As many of you know I am not a pro-runner or pro-athelete by any means. Let’s be honest, when I was a kid, I usually was the last one chosen in gym class and up until a few years ago the idea of me running seemed like a totally unreachable and unreasonable goal. When people talked about “running” I seriously could not even fathom how they could run, I mean I got winded trying to run to catch my bus in the morning. The notion of running any distance whatsoever truly scared me and I genuinely believed it was something I was just not meant or “built” to do.
Until I started running that was.
In the beginning I took it slow. I joined a group of friends one summer (some who had run their entire lives and some who were just starting out like me) and we started running together. I am not going to lie the first few times were extremely difficult. I would run half a kilometer and get so winded I literally had to stop. So guess what? I walked. And after catching my breath, I would run and get back to it. Each time I ran my feet got me a bit further than they did before. One thing is certain, even though the initial runs were tough, I always felt great afterwards. I am so thankful for the first time I actually got the guts to hit the ground running because once I got over the learning hump I started to enjoy running and now I cannot imagine my life without my my morning runs. (*I talk more about how I started running here)
Here are a few tips that genuinely helped me in the beginning 🙂
Walk when you need to.
There is no shame in walking. Sometimes you need to walk to catch your breath, center yourself, smell the roses, rest your feet or whatever. In the very beginning try to begin by going for a walk and incorporate running into your walk. Every time you go for a walk, run a bit more than you did before. The purpose is to get out and move! I still sometimes take a walk break when I feel like it.
Run on a familiar path and each time go a little bit further.
This helped me a ton in the beginning. I started to recognize the sites I’d run by and each time I ran I wanted to see more. I still use this technique when I am trying to push myself a bit further in my runs. I always tell myself that if I end up going “too” far I can always walk part of the way home. And most times, you’ll end up running home anyways. And if you do walk back, it’s all good! You made it further than you did before! 🙂
Find some motivating friends to run with or join a beginner’s running group.
Running in a group is more fun and a lot more motivating than running alone. The first time I ran 5k I did it because one of my close friends was doing it with me and I did not want to stop when he could run the entire way! Running in a group also makes you accountable to more people than just yourself.
Run to music that makes you want to dance.
I love running to samba, hip hop, dance, pop, country all different genres of music that make me want to move my body and run further. Good music makes it easier to push yourself especially when getting lost in a great song!
Start thinking like a runner.
Convince yourself you can do it! In the beginning, I labelled myself as a “runner” and knew that I wanted to live up to my new title. This might sound silly to some, but convincing yourself psychologically that you are capable is half the game!
Breathe through your nose and out through your mouth.
I got this tip from a friend on my very first run and it works wonders on extending your endurance. It works wayyyy better than the old mouth breathing/panting I used to do when I tried to run.
Get the right “equipment”.
A good pair of shoes and a supportive sports bra are a must. There is nothing worse than running with a bad pair of shoes with “the girls” flying on the loose. Investing in a good pair of runners and a good bra are maybe the two best things I ever did – I promise it will be worth it!
Maybe running isn’t for you but you will never know unless you give it a genuine shot! Maybe walking, dancing or zumba are more your thing – the most important is that you are out there moving! 😀
What are some of your running tips?
These are excellent running tips especially for ones who are new to running, Caera! I wasn’t a pro athlete either and hated gym classes as a kid. I used to run for miles during my Uni years, but now I’m into walking which wasn’t too bad – and walking for hours in different cities is even entertaining! What’s your favorite workout song?
Walking for hours in different cities is the best Rika!! I love working out to all kinds of music but right now my fav. workout song is “I’m all about that Bass” – it honestly gets me movvingg!!! Happy Walking Rika! 🙂
Nicole @ Waterloo, with Love says
Love this! These are some really great tips! I just ran a half marathon last weekend and thought I’d be a little runned-out for the next little while, but this post is super inspiring! *Setting alarm for 6am tomorrow morning to go for a run!*
As for some running tips, I always prepare ingredients for a delicious smoothie before I head out so I have something to look forward to when I get home! 🙂
Congrats on your half marathon Nicole!!!!!!! That is amazing! A half is a goal of mine in the future! You are totally inspiring! I love the idea of making a smoothie for when I’m back – it is def. something to look forward to 🙂
Ahh Ceara if only I had the chance to read this a few, (hopeless) years back!! I wanted to be a runner so badly. In the end I took it easy on myself, and let myself walk…I’m still walking today!! 😉 It sounds terrible, but I haven’t got the *patience* to run. I want to run faster and faster and faster, but ofc that’s not realistic! So I get bored and take a leisurely stroll instead. So self defeating haha! These are such good tips though – especially the one about breathing! The importance of good workout music should never be underestimated. Love x
I think the power and brilliance of walking should never be underestimated 🙂 I walk everywhere and loveee my leisurely strolls! Happy Walking! <3
Awesome tips, Ceara! I remember the first time I went running with my husband and I seriously thought I was going to die! Now I can smoke him when we run together haha! I haven’t been running nearly as much the last year or so because I have so many stomach issues, but I’ve been really wanting to get back into it and I think these tips will really help!
Hope your stomach gets better and you can get back to it! <3 And that is awesome that you smoke your hubby!!
Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says
These are such great tips for new runners (and old ones like me)! No matter how long you’ve been at it, sometimes it’s hard to get motivated. I especially agree with running with dancing music! Sometimes I actually sing out loud!! lol
I love it! And I am happy to hear I am not the only one who sometimes blurts out the lyrics while running! Haha, I have caught myself doing that on more than one occasion! 😉
Catalina @ Shades of Pink says
I like the start thinking like a runner advice, that applies to me too, and that is great motivation to get me off the couch and outside.
Thanks Catalina! Happy Running 🙂
Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy says
These are such great tips, especially the one about walking when you need to. I think too many people push themselves too far and they think that by walking they are failing, but sometimes you just need to break it up with a walk.
I totally agree! I used to have the same feeling when I would sometimes take a “walk break” when I run. Now I enjoy my walk breaks once in awhile instead of beating myself up over it 😉
Andrew Charles says
Great tips for running! I need to take up running again, but once I had to start biking I have fell in love with it and have never been running or jogging ever since and that was 2 years ago. I guess it’s because I can bike 20-30 miles faster then running! I know these tips will definitely help me when I am riding 🙂
That’s great that you fell in love with biking! Biking is BIG here – it seems like everybody here was born on a bike!! Happy Biking Shundara! 🙂
Kelly - Life Made Sweeter says
These are such great tips, Ceara! I love that you took it slow in the beginning and found people that motivated you. A great pair of runners and music also help me too. There are days that I absolutely don’t feel like running but then once I get started, it’s such a great feeling 🙂
Thanks for the kind words Kelly! Music is a bit part of my run too – I don’t know if I could run without it!
These are excellent tips! One tip I read that I loved was to start adding 30-second intervals. I read it from some article written by a distance runner who like, won a ton of Iron Mans, and she said she and her friend started in college, and they could only run like 45 seconds! So they started with 30 seconds, then ran a minute, then 90 seconds, and so on.. that was so much easier to me than doing one of those couch to 5k programs, which can seem super boring at points and then adds like 6 minutes, and you’re like wtf just happened?!
I also listen to Spanish and French podcasts when I run, which TOTALLY takes my mind off the running. I swear to you. Even if I’m listening to my favorite music, I count by song and really think about the act of running. When my mind is otherwise occupied, the time flies by! Just this morning I was running by everyone going to work and they probably thought I was crazy, saying “En qué puedo ayudarle?!” over and over to myself. Hahah
I love the idea of running intervals Cheryl – it is something I need to add to my regular runs to spice things up a bit! I also think it is a great way to start as well – the beginner running programs can be super challenging for beginners!!!
And OK, I need to listen to language podcasts when I run! I am learning Dutch and I think that would be a great way to practice!
Lisa v says
Absolutely love this and I couldn’t agree more !! Another good way to start is to train on a treadmill first, if possible. 🙂
Love that tip Lisa!! 🙂 I find that especially during the winter running/warming up a bit inside helps a lot to keep warm before hitting the cold outdoors!
Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says
These are some great tips, Ceara! I sort of have a love/hate relationship with running. I don’t like running, but once I’m into it, it’s a great feeling. I love your suggestion of running with friends, too. That’s definitely a great motivating factor!
Thanks for the kind words, Gayle! I definitively enjoy it a lot more once I am “in the zone” as well! 🙂
I love this post because my husband is a gym teacher and has a total runner build! Me, not so much, but I did run my first 5 K this summer and totally agreed with all your suggestions, especially having good footwear and a good bra, you need em! And I never thought I could run ever – breathing through your nose is so essential too! What I really liked about running was that it can be an outdoor activity so I got to breath the fresh air.
Congrats on your first 5k Laura – that is awesome! I love running for the same reason – it’s an excuse to get out outside and get some fresh air! 🙂