Every day when I get a strong urge to RUN and feel the burn in my muscles and the sweat drip into my eyeballs I have to hurry and find something to distract myself so that I don’t ‘accidentally’ start running before I am fully healed. These distractions usually involve sour patch kids, ABC Family Channel shows, shopping, baking or calling my mom.
When my p.e. kids were running this morning and cursing my name for making them do something that involved them actually doing physical activity, I wanted to join them running so badly like the good ol’ days when I would boost my self-esteem by beating teenage boys in the mile. To distract myself from joining in and re-cracking that little bone known as the femur I should just write about it instead.
I get a lot of emails asking for advice about how to start running or training for their first race so here are some of my main pieces of advice and you seasoned runners reading please add on in the comments.
1. Start SMALL and embrace every victory whether it is doing the same 2 mile loop one minute faster than you did last week or jogging up a hill that you used to always have to walk up. Everybody starts at the beginning and running isn’t supposed to be easy (if it was everyone would do it). The victories would not be nearly as good if it was easy to accomplish our fitness goals. There is no better feeling than crossing the finish line knowing that the months of HARD work and dedication got you there.
2. Cross-train. Being a person that get’s hurt like no other and belongs in the freak show for cracking both femurs, whenever I focus on including cross-training, weight-training and yoga I do not get hurt. Injuries come for ME (remember, everyone is different) when I put TOO many miles in and skip out on cross-training and taking rest days!
3. Sign up for a race, that will get you motivated on those mornings that you don’t want to get out of bed and your husband is telling you that you should stay and sleep for another hour (not that Billy ever does that or anything:) I am cheap and refuse to waste money on a race that I don’t run.
Although, it was totally worth $150 for my Boston shirt right!?!?!
4. Find a training plan for your level of running. Google it, get an email coach, Runners World Smart Coach……there are SO many options, do your research and read books, blogs, magazines and learn everything you can about hydration, nutrition, training etc…..SO MUCH FUN!!!
Here is one of the marathon training plans that I used for a sub 3:15 marathon. This plan worked good for me because I was working full time, teach spin classes and was really brand new to the whole running thing. I found it off the internet and it worked for me. Note to self….no injuries on lower mileage:)
5. Fake it to make it. Just like anything hard in life sometimes you just gotta put a smile on your face and brainwash yourself that you are EXCITED and THANKFUL to be running even if it is five degrees outside, windy and you are running on two stress fractures (okay, scratch the last part of that sentence from my advice). It only takes me about a minute of convincing myself how awesome running is to change my mind and remember my love for it. The more I run, the more I love it.
6. Listen to your body. If you miss a run or two that is OKAY!! I promise it takes longer than you think to lose your fitness and if there is something hurting or aching don’t ignore it. Take some time off and if it still doesn’t feel better than go see your doc. Chocolate cake always helps on recovery days.
7. Try the walk/run method and go from there. You will get the same benefits of running (a mile burns the same amount of calories and you get the same amount of endorphins no matter what speed you are going).
8. Start a running journal. Record everything about your runs……pace, time of day, temperature, how your body felt, how your mind felt, your route etc. This running journal will allow you to see how far you’ve come, and will give you CONFIDENCE when race day comes that you did the training now it is time to run!
How old were you when you started running?
-I ran with my sister when I was 12 or 12 and then started doing races when I was 23.
What is your advice to any newbie runners/racers?
Do you have a running journal?
-Don’t make fun of my 10 cent notebook from Walmart, it does the job.
You took the words right out of my mouth. Those are really great tips! Thank You! – I played soccer growing up so does that count as running? LOL If so then I started at age 8 IF NOT then I started at 18. But didn't get addicted until the age of 27. I have a journal too!
I am so bad about cross training, but I am going to force myself to do it this training cycle!
My advice for newbies would be to consider looking for training groups in your area. I never successfully got started with running until I did the No Boundaries program through Fleet Feet (it's kind of a coached couch to 5K). The group motivated me to keep running and got me to stop being a wuss about running intervals longer than 30 seconds.
I just signed up for my first half marathon but I keep putting off getting my training plan together. Thanks for the motivation!
Randee and Angie
Great tips…and I think that shirt was totally worth $150!
Erin @ UntilYouTri
Well, I would "run" with my dad when I was a kid, but that was just around the block, haha. I always loved running as a kid, and would imagine I was a really fast horse when I was playing soccer (nerd alert! hehe I also liked horses:). I also loved racing the boys on the playground…I could always beat all of them except one who was really fast! I would also get in monkey bar competitions with them and stuff…it's like I was born uber competitive or something…jeesh. Anyway, I didn't start running "for reals" until high school when I was looking for a winter sport for the slow season of competing in riding, and joined track with a friend! I haven't looked back since!:)
Hmmm, you covered a lot of good advice, but I would just echo the starting small and celebrating every victory piece, and would add that you should not underestimate yourself! You can do anything you put your mind to!!
runs with boxers
I just started running a couple months ago and I'm 32. My brother actually challenged me to run a 5k with him and his wife on this year's family vacay in Sept, so I decided I should start now and get ready. Thanks for the advice! I will run out and get a journal/notebook. The thing that helped me a lot was to get a gait analysis–I only did that last week, but running in the right shoes is sooo great!!
I think starting slow is what I would say to new runners and to be able to know THEIR bodies, not the bodies of others! It is easy to get swept up in race fever and mirroring others training, and not realizing where you are at and what you need!
I ran the first time in cross country in High school. I despised running, but then to stay conditioned for softball, I ran in the fall and was HOOKED.
MelPeabody @ Green Mountain Runner
I need to get a journal. Lately I have not been feeling confident in my training and am having some serious doubts about a race in two weeks. EEK. I think a journal will help so that I can flip through and trust the work I have put in is enough! Awesome advice too! I started running in middle school on the track team, and then HAD to run for field hockey and lacrosse for high school. After that though I hardly ever ran, didn't enjoy it at all since running was our punishment in high school for losing a game! However, now I don't view it as punishment and totally love it. I started my love affair almost two years ago now!
Um, I'm starting to think I need to cross train. I don't know HOW tho, I don't want to join a gym (I'll never go.. been there, tried that), don't have a pool to swim at (which I'd really like to do), etc. Sigh.
great tip tho!
my little celebration
I'm really no expert like Janae here, having only run two races myself. BUT, I'd say good music is big for me, as well as listening to my body, having good running shoes and cross training frequently, especially cycling. Cycling makes my legs SO strong and is such a good cardiovascular workout. When I'm doing it consistently (usually in the form of spin class) it seems to help me power through longer runs with less effort.
Happy running all! I had a good little 4 mile run today and it felt so good! No knee pain or anything. I was one happy, schwetty girl!
This is all really great advice. You are wise beyond your years :). I started running when I was 12, which now means that I have been running for 15 years and typing that always makes me feel old.
All great advice!! I am a newbie runner who was training for my first 5k when a stress fracture happened. Oh well. Dr. put me on rest until race day (which is out of state) and when I get back I have to get more x-rays done! Not so fun, but I hope the rest will be worth it come race day!
OMG-Did you really run a sub 3:15 off of a peak of 30 mpw!!! Holy Smackaroondog-you are a SUPER freak in a really nice freakish sort of way…..
Really great tips here Janae! Once again using your blog to benefit others!
Oh-I have like four $150 race shirts from last year when I was injured. I pair them with a Prada bag and heels and I'm good….
I started running a tiny bit (like 1.5 miles) at age 27. I ran my first race at 32 I think.
Yes, I have a running journal. I've been more specific lately and wish I would have been in the past! A great reference!! Happy Monday girl!!
Mile Posts by Dorothy Beal
Okay so I find it semi insane that you ran a 3:15 marathon of that mileage…..
All great advice!! I have a running spreadsheet – basically same thing as a journal but I find it easier to keep track of what works and doesn't work when it's all laid out in columns :)
Good for you for not running too soon!
Incredible advice Janae!!
How old were you when you started running?
I had just turned 22 when I ran my first 5k.. it took me 42 minutes. I really started running after that race.
What is your advice to any newbie runners/racers?
Tell people you're a runner. Having other people to ask you about your running keeps you accountable.
Get fitted for shoes, buy good socks, and buy running clothes. I was wearing cotton tee shirts and boys basketball shorts before I realized how much better I felt in running clothes, and how much more comfortable they are to run in.
Run your own race. I'm guilty of comparing my times to all of these amazing bloggers, friends, people next to me at the gym. Once you pick a training program that works for you, make it fit what your body can handle and work to challenge yourself.
Do you have a running journal?
Yes! It has old school Barbie on it and I got it for like $3 at tj maxx. If I treadmill run I take a picture with my phone so I can record it later. I make sure to write down what I've eaten before so I can see how that affects how I feel.
Great advice!!!!! I'm a new runner, so I've loved reading any tips that anyone might have for me!!! :D
I started running when I was 36 and I did a run/walk with my daughter. It was a struggle at times but we felt amazing when we finished our half.
I'm still working on loving running but I find when I have signed up for a race I am much more motivated to train.
I still consider myself a beginner but my advice is not to compare yourself with others. Most of us aren't going to win Boston (or even qualify for that matter) but we are still atheletes and can improve.
No running journal. I start hardcore training for my marathon in June so I'll try it then.
Wealth is Health
I have been running since I was 16, but I have not gotten serious about it until this year when I ran my first half marathon. I definitely support the revel in little victories… I have come a long way from not being able to run more than two blocks at a time (more of a mental thing, than physical) to my half marathon. Take in every moment!
I started running when I was in 5th grade, and I think did my first 5k that year too. I continued to run and do races for 2 more years before I quit and began cheerleading until I graduated from high school. I just got my running bug back this year and I love it! I just ran my first 12k yesterday, which was the furthest race I've done so far:) Can't wait for longer distances.
I was 22 when I ran my first race! I ran track in middle school though, and for fitness during college. but I don't think that counts to me anymore since training for races is so different and I take it so much more seriously now!!
I'm going to a running group at my work tomorrow at noon for the first time!! I hope it helps get me motivated and run faster!
Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife
Great tips! I started running when I joined the field hockey team in 9th grade….and hated it.
Now I've run several races including a sub 4 marathon. :)
Great tips! So ironic that while your students were cursing you for making them run, you were wising that you COULD run!!
I started doing races five years ago but not legitly under a year ago. I am lurvee. The training journal is my favorite part of running. It makes me feel great about running? When you start running again you should look into dailymile.com. It's like the facebook/blogging version of running! You'll love it!
Great tips! You were meant to be a teacher :) Got anything for post-race rest/training? I just finished my first half yesterday.
I started running in 9th grade when the soccer coach told me I didn't make the team but that I was really good at running. He introduced me to the cross country coach that day. So through tears I started my new passion. that was in 1996 and I haven't stopped since. I even competed on my college team.
I also use dailymile to log my runs on my blog. But I have used logyourrun.com for years.
Oh question for you, I notice you have compression socks/sleeves on in the one picture. Which ones do you recommend? The expensive ones online or cheap ones?
I use Daily Mile for my running journal. I like that it totals the mileage on my shoes, and calculates distance for my routes.
My advice to a newbie runner … buy some nice gear. It makes you feel good, and as a frugalista, I would never let some nice running shoes sit in the closet. :)
I love your Fake it to Make it advice!
I started running when I was a sophomore in HS on the track team. I'm not going to count all of the "killer" mile runs I had previously :).
I started running when I was 16 or 17, fell completely in love with it, and haven't quite since. I even got the awesome opportunity to run xc in college.
My advice to a newbie runner – Don't be afraid to start SLOW and gradually build your miles. Also, be nice to yourself. Not everyday is going to feel great and that is okay! It makes the really good days completely awesome! P.S. love your advice about "faking it." It really does help!
I have been running since I was 10 years old when I wanted to get a better time in the mile at school.
Definitely start "small" and don't increase your mileage by more than 10% each week!
Great post! I started running when I was 12 with my Dad, he was a runner. Funny, I did not like it as much when I was younger and now I love it.
Advice, follow training plans…don't think you are a superhuman and can run through pain and fatigue. I am horrible about listening to my body but slowly getting better.
Amanda @ Running with Spoons
Janae! Thanks for all these tips, girl! As someone just starting out on their journey with running, I'm often intimidated by all the hardcore runners out there in the blog world, and I always wished someone would talk about how they went from barely being able to run 1 mile to running 10 a day. And it's frustrating because the progress seems so gradual that if I don't stop and think "hey, I couldn't do this a few weeks ago", I won't even notice it.
I probably should start to write down my runs and exercises. I have a book that's perfect for that. I love the tips! I've been running for over 3 years now but there is still so much for me to learn. :-)
I was 35 when I started running, and now…5 months later! i can run a half marathon (slowly) once a week! I started with a mile and just increased slowly. My biggest tip to increase miles was to run only 3-4 days a week. I tried to run daily shorter distances and it actually made it harder. Once i decreased to 3-4 days I started doubling my distances and super duper increased pace! Oh and cross train like a mutha-you know what-a. Swim, bike, weights, and sleep!
I love these tips….I've just started running within the past few months, and I have definitely been finding that running is just as much mental as physical!
Yay a running post, love it! I definitely agree with your tip to embrace every victory no matter how small. I've been running since I was 13, but I still appreciate every run and every race!
Great advice! I never really ran before until about 9 years ago. I tried the Couch to 5K Program and that did the trick. It taught me to run. Now I'm about to run my first half marathon in 3 weeks!
I only just started running in January 2009 when I decided to quit smoking and my goal was to just keep pushing. I did a walk/run program, starting with walk 2 min/run 1 min until I worked up to running 30 minutes straight, at that point it was only 2.5 miles but I was proud of myself and the more I wanted it, the more I did and you just have to push yourself and remember that you can physically do it, but the question is can you mentally do it?!
My sister has just gotten up to running 1 mile straight and I am super proud of her, she plans to do her first 5k in June.
katie @ KatieDid
i started when i was 11 to train for skating, and i did my first 5k when i was 12. i remember "training" for it with a few very painful 2 mile runs with a friend. its so crazy to see what can change in 9 years; i'm doing my first marathon in 2 weeks now at age 20! i've done all sorts of race distances in between, i just love it! and i love reading your blog about it too :)
I was 41 when I started! for real.
advice: start slow and work on being able to run longer rather then faster. and dont stop when it gets hard.
blog is my journal
Lindsay and James Cotter
i just started a running journal because of amanda and you! love it. I also am a huge advocate of cross training. So good to keep those other muscles trained. Great post woman!
I have also been running since I was about 12! My advice would be running is mental. Tell yourself you can do it, because you can!
I am so excited that you posted this training schedule on here! I'm hoping to run the Top of Utah Marathon this fall. I've been fighting an IT Band problem that has been so frustrating. I'm hoping to finish the Wasatch Back and still have time to rest and train properly for the marathon (even if I have to take it easy and not try to qualify for Boston on my first ever marathon). These are great tips! I'm so thankful for not only your advice, but also for your love of the sport. It's amazing!
Also, I just started running in February of 2010, so almost a year and a half! The first time I ran, it took me 15 minutes to go a little less than a mile. It's incredible to see how far I have come in such a relatively short amount of time.
Run. Learn. Repeat.
Thanks for posting that marathon plan! It's different than any one I've used before, and I think I would like to try it! I usually do the 5-6 days of running, but I like the extra rest days in this one! I think I would do better with some extra rest. It's just a matter of convincing myself that. If you can do it, I can do it! Great post!
Such good tips! You really are my hero so anything you tell me to do, I will do it. I didn't start running until I was 27. Hated anything that had to do with it until then. And now I can't get enough.
The running journal is a great idea! maybe i need to start one! :)
I'm about to start training for my first full marathon… I'm excited! :) I need all the advice I can get! :)
I started running from time to time as a workout method last spring, so right around my 20th birthday. I started really focusing on my running at the beginning of this year, though.
Great post! I have tried to get into running for awhile now. Hopefully this time it clicks :) I think I just have to keep getting out there! I did the run/walk method today and ran 4ks. Not too shabby nice I just started running again last week. I just have to stick.with.it.
Every time you mention sweating out of your eyeballs I'm going to recommend that you try Bikram yoga. One day I know you will (if you haven't already). And when you blog about it I might get so excited that I throw up a little bit. I know what you're thinking…"That's a really weird and disgusting thing to say." But I used to have a pet bird that did, in fact, throw up when he got excited. Okay, it's probably best that I end this comment before you block me from your blog.
Oh you have such great advice! I love it! I started running when I was 15.. Unless soccer counts, then 8! :) I didn't race until I was in high school though.. My first 5k! Woohoo!
My only advice would be to run to enjoy it, and not as a chore! It's so much more fun that way! Do it for fulfillment!
I don't have a journal, but think I will start one when I can run again!
Got some fro yo tonight and thought of you! Yummy!
Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner)
These are AWESOME TIPS Janae!! Wish I'd read them when I was starting out!!
Biggest piece of advice would be to NOT ignore pain and just keep training through it!! Never ends well…! :P
I was…15 I think when I started running…? And my running journal is my LIFE! Mine was cheapo and boring too so I stuck quotes and inspirational runner pics on it:)
Great advice!!! I didn't know you used a Smartcoach plan for your first marathon! Did you Smartcoach for you other marathons as well? Just curious! You seem to know what you're doing! I have the hardest time choosing a good marathon training plan! It's such a tough decision! Theres so many different ones out there too!
Neon Blonde Runner
I recommend using the Runner's World online running log, it's WONDERFUL!
It helps you keep track of running and cross training.
And it tracks the number of miles that you put on your shoes! (keep it below 400-500 miles, right?)
I just started running. At the age of 28. I had always thought and said that I just couldn't run. When in reality, I just didn't know how to get started.
The couch to 5K program really worked wonders for me. As a new runner, I needed something structured that would start me slow and build over time. I also downloaded an app for my iPhone that would prompt me when to run and when to walk on the program.
I'm now in week 9 (the last week) of the program and am running 3 miles at a time! This is something I never thought I could do, but it feels awesome. My best advice is to find and stick to a training program and remember that running is also very mental. Positive self-talk has gotten me a long way!
My sister and I just celebrated a victory yesterday–she's doing the Couch to 5K program and she ran her first nonstop mile yesterday!!! SO EXCITING!!!!
I've been running since probably 22, but first 5k at 23. But soccer in middle school & college.
I love the tips & I especially love the $150 race shirt! Soooo worth it. ;)
I have a running journal on my Galaxy tab. I'm surprised you haven't moved from your notebook to your ipad!
I think the most important thing to remember about running is that you don't HAVE to do it. There's a difference between pushing yourself and punishing yourself. It's ok to take some time off and reevaluate your love for running. If you keep going despite not wanting to, running can become a resentful action. Take time and remember why you love it. You'll come back invigorated and stronger than ever.
I started running in January 2007, ran my first 5K in October 2007 and will be running my 3rd marathon & hoping to BQ in less than 2 weeks!!
My advice; start slow and get the right shoes!!
I keep a journal. I log everything single bit of running and exercise I do.
Right on. When i ran my 3:20 i peaked at 40 MPW. Too many people run the race before they even hit the starting line:) Trust yourself, add some CORE to your program and you are good to go. And keep on the red meat, good heme iron:)
started running at age 26
Jess @ Blonde Ponytail
THIS is a FANTASTIC, infomative post thatall runners can benefit from! I think you need to link it to your tabs at the top=! :)
CROSS TRAINING is key. The plan I just used called for it and though my muscles hurt me in the race, my joints are A-okay.
You are just so awesome! I've ran several marathons and I'm just now getting over an injury and starting training for a marathon in July and I still find all of your advice very useful.
I just gotta say that I am totally inspired by your love of running and think you are totally adorable and I am wishing every day that your femurs recover soon so you can get back to lighting up the races with your smile!
You are supa-dupa fast!!! OMgosh. When I grow up, I wanna be just like you. ;)
juicy couture outlet
The way you write, you are really a professional blogger….
So I was just being a total creep… reading some of your past posts:) After looking at your training plan I think I might try out the lower mileage plan to help prevent injury. Frustrating that you cant make your body go the mileage you want it to huh!?:) Also – I was wondering what size you got in the Under Armour Tank… I went to buy one and all the comments say they run really really small?
Karla @ Finding My Fit
I’m going to do the Chicago Marathon next fall… I know it’s still a LONG way away but I love training plans and writing it down to a T so I’ve been browsing. This one looks perfect for what I want/need :)