Running Tips for Newbies | Back Home Again: Running Tips for Newbies

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Running Tips for Newbies

My friend Emily from Running Like A Mother is taking over the blog today!

We first "met" when she won a giveaway on the blog and you can imagine my surprise when I discovered we're from the same town! One of these days we'll have a blate, but for now I'll let her take it away...

Hi there, Back Home Again readers!

I got into running almost a year ago & man, it has been a journey! I started out just wanting to lose some baby weight after my youngest daughter was born on 12/12/12. I bought myself a treadmill and did a mile everyday. I started out with an 18:50 min/mile. For anyone that doesn’t know, that’s pretty damn slow. But I worked at it and improved my time almost every single day. I’m happy to report that my fastest mile is now 9:53 and I would love to beat that at some point this year! I’ve lost all the baby weight plus another 15 pounds. Running has become so much more to me than a calorie burn, though. It’s an outlet for me to constantly improve myself. To connect with other runners. To set goals, reach them and then set new goals. It’s time for myself, to clear my head. My running world is where I’m still “Emily” and not just “mama.” Even though I really, really, really love being “mama.”

Here are a few tips that I’ve learned over the past year that might be helpful if you’re interested in getting into running!

1. Submerge yourself in the running community. Holly and I both live in the fattest city in the United States, has she mentioned that? It’s true. So you can imagine my surprise when I discovered there is an incredibly supportive running community here! I immediately joined a couple local Facebook running groups, which helps me keep up-to-date on races and other events. There are also running clubs with meetings and group runs -- all kinds of fun stuff.

2. Get the right gear. Okay, now the “right” gear means something different for everyone. All I can do is share my essentials. First off, and most importantly in my book, is my Garmin Forerunner 10. It’s a GPS watch that tracks your distance, pace & calories. And after you get home you can upload your run to and it’ll show you even more info -- route, elevation change, splits, etc. It will store your runs and share them with your friends, if you want.

If you’re going to run with your phone or iPod, you aren’t going to want to hold them the whole time. That gets old after about a quarter mile. I personally use a Nathan Phantom Pak and I’ve been very happy with it. And speaking of phone/iPod, I also use YurBuds earbuds.  I struggled with cheap earbuds falling out of my ears while running for months and months and finally gave in. Best $30 I’ve spent in a long time - they’re amazing!

And you’re also going to need a good pair of running shoes. Head on over to your local running store and have them fit you for a pair. And just a tip, write down which shoes they suggest at the fitting, come home and price them online. It’s very possible you’ll be able to get a better deal! Running can be expensive - pinch pennies where you can!

3. Sign up for a race. It might seem intimidating at first, but register for a 5K. A 5K is 3.1 miles and it’s the perfect race for someone just starting out. There will be tons of other newbies there! Races have such a fun atmosphere.  I guarantee you’ll cross that finish line with a smile on your face. I can also guarantee that you’ll be planning your next race that very same day.

4. Don’t be afraid to walk. When I first started running, walking breaks seemed kind of taboo. Am I really a runner if I walk, too? Jeff Galloway says yes! Galloway is a former Olympian, published author and one of the biggest names in the running world. His teachings encourage run/walk intervals to help prevent injuries, even for the most advanced runners. So no, there is absolutely no shame in walking! If you run, even just short stretches at first, YOU ARE A RUNNER.

5. Only compare yourself to yourself. It’s so easy to compare yourself to others in the running world. When I did my half marathon in April, do you know how fast the winner ran it in? 1:08:57. My time? 2:52:50. I would be a very depressed person if I stared at those numbers for too long. What you need to focus on is yourself. Improving your times and reaching new goals. I’m never going to win a freaking half marathon! I know that. But someday I’ll beat my time. And then I’ll beat it again. And probably again. The only competition you should have is yourself!

Feel free to head on over to my blog for some more tips and lessons I’ve learned during my first year of running! And a big thanks to Holly for letting me guest blog today! I’m trying to get her to sign up for her first 5K this summer, so she should have some good running stories for you soon. Stay tuned for that! ;)


  1. point number 5 is great! people can run twice as fast as me and that's discouraging for sure. but really running is a competition against yourself and only yourself.

  2. Great tips and suggestions. I added this to my Pinterest page.

  3. Great tips. I remember the good o' days when we had to hold our phones/ipods while running. I hated it!

  4. Hahaha! I have an arm band for my iPod, but I have no idea where it is, so I still hold it!

  5. I have learned not to pay any attention to others. Otherwise I'd be worried about how I seem to stomp when I run!

  6. Good for you! I'm trying to walk regularly. I love it, but it's hard as I babysit, and if I don't do it the morning, I'm too tired to do it at night.

  7. Thanks for the ideas. The biggest thing for me is definitely comparing myself to others... I always feel totally inadequate and terrible... My husband is a runner and he definitely emphasizes all these things -so, he concurs!


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