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Beginner Running Tips

5 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before I Started Running

When I first got into running, I experienced everything from painful blisters to chafing to unsupported bosoms — no wonder I hated it. I wish someone had sat me down and told me these basic tips and tricks to help smooth my transition from nonrunner to runner. If you're just starting out on your own journey pounding the pavement or treadmill belt, here are things you should know about running.

It Gets Easier

As with most things, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. To strengthen your muscles, acclimate your heart and lungs, and increase your endurance, run at least three times a week. Start off with a doable distance such as two miles. Once that distance feels good, gradually increase your mileage. The key is to move at a comfortable pace for a reasonable amount of time. If you do too much too soon, you could end up with an injury or a deep hatred for the sport.

You Don't Have to Wear Two Sports Bras

If you're well-endowed, running can be painful. I wore two sports bras for the longest time because I couldn't find one that prevented the uncomfortable bounce. A cheap cotton sports bra from Target just won't do. You might have to spend $50 or more, but it's worth it when you only have to wear one bra you trust.


Don't Skimp on Gear

For my first run, I picked up a $25 pair of sneaks and a pack of cheap cotton socks and wondered why I had screaming blisters. You don't need a ton of gear, but what you do need, you shouldn't skimp on. Spring for a trusty pair of well-fitting sneaks ($60-$120), a good pair of wicking socks ($10-$15), a super supportive sports bra ($30-$70), a seamless tank and long-sleeve to prevent chafing ($20-$40), and a lightweight pair of running shorts or tights to avoid wedgies ($20-$40). Technical gear specifically designed for running makes a huge difference and could make or break your new running career.

There Are Apps to Chart Your Run

I often drove running routes in my car to figure out mileage until my hubby introduced me to the wonderful world of iPhone running apps. The GPS not only keeps track of your distance, but it'll also chart your workout time, pace, calories burned, and elevation and give you a map of your run. Being able to track your workout might motivate you to keep going so you can beat your personal records.

Running Outside Is Harder Than the Treadmill

My power was out one morning — meaning no treadmill time for me — so I decided to run outside instead. It was so much harder! The real hills, the uneven terrain, the wind, the sun, the heat — it all makes running tougher than it already is. But I'll tell you, once I started running outside, I saw a huge improvement in my strength and endurance. I even lost the five extra pounds I could never quite shake, and my muscle definition was noticeable to others ("Damn, look at your calves!"). I know people are in love with their treadmills, but I wish someone suggested I run outside because the difficulty made me a better runner.

JillAdams3 JillAdams3 2 years

I've been power walking for about 5 years and decided to move up to running. I'm so glad that I did. It's challenging, but so worth it.

cosmoslyn cosmoslyn 2 years

currently I own sketchers, but they seem ok

cosmoslyn cosmoslyn 2 years

any favorite brands?

cosmoslyn cosmoslyn 2 years

how about the shoes? I hear you have to change them often

kelleyrachaelm kelleyrachaelm 4 years
I'm with the last post! I wish someone had told me outside was easier than the boring treadmill! In my first few months of running I was on a treadmill and actually became scared of not being able to run outside. When I finally did I was faster, less tired, and wanted to go further! Just preference I guess.
hmineer hmineer 4 years
Actually, I think running outside is MUCH easier than the treadmill. And I'm a beginner! I can run a good hour outside and feel good. On the treadmill, I can only run about 30 minutes and I'm dying.
runjulierun runjulierun 5 years
Good advice! it's completely true. I became a runner back in college --to battle the dorm life of pizza and beer. It just sort of stuck and became part of who I am, (the runner part!) It was tough in the beginning. I love using google earth to plot out local neighborhood routes --this has become my latest obsession-- it's a great way to track distance or even venture into new terrain. Music is absolutely vital to enjoying a run also. It makes all the difference in the world. Running outside is most certainly the key --you won't get bored, elements make you stronger and nature is calming. Time flies when you are boosting your agility and using your senses.
bjeanne18 bjeanne18 5 years
If anyone doesn't have an iPhone and needs an Android Running App I use SoftRace and really love it! Also, I agree - running outside was SO hard at first! but now I get completely bored on the treadmill so I can only work on speed or short distances unless I'm outside - there's just so much more to look at :)
Spartygirl03 Spartygirl03 6 years
Good luck to all of you who have just started running. It does suck sometimes, and you might get injured (like I have) but it's such a great feeling to cross a finish line and it's a great activity to do with friends! Keep it up a little longer and it will get easier! That first runners high will get you hooked!
KeLynns KeLynns 6 years
awesomepants - Who knows if I'll be able to keep this up because I'm still only on week 2 of C25K, but on the last jogging part, I try running almost as fast as I can. I figure at that point I'm almost at the end so I can give it all I've got, and my hope/theory is that it will make me a better runner (not just jogger) by the end of the course.
awesomepants awesomepants 6 years
kelynns, I'm in the same boat. I hate running but I've gotten better at it since I started the C25K but the sucky part of that is that you can only jog which to me is worse than running.
Slinxie Slinxie 6 years
KeLynns, I am not a great runner by any means (and I have a love-hate relationship with it) but in the beginning you want to die...or at least I wanted to. But the more you power through it, you start to see results. Keep your shins up!
Becky-Kirsch Becky-Kirsch 6 years
Awesome post and great advice. I'd also add that having an iPod shuffle is a game changer — Not only do I need it to drown out the sound of myself sucking wind, but it's so tiny you barely notice it.
KeLynns KeLynns 6 years
Thank you. I am reluctantly starting to try to be a runner (started C25K a few weeks ago, then it got hot as balls so I stopped because no way am I running in 100 degree the plan is to actually start back up again tonight) and I need all the help and advice I can get. Even the idea of running two miles straight freaks me out right now so clearly I need baby steps.
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