. It doesn’t matter if you run a 6 minute mile of a 14 minute mile. If you lace up your shoes and get out there YOU ARE A RUNNER!
- The first mile sucks. PERIOD. ALWAYS. AND FOREVER.
- Yoga is your friend. I mentioned that cross training is imperative. So is stretching! I teach a class call PiYo and once I started doing that once a week my hip flexors, calves, hamstrings and feet were so much happier. My stride was so much smoother and it eliminated ALL foot pain I had been having intermittently.
Alright congratulations you made it to the end of this start running tips post and didn’t run away! I promise you running is worth every hard moment there is. Something about pushing your body further than you think you can is so exhilarating!
Looking for some support as you begin your running journey? Check this out! Follow these start running tips, and you’ll get started running a lot more smoothly than I did!