For Beginners

Today’s Workout:  16.3 miles at 8:18 AP.  A fun long run in the dark with friends. ūüôā***

Please, please, please click HERE and vote for me for team refuel!  Click the link, type in my name:  Rachelle, and vote!!  Remember voting goes until Sept 15th and you can vote everyday from multiple computers.  I really really cannot even express how much your votes mean to me and if I make it to Boston I will have all of you to thank!

he adorable Ali from Running With Spatulas asked me about tips for beginning runners and I thought it would be a very beneficial topic to post about.  I know several of you out there are in the exact same boat as Ali and I myself just started running 14 months ago and can definitely relate to how you feel.  I will begin with my most favorite quote of all time.

“The miracle isn’t that I finished, the miracle is that I had the courage to start.”

Running is hard, running is scary, and honestly in the beginning running really freaking sucks!!  Stick with it because just like anything rewarding in life it is always worth it in the end.  It will get easier, you will learn things a long the way, and one day things will click and you will enjoy it and then eventually turn into a maniac like me.  Okay lets hope that never actually happens.

8 Tips For Beginning Runners 

1.  SHOES!!  I ran in my High School Nike’s for the first few months and when they wore out I went to Ross and bought a pair of shoes for $20.  The result was very sore knees which could and would have lead me to injury.  I learned (luckily before it was too late) that I over-pronate and require a stability shoe.  If you haven’t already go to closest running store, get a gait analysis done, and find out what type of shoe is right for you.

2.  SLOW DOWN!!  You’ve all heard the story of the person that hasn’t ever trained before and decides to sign up for a 5k the day of the race only to find out they would never run ever again because they had such an awful experience!!  Ease into your training and start SLOW.  If you don’t you’ll likely get injured and have to start back at square one anyway.  I would recommend increasing your distance by no more than 10% each week and I would not attempt to increase speed at all until you have built a good aerobic base. 

3.¬† BE PATIENT!!¬† I really think running is like learning a foreign language. It takes a lot of time and practice to become fluent and then once you think you’ve become fluent you realize that there is still so much more to learn.¬† As a beginner you will not be fast, you will not be able to breathe, and it will not feel natural.¬† But with time and practice you will slowly increase speed,¬†learn to control your¬†breathing and it will become more and more natural.

4.  WALKING IS OK!!  My Mom trained for a 5k in Fall of 2010 and experienced a lot of pain which eventually ended her running altogether.  This Summer when she started training for this race she eased into it and mixed equal amounts of running with walking similar to the Galloway theory.  With this approach she was able to enjoy the training, not feel overwhelmed, and continue running after the race.

5.¬† BUILD A BASE!!¬† Start slow and follow a plan like the couch to 5k.¬† When I first started¬†running¬†I couldn’t even run for 5 minutes. With time as you acclimate your body to fatigue and practice breathing you will build endurance.¬† I highly recommend running by time and not distance.¬† Rather than¬†running 1 mile try running for 10 minutes and then build a minute or two with each workout.¬† Cross training such as biking, elliptical, swimming, ect are also great for building a solid aerobic base.

6.¬† FIND A BUDDY!!¬† Finding a partner or a running club/group may be the best advice I can give.¬† Having someone to run with are share triumphs and trials will not only keep you motivated but also keep you accountable for your training.¬† If you can’t recruit a running buddy contact your local running store and ask them for resources.

7.¬† SIGN UP FOR A RACE!!¬† Signing up for a race will keep you motivated and give you a glimpse of the “fun” side of running.¬† Racing is exciting and exhilarating and¬†will give you an opportunity to meet new runners, push your limits, and reward your training.

8.¬† HAVE FUN!!¬† If you don’t enjoy running you will not stick with it and you will never grow to like it.¬† Plain and simple.¬† Pick one day a week where you go on an adventurous run or reward yourself with a new running top when you reach a certain goal.¬† If that isn’t working for you join a¬†Ragnar team¬†and that is sure to do the trick

What other tips do you have for beginning runners?

What time was your workout today?

We started our 16 miler at 4:30am!