Good morning! I have a guest post for you today! I am constantly looking for new and inspiring blogs to read, and I’m sure you are too! I have some oldy but goodies that I love reading daily, but I have some new ones that I’ve just become acquainted with.
I am so excited to bring you a guest post from a new blog each week! Today’s submission is from a new-to-me blog, Run With No Regrets. Please visit and get to know her! You will be so grateful you did.
How to Start Running – The Ultimate Guide
Hi, I’m Janelle and I blog at Run With No Regrets – a space for runners, fitness junkies and those committed to living a healthy life, all with a positive attitude! I am so happy to be participating in Tourist Tuesday as a guest blogger for Denise!
If you’ve always wanted to give running a try but have found yourself too scared, overwhelmed, or simply too busy to commit, here’s your ultimate guide for how to get started and stick with it!
How to Start Running – The Ultimate Guide
Step 1 – Determine Your Goals
Why do you want to start running? Are you looking to shed a few pounds? Do you want to share a healthy activity with family or friends? Are you simply looking for a challenge and want to run a marathon? It’s important to identify your goals so that you have a plan and direction for where you want to take this new running activity. Goals should S.M.A.R.T.:
For example, “In 4 months I want to run my first 10 mile race by training 3 days a week”.
Step 2 – Create a Schedule
Can I be honest? I am a complete procrastinator! I love running, but if I don’t put it in my schedule, there’s a good chance that I won’t do it! And I’ve been running for years now!
If you’re like me, creating a running schedule could be the secret to your success. Based on your goals, determine how much time you want to spend running. Can you commit to 2 days a week? Five days a week? The more time you dedicate to running, the faster you’ll improve.
Do you like working out in the morning? After work? On weekends? Be realistic and give yourself times to run that will be easy for you to follow through. Don’t set yourself up to fail by scheduling an evening run on the busiest day of your week! It’s all about balance.
Step 3 – Buy Your Running Shoes
It’s very important to make sure that when you start running you’re wearing the RIGHT shoes for your feet. While you may have gotten away with grabbing a random cute pair of Nike’s from FootLocker, the best place to go is a local running specialty store. Check out Yelp.com to find out what stores are near you and gets great reviews.
I’ve written a step-by-step process of how to buy running shoes, but here’s the lowdown:
- Know your budget in advance. Running shoes can be very expensive, sometimes up to $200! Don’t let a salesperson push you into buying shoes that you cannot afford, and know that you don’t have to buy that same day!
- Get fitted by a salesperson. Answer their questions and let them watch you walk to determine the type of shoes you need. Also make sure that you let them know your running goals, so that you have the right kind of shoes for the distances you plan to run.
- Run around the store or on a treadmill before you buy! Since they’re running shoes, you need to know how they feel when you actually run! Many stores have treadmills that you can use to make that final decision.
- Know that if you don’t like them after you buy them, you can take them back. Most running stores will give you 30 days to return your shoes if they don’t work for you. Don’t feel bad about it, just find another pair and go through the process again!
Step 4 – Go on Your First Run
Now that you’ve got your running shoes, lace them up and get ready to run! You can decide whether you want to run by distance (say 1 mile) or by time (30 minutes). The treadmill is a great way to get started with running because it does the thinking for you. Start up with a 5 minute warmup walk, then gradually increase the pace until you’re running! See how it feels and go as far as you can, then cool down for a few minutes back to a walking pace. You can even start out with run/walk intervals if you find that more comfortable! You want to be able to go at a pace where you can still talk easily. If you find it hard to speak, you’re going too fast!
Step 5 – Keep Running!
Running is all about patience and persistence. If that first run was hard, don’t give up! You may have been going too fast, or you may not have been feeling your best. Give it another try. See if you can improve the way you ran, the way you breathe. This is where you really become a runner! Maybe try going for a run outdoors at a park or in your neighborhood. Find music or a podcast to listen to that pushes you to go the distance. Tell your friends and family about your goals so that they can encourage you! The hardest part about running is getting started. If you can get to Step 5, you’ve really made it far…so keep going!
Step 6 – Sign Up for a Race
You’ve been running according to your schedule and after a few weeks or months you’re really starting to get into this running thing! So why not take the leap and sign up for your first race? You can start with a 5K fun run or even prepare yourself for a marathon! It’s up to you and those goals you gave yourself back in Step 1! Look online to see what upcoming races are in your area and take the plunge! Active.com is a great resource! And maybe you can encourage others to join you!
Step 7 – Follow a Training Program
In order to be successful for your race, you’ve got to have a plan. There are so many training plans available for first time runners. Here are some resources that are highly recommended:
Take a look and see what works for you. Then all you have to do is follow the plan and get ready to race!
Step 8 – Write It All Down!
When you’re training, it’s so important to keep track of your runs and to monitor your progress. You can easily grab a pen and pad and keep a training notebook, or you can check out one of the many apps available on Android or iPhone:
You can also invest in a running watch to track your paces and distances. Note that these can get pricey, so if you’re not ready to commit, it may be best to stick to using an app on your phone! Here are some brands of GPS running watches that may be worth a try:
Step 9 – Run Your Race
You’ve trained for the race, you’ve tracked your progress…time to run! Do your best and be proud, no matter what your finish time is! My biggest piece of advice for running a race is to never start out too fast! Remember that you’ve trained and that you’re ready! Depending on the race, feel the pride of receiving that race medal!
Step 10 – Keep It Up, You’re a Runner Now!
You did it, you’re officially a runner now…congratulations! Hopefully you’ve made it to this point and you’ve fallen in love with running! Now it’s time to keep it going, this is just the beginning of your running journey!
Running is such a rewarding activity and takes a lot of hard work, dedication and patience. Hopefully this guide gives you everything you need to know for how to get started running. There will be times where you have a bad run, where you will get discouraged, and if you’re not careful, you could get hurt. But as you embark on this journey, you’ll learn a lot about your body and yourself! I hope you give running a try! Let me know if you have any questions!
If you are interested in learning more about the joys and trials of being a runner, I’d love if you check me out at Run With No Regrets. I share tips on race training, injury prevention, healthy eating, and lessons learned with new fitness challenges. You can sign up for my newsletter, or find me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter!