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Newer to Running FAQs

Keep these tips in mind when training for your 1st 5K, or your first race in a long time:

  1. Even if you’ve been physically active, you haven’t been running so you’re not in running shape yet. Take it slow and EASY. You’re ligaments, muscles, and bones need a chance to get stronger before you do more. Don’t be discouraged if you feel tired. You’re doing something your body isn’t used to. It won’t always feel hard. This is why my plan has walk breaks built into it.
  2. Getting started is the hardest part. It takes A LOT of energy to start anything new. This plan is purposefully a little on the easy side at the beginning. The hope is to rack up small wins for you, then psychologically you’ll feel more confident and ready to tackle more challenging workouts later.
  3. Don’t stretch! (Before a run that is.) You’ll want to checkout my video post on a pre-run warm-up. Standing and doing a traditional static stretch will diminish performance and not actually prepare your muscles for work.
  4. Start your run slow, so that you can finish strong and with better effort. You’ll be practicing self-discipline, and building the routine of finishing stronger than you started.
  5. Sprinkle in your runs throughout the week. Talk to any chiropractor and they’ll tell you that they are packed Monday seeing Weekend Warriors. You can’t cram in runs like cramming for a final exam. To get the best bang for your buck, run a little all week long.
  6. At minimum, try to run/walk for at least 30 minutes 3 times a week. As you eventually get stronger, you can do more. But even if you can’t do 30 minutes, 15 or 20 minutes is better than nothing.
  7. Most people begin running in the summer. That beautiful weather you enjoy on the back deck becomes a death march when you run in it. Try running in the morning, or at night when the sun isn’t overhead. Although, you’ll probably sleep better if you run in the morning.
  8. The best part of starting a running program is getting new shoes! Make sure you get to a specialty store and talk to an expert there who will be able to fit you in a pair that will serve you for about 400 miles. Plan on spending $70-110. Be sure to only use these shoes for running.
  9. Don’t be embarassed about your speed, fitness, or shape. People who see you running will wish they had the discipline to do it. Other runners will be able to tell that you’re new, but they’ll be happy for you that you’re starting. The running community is a very encouraging place, don’t let your negative self-talk get in the way.
  10. Sign-up for a race. There is nothing more motivating than a deadline.

Congratulations for starting! Now stop thinking about it, and just go do the next step. Buy a pair of shoes, go to bed a little early, and get up for a run. You’ll be surprised how much you change inside and out even after a month of consistent training.