Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tips for New Runners

Hi ya'll! Lauren here. Today I wanted to offer some tips for those who are new to running and looking to get into it. I first started running (for fun and not just for a high school sport) around my junior year of college. I am the type of person that likes to have a goal, and I knew that if I signed up for a half marathon, I would have to stay motivated to train! Since then I have run 4 halfs and hope to do many more. I have come to truly enjoy running. If you would have told my high school self that I would actually compete in races, I would have told you that you were bananas. But I love it! Anyone out there can run races as long as they train right.
Me & Hubs after our first half,
Run the Rockies. Rainy! June 2010
Crossroads Half with my father-in-law,
the morning after I got engaged! September 2010
Me & Kenz after
the Horsetooth Half- April 2011

Erin, Kenz & myself before
the Rock N Roll Half-October 2011
Here are some of my tips for newbies:

Seriously, its all about the shoes. I trained for my first race with some random worn out pair of old Nikes I had. And I wondered why I was getting shin splints?! After getting advice from my father-in-law (a former marathoner), I went to a running specialty store and got fitted for the Asics Nimbus. They solved my running pains and I will never buy a different brand. But everyone's feet and stride are different, so go to a nearby running store and get fitted.

I also try to save these shoes only for running and use a different pair if I'm doing a different type of exercise, that way the shoes form to the way my feet move when I run. I also get new shoes everytime I start training for a new race. The shoes may not look worn out, but the soles and suport are definitely shot after months of training.
Like running on clouds

I think a big mistake that new runners is make is to try to go too far too quickly. It is easy to get discouraged if you try to run 4 miles right off the bat and feel like you are going to die and can't walk the next day. Who wants to do that again? Celebrate the fact that on your first day you were able to run half a mile without stopping!
Yeah 2 miles!
Then slowly add distance to your runs. It will help your body get acclamated and keep your mind engaged. What goes along with this is...

  • REST
Rest is so important and absolutely vital for our bodies! I would not recommend running on back-to-back days when starting out. Give your muscles and joints a chance to recover and replenish before you pound the pavement again. When I get into the long distance runs during my training (usually done on Saturdays) I don't run the day before or the day after. That way I know I am rested and will have the energy without getting burned out, and allow myself to recover afterwards.

Maybe not quite like this...

Add caption
You may have heard of the Jeff Galloway method of training. This was another recommendation given to me by my father-in-law, and boy am I glad he told me about it! It is pretty simple: break up the run into shorter segments with walk breaks. It has fully changed my training methods, and is another good way to ease into running. I started out with a run 7 minutes/walk 1 minute method, gradually adding an additional minute of running until I was doing around 20 minute run/1 minute walks. I have also run races this way. While I admit it feels weird at first taking a walk break 10 minutes into a race, it feels amazing passing burned out runners in the last mile! I have also run races without the method, but because I trained this way I felt much more confident and prepared. If nothing more, it at least helps you overcome the mental blocks of running knowing you get a walk break in 7 minutes rather than trying to wrap your head around running for 30 minutes straight! Here is a link for more information: http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/walk_breaks.html
When training for a half-marathon, I try to give myself at least 10 weeks to train. This way I know I will have enough time to slowly increase my runs without overdoing it and running the risk of injury. If you are a new runner, I would give yourself even more time to train. Here is a link to the training plan I use for a half marathon: http://www.marathonrookie.com/half-marathon-training.html

  • Most Importantly, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
I myself am guilty of not doing this well. If your muscles are sore or your body is exhausted, give yourself a break. Skipping a run one day is NOT going to ruin your training plan. Its better to skip what would have been a terrible workout and rest than to risk injury. Or try a lighter form of cardio, such as walking, or the recumbent bike. Stay healthy and do what is best for YOU!
Live Healthy

1 Tim. 4:8 "For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come."


  1. I agree with everything this hottie said above. She knows her stuff. I am proud of you ladies for starting this blog and inspiring others around you.

  2. Nick, you are so cute. Love this post, Lo & especially the cutie pie picture of you 2nd from the top. Let's run soon!