QT: Advice for New Runners, Reminders for the Rest of Us (Best Of-ish)

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This post was originally part of Episode 202 released in January of 2016 and is more or less copy and pasted from that post. The audio, however, is a new take on the topic.

Why would I waste my time writing a post and recording a quick tip offering advice for new runners?

I mean, running is pretty simple, right?

Put on a pair of shoes, any shoe will do, and then just go run.

It’s really that simple, right?

J Law

There is a whole lot more to running than meets the eye, just like Optimus Prime.

So here are 6 pieces of advice for new runners to help them avoid some of the same mistakes that I made when I started running.

Some Advice for New Runners

Get Your Shoes from a Running Store:

This is a common new runner mistake, and it’s one I made for years  because I am a cheap bastard. But buying whatever pair of running shoes that is cheapest from wherever you can find them is not the best strategy. Getting a pair of running shoes that isn’t right for you is a good way to end up with a variety of aches and pains, and potentially some more serious injuries, and make you question running. Spend a little extra money on a pair of shoes that are right for you, and your feet/shins/knees/hips/lower back will thank you.

Speed is Relative:

This is a piece of advice for new runners AND veteran runners, but for the love of God please stop comparing your speed/race times to other people! Newsflash, there will always be someone faster than you! Always. Well, unless you’re Usain Bolt. But the day will eventually come when someone beats him too. If you’re new to running, please stop worrying about “being slow” or about how you compare to others. You’re good, I promise.

Strive for Steady Progress:

Don’t be one of those runners that goes balls to the walls for a few weeks, gets injured, takes time off to heal, comes back balls to the walls, and the cycle repeats. Maybe that’s more of a veteran runner thing, but I see it more often than I should. It’s ok to have big goals, and in most cases the best way to achieve those goals is slow and steady progress.

Be Proud:

Don’t ever be ashamed/embarrassed about where you are currently as a runner! Meaning, when someone asks about a race don’t ever say “it was only”! That’s bullshit! It wasn’t “only” a 5k. It wasn’t “only” a half marathon. You’re not “only” running an 11 minute mile. Be proud of what you achieve as you progress as a runner. Remember, speed (and just about everything else in running) is relative. The only standard you have to hold yourself up to is your own standard. Be proud of that 5k. For running that 11 minute mile. Or simply for getting out there and going for a run!

Ask Questions:

As cliche as it may be, there really are no stupid questions. As a new runner, there are things you don’t know that you’ll have to learn eventually. You can either learn them the hard way, through trial and error, or you can ask. So ask already! You can always ask me anything, and I’ll be absolutely happy to help. Feel free to hit me up on Twitter or shoot me an email at any time.

Perfection is Impossible:

This is one of those things that we all know, yet many of us still try to hold ourselves to the standard of perfection. Stop it. This little nugget applies to a lot of areas for new runners, but especially when it comes to balancing running and life. If you’re working with a coach or following some type of training schedule (like C25K) you’re going to be expected to run on certain days. And that should definitely be the goal. Don’t let yourself slack off, yet understand that there will be situations where you’re going to have to miss a run once in a while. You might have a kid home sick. Maybe you’re home sick. Maybe something at work has come up. Look, we all have things in our lives that prevent us from running from time to time. It happens. And when it does, accept it and move on.

I could probably keep going, but this is a quick tip post/episode so I should probably wrap it it up!

But seriously, if I can help in anyway, just let me know. I love coaching/offering advice to new runners, and I’m always happy to do it.

So let me know how I can help!

Some good advice for new runners, and solid reminders for the rest of us. #runchat Share on X

What is Your Best Tip for Newer Runners?

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2 replies
  1. Cara Reimann
    Cara Reimann says:

    I would LOVE to support my local running store but they don’t have shoes in my size and they won’t special order them for me. I am happy to order shoes from REI, though. I know exactly what I need and that works for me. I’m a small-statured grey-haired middle-aged (old) woman and people who work at local running stores don’t really take me seriously … but I take myself seriously and enjoy my running a lot! I do go into the stores occasionally and I’ll but some electrolytes or gel.

    Also, my one New Year resolution is to eliminate the word *just* from my discourse. 🙂

    Thanks for the great podcasts!

    • Denny
      Denny says:

      If they can’t help you with your shoes, not much you can do on that front. At least you tried!

      Thanks for the note Cara, and good luck getting “just” out of your vocabulary!


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