Lessons For New Runners

Lessons For New Runners

This is a follow-up blog related to my Adventures In Running post I did a few weeks back. In case you missed it, I started running this summer and I have somewhat become a big fan of running, which totally surpises me! When I hit the pavement, I feel completely motivated, empowered, and just plain proud of myself! Let’s face it though, I am slow and probably look like a fool running…this pic below probably describes me the best:


As I said in my last post, I am not a runner. I have always hated running. However, not having a local gym has forced me into running outside and I have become such a huge fan! I am convinced if I can run, you can run! I thought it would be nice to share some lessons I have learned about running outside. Some experienced runners might laugh at my list, but these are just some small things I have learned about my new outdoor activity.

1. Start Small- You can not go out on your first day running and expect to run 5 miles right away. Running is one of those activiites that you have to work your way up to long distances. We have a really long driveway. When I found out that one loop around it equals .20 of a mile, I started with my driveway. When my baby naps in the morning, I would set up the monitor outside and run the drive. I started with just one mile at a time. Each morning I would run just a little longer and soon I worked my way up to 3 miles. Just keep it up, even with a short distance, and you will eventually reach the distance you want to achieve.source

2. Eat Light-Small breakfasts about 30 minutes before my run are key. I usually will just have a greek yogurt, coffee, and water. I have eaten bowls of cereal before running and I realize quickly how lots of food jiggling around in your stomach for a period of time is not fun. So light breakfast, lots of protein is key.

3. Stay Steady- A steady pace is the key to being able to run long distances, even if it’s slow.
I have found that if I keep a steady pace, I can go for longer distances and don’t tire myself out as quickly.

4. Breathe- Try to keep your breaths steady. There has been numerous studies that show improper breathing while running results in greater stress on your body. I have the hardest time breathing steadily at the end of my run. I think I get a little too excited to finish and I end up breathing sporadically and it makes the end of my runs the most difficult.
5. Survival Shuffle- source
This is a little tip from my husband, “Never stop, do the survival shuffle.” When you get tired, you just move your legs like you are running even though you are going slower than a running pace. This slow pace allows you to rest, but not give up and start walking. This has been the key to running longer distances for me.
6. Gear- I like to bring water, hat, glasses, sunscreen, and my mp3 player. I have already wrote a blog about the importance of Sun Safety, but I also thing it is very important to stay hydrated while working out.
7. Music- It’s not essential, but I LOVE running to music. source
Jog.fm is this really cool website that gives you a list of songs based off the pace you would like to run. It’s awesome! I have always had this problem where Outcast’s B.O.B (Bombs over Baghdad) will play on my MP3 player and all of a sudden I am sprinting and tire myself out. Jog.fm has allowed me to pick songs that help me keep a nice running pace.

8. Resist the Smells- This is probably one of those things that only bothers me, but smells really bother me. Sometimes I feel like being this guy: source
There is nothing that makes me sick more while running outside then the smells. Exhaust from a stinky car, really floral plants, cow manure, and so many others odors make me really sick. I remember having the same problem at a gym. I would be a machine and a really stinky guy would come up next to me and I just had to move! I avoid the smells by not running along congested roads or avoiding that house with the really floral lilacs (which I love, just not while running.) It’s one of those things that I can’t get over, but I try to avoid at all cost.

9. Track It- I LOVE my Run Keeper app on my phone. I love how it gives me reminders of my pace, how far I have gone, and tracks all my personal records. I think this has been a big motivator in my running. I love getting an email from them telling me that I have Acheived A New Personal Record. The program also allows me to track where I want to run and it will tell me the exact miles of my new path before I run it. Hands down, one of the best phone apps I have found.source

10. Try new routes- I have been running my driveway for months now and finally ventured outside of the yard a few weeks ago. I was amazed at how my time got better by almost a minute. I think it’s because I have new things to look at and to keep my focus. It gets very boring to just run in a loop all the time. On days when my husband isn’t working I try to run a different path each day.
We recently took a trip to San Franscisco and my husband wanted to run with me across the Golden Gate Bridge. We started at Ghirardelli Square and ran across the bridge and back (a total of 7.16 miles!)
By far, the longest I have ever ran! I mean sure, my time was slow, but I was so proud of myself! My husband took a ending pic of me and I like to look at it periodically to motivate myself to get out there and run!
As I said before, if I can run, you can run! All you have to do it get out there and give it a try!