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8 Tips For Runners Starting from Scratch

by Amanda on July 5, 2009
category: Healthy Mom,Inspiration

womenrunning Have you thought about running as a way to workout? As a way to lose that postpartum muffin top? If you want to run, you can do it! It is just a matter of wanting to do it and carving out the time in your schedule. Even if you have never ran a day in your life – you CAN run! You just need to be sure that you don’t have joint problems or any other condition where running would make your condition worse.

Myself, McKenna, Dawn and a few other friends are gearing up to run a Half Marathon in San Antonio, TX in November. My friend, Natalie, asked me what she needed to know before she started running. I pointed her to a few of our older posts here on The Mom Crowd.

McKenna ran a 5K (3.1 miles) first and she then encouraged Dawn to run her first 5K. Then Dawn took it to the next level and ran a half marathon (13.1 miles).  Here is how she prepared her for her first half marathon and her results.

I ran a 5K with McKenna the week I found out I was pregnant with my second baby. I also had the opportunity to interview my friend Kristin who lost 90 POUNDS from running. Kristin ran a half marathon last year and is planning on running another one with her husband in November.  You can check out the video below.

Here are 8 tips if you are brand new to running.

1. Know the lingo and set a goal.
In McKenna’s first 5K post she recommends to find a Fun Run in your area and register for the race. Because the race fees are usually non-refundable, you are more likely to do the race.

Here are the types of most races:
5K = 3.1 miles
10K = 6.2 miles
10 Mile Race
Half Marathon = 13.1 miles
Marathon = 26.2 miles

2. Have a good pair of running shoes.
Your feet and your joints will thank you! Saving your body is worth the price of a new pair of shoes. An article for beginners on RunnersWorld.com says, “Cross-trainers, aerobics shoes, and other athletic foot–wear don’t have enough cushioning to handle running’s impact–nor does the pair of running shoes you wore two years ago. Buy new running shoes, or you risk getting injured.”

3. Stretch, Stretch, Stretch before and after your run.
Set a stretching routine that you can follow every day. Don’t ever skip stretching, unless you want to pull a muscle. Additionally, stretching after you run will help with soreness. I really dislike stretching after I run, because I just want to be done. So I only do three stretches when I am done: touch my toes, stretch my quads and my calves. For me, these are the 3 areas that I will most likely be sore later. Here is great post with stretching suggestions! (Thanks TimeOutMom.)

4. Start small and build up your strength and endurance.
You can start running in intervals while running and walking. Go for 30 minutes by doing a 1:4. This means that you run for 1 minute, then walk for 4 minutes. You do that same pattern 6 times until you have completed 30 minutes. Then the next week you can do 2:3. Running for 2 minutes and walking 3 for 30 minutes. You keep up this pattern until you can run 30 minutes straight.

If you decide that you want to start running without any walking, then you can start with a short distance. Only do a quarter of a mile until that quarter of mile gets easy. Then, do a half mile until a half mile gets easy. And so forth. Eventually doing 3 miles will be easy!

5. Take rest days.
You need rest days! Sometimes we want to come out of the gate fast and workout every day, but your body needs recovery days. While you should maintain a minimum of 3 runs a week, you also shouldn’t run every single day. MarathonRookie.com says:

You should not run every day. Your body needs to rest between runs so it can recover from one run to the next, getting stronger between each run. Nutrition and eating the right foods at the right time also play a vital role in recovery. Take recovery days equally as serious as your running days.

6. Have accountability and support.
Doing a race with friends will help you stay accountable. You can cheer each other on during the training weeks. Text your friend and see if they ran that day. You also need the support of a spouse or friend to help you watch the kids when you go on runs. You can also join a training or running group.

7. Run for a cause.
Need some inspiration to run? Run for a cause. If you run a half marathon or a full marathon you can sign up with an organization and help raise money to support their cause. Angie ran a marathon and raised 4,536 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in honor of her father. She claims that she is not a runner. If you need some inspiration for running read her Gonna Run a Marathon Blog.

8.  Brag!
There is nothing wrong with getting on your blog, Facebook, Twitter or texting a friend to tell people that you ran that day! Knowing that I will get to update my Facebook status and Tweet my run gets me out of bed. (If you do tweet about running you can use the hashtag #momsrunning.) My friend, Dawn, also set up a blog just for the 4 of us running together to cheer each other on.

Now it is time to get out there and run! :)

More Articles About Running
Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Runner
Training For Your First Half Marathon
Six Simple Rules for Safe Runs
Train Before Your 5K Goal

Do you like to run? Have you thought about running? Have you ever completed a Half or Full Marathon? What advice would you give someone just starting to run?

- photo courtesy of justin_a_glass

5 Responses to 8 Tips For Runners Starting from Scratch

  • Gravatar July 6, 2009 @ 7:27 pm

    [...] researching for my blog post 8 Tips for Runners Starting From Scratch on The Mom Crowd on Sunday, I came across a training schedule for a marathon. I looked at this [...]

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Natalie
    July 7, 2009 @ 7:51 am

    Thanks, Amanda! This is great info. I am glad that I took a rest on Sunday. I am planning on doing that tomorrow too. :)

    Thanks for the encouragement!

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Katie
    July 7, 2009 @ 8:57 am

    I love running! Not only does it help maintain fitness, but it helps keep me balanced too. I’m much more patient once I’ve gotten in a workout or run. I’ve run 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons, and a marathon. I’m currently training to run a marathon in October and hope to qualify for Boston. For newbie runners or moms, it can seem impossible to find the time to get in a run. A running stroller can help a little with that. Also, running is so much more fun if you have running buddy (and you’ll be more likely to stick with it if you have plans to run with someone).

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Gina
    July 7, 2009 @ 10:44 pm

    What great timing…it’s like you read my mind! I just started running after about 8 years off and am having a harder time than I imagined getting back into things. My legs ache about half way thru each run – I think it’s just a strength thing. I need to focus on taking the rest days and strengthening my legs. I’m also going to take your advice about signing up for an event.

    That’s what got me into running 9 years ago. Some friends mentioned at a bar one night that they were all running a 5k the next morning at the beach. I showed up and pushed my way thru the short race and built my stamina up to 9 miles over that summer.

    Thanks for the tips and reminders!

  • Gravatar August 21, 2009 @ 1:25 am

    [...] to get rid of my post-pregnancy weight I was on board to run again. Then I was researching for this post on running I came across a training schedule for a FULL marathon and I thought, “I can do this!” [...]

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