Tips for New Runners

I often forget what it’s like to just get started in running.  After seeing a woman running in place at a stop light, I felt this post was necessary.  These are a few of my personal tips for newbies.

1.  Cotton is rotten.
  Buy dri-fit type, sweat wicking material to run.  Cotton does not breathe at all.  If you are just starting out and don’t have a lot of money, Target makes inexpensive workout clothes.  You will eventually get PLENTY of race shirts that will be great for training.  And since it is winter, don’t overdress.  You will warm up on your run.  It’s quite warm here in the South and I rarely need really warm running clothes, so I can’t guide those of you who don’t live in Atlanta.  So here is guide from Runner’s World.  You can put in the temps where you live before you head out to get an idea what to wear.

2.  Get fitted for running shoes.
  Take the time to go to a running store and get “tested” for shoes.  DON’T just buy what is cheap at the super-sized sports store.  The peeps at running stores are trained to get you in the correct shoe.  They will have you run on a treadmill and watch to see if you pronate.

3.  Find a training plan or buddy.
  I started on my own (but would’ve loved a buddy) and followed Hal Higdon’s training.  I already had base mileage, but if you don’t, try a couch to 5K program.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed without a plan.  This gives you structure, a goal, and a way to track your progress.  I kept my plan on the fridge and highlighted each day when I finished the training.  Another great place to track your mileage and meet new friends is dailymile.

4.  Sign up for a race.
  I personally skipped all distances and went straight for the 1/2 marathon.  Not necessarily the way to go in my opinion because I was clueless at my first race and knew nothing about bibs, corrals, etc.  Sign up for a 5K or 10K and have a goal in place.  Speaking of bibs, they go on the FRONT of your race shirt.  I sadly see many runners with their race number on the back because they don’t know any better.

5.  Stretch and strengthen.
  Take time to stretch (static stretches) after your run.  I personally try to stretch during my run as well–I will run for about a 1/4 mile and then do dynamic stretches.  On your non-running days-lift weights.  Do squats and lunges.  It will help build up your muscle and make you stronger!

6. Don’t run in place.
  What sparked this post.  Don’t run in place at traffic lights.  You just look silly.  It doesn’t do anything to help with your run, honestly, you could hurt yourself.  If you feel the need to do something while waiting, stretch.  

Are you a new runner?  If you are a “seasoned” runner, what are your tips?

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