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How to Start Running

how to start runningHi guys! I’m Becca and I blog over at Diary of a Slow Runner My blog is  about my adventures in running. Jennifer asked me to guest post for her and talk a little bit about to get started with running.

beccarunI started running in May 2009 and completed my first 5k the following June. Since then I have done a handful of 5ks, 10ks, 8 half marathons, and my first marathon as part of the Goofy Challenge in Disney. I never would have thought I would be capable of running the way I do now, so I am proof that if you put your mind to it, you CAN do it! Believe me, if I can, anyone can!

If you want to start running here are a few tips.

Have a plan
As a beginner runner, I feel like this is so important. You don’t want to start off too quickly with building mileage. This can result in hating running before you even have an opportunity to make it a life-long habit. I highly recommend the Couch to 5k Program. This program will work you up to running 3 miles or 30 minutes in 9 weeks. I believe there is also an app available for most smartphones to help you follow the plan. Once you “graduate” from there, try Gateway to 8k and Bridge to 10k. I did all of these, and still follow plans when training for races.

Take it slow
It is easy to get caught up in your pace and feel like you have to beat your previous time. Don’t put this kind of pressure on yourself! For a while just focus on the minutes and seconds that you are on your feet – not the miles.

Shoes, watch, go!
You only need a watch or app and a pair of shoes. There are millions of products out there for runners… GPS watches, sweat wicking clothing, Gus, compression gear, etc. It can be easy to get overwhelmed by all of it. When you’re starting out, all you really need is a good pair of running shoes and a way to track your time. Make sure to get your shoes fitted by a professional at your local running store. As for a way to track your time, any cheap stop watch will do. You can use online tools like Map My Run to map out a route ahead of time so that you know how far you are going. There are also bazillions of apps for smartphones now that will track your mileage and time. I personally like the Map My Run app.

Set a goal
I don’t know about you, but I am a goal oriented person. Setting goals for myself in running, and more specifically training for races, helps me stay motivated. Set some type of goal for your self – running a race, running a certain distance, for a certain amount of time without walk breaks, up a huge hill, etc. It may seem scary to sign up for your first 5k but I promise it won’t be as bad as you think. And you may end up addicted to the thrill of running races, you never know.

Join a running community (online or in person)
When I was first trying to figure out what all of this running business was about I joined the beginner’s forums on Runners World. For a while I just read the posts and once I got more comfortable I started posting. Being able to read about other people who were in the same boat as me and get advice from more seasoned runners was invaluable. The running community is extremely welcoming so I encourage you to join it whether it is through a local running club or an online community.

Don’t be intimidated!
Every runner had their first run. Every runner has had their struggles. You are not alone. It’s all about having a good time.

Have fun!
Running is really so much fun. Enjoy yourself. The feeling of satisfaction you can get from running is really fantastic.

I hope that encourages you to take a step into running if you thinking about it! It’s really easy to get started and a really great way to exercise and de-stress!!

Thanks for reading, and thanks again Jennifer for letting me guest post! I hope you’ll stop by my blog, Diary of a Slow Runner and say hi!

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  1. Are you tired of being tired every day? Time for a healthier life, start running with !

  2. Thanks for a brilliant blog. Starting running is always the big hurdle to overcome, but you are so encouraging. I’ve got my own blog on body fitness with comprehensive reviews. Check mine out too

  3. Samantha says:

    *Sigh*.. running.. I want to get back into shape SOOO badly! My problem is my thighs are kind of big– so whenever I get off the treadmill I always have a bit of a rash from my thighs rubbing together :(.

    I don’t have this problem when I run outside, but I get really self-conscious when I run. I feel like everyone’s watching me and it stresses me out lol!

    Do you think it’s a good idea to do work-out videos in the meantime (till my thighs get smaller) before running on the treadmill?

    Sorry for the long post lol!

    • Jenn says:

      Hi Samantha – even slimmer folks have this problem. You can get a product called Body Glide that is great to help with chafing. You can’t worry about anyone watching you. This is about YOU being healthy and not about what anyone else thinks.

      I love workout videos too. They are a great option as long as you do them. I also recommend It is only $10 a month and there is a wide selection of all sorts of home workouts. You can play them on your computer or on your TV if it has an internet connection or smart box like Roku.

      • Samantha says:

        I never knew there was a specific term for it (chafing). I’ll look into Body Glide Jenn, thank you for the recommendation! 🙂

  4. I could never agree more. Set a goal and you’d definitely able to not only start but even finish running and you’d even able to keep it up.

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