OK, it’s me Sarah writing this post because if HB wrote it:
- You would never run again.
- You would not pee yourself with laughter.
- You would skip over the actual proper technical running jargon.
- I am funnier.
- I win.
35 Beginner Running Tips
2. Shoes – A good pair of running shoes is very important. Ignore any advice that tells you to slip on your Vans and head out for a 10km run. Go to a running shop or an accredited sports shop and get properly fitted with runners that suit your feet. Yes you can be cheeky and get their expert advice and go home and buy it cheaper online but at least you will have the right pair of runners. Don’t buy the same shoe as your friend or your favourite running blogger ie Me, because chances are they will be the wrong ones.
10. Non-Runners will call you obsessed – who cares? while you’re out there in the zone on a Saturday morning long run, increasing your distance, improving your lap times they are sitting at home in bed watching reruns of Friends and wishing they had your dedication. Find some like-minded friends with similar interests to you. Ignore their taunts and jeers, start wearing your race medals around your neck to work. Be proud, you’re a runner.
11. Stretching is Bullshit – let’s face it not all of us know how to stretch properly, and we all look a little bit wanky when we try and do it. Start your run off slowly, let your muscles warm up, let those limbs limber up and then increase your pace. Definitely invest in a foam roller for post-run recovery and work on building some core muscle strength too.
12. Anyone can run – It doesn’t matter how tall, how short, how fat, how thin or how stupid you are, you can run if you want too. Running is not an exclusive club. At the start of this year, I saw so many morbidly obese people out there on my run, heads down and shuffling the best they could. I still see some of them a couple of months later, they have lost weight, they are running faster, their heads are up, they make eye contact, and they have the running bug. I take my hat off to them.
13. Mental Health – running will not cure your mental health issues. Yes, you will have major increases of serotonin and happy endorphins floating around your brain but quite often this is not enough to keep the black dog or anxiety at bay. So even if you’re running 50kms a week, don’t stop any medication until you’ve consulted with your doctor.
14. Safety Concerns – As a woman I had serious concerns when I first started running long distances solo. I had to give myself a stern talking too, there is not a serial killer hiding behind every tree, there is not a rapist waiting for me in every park I run through. Yes, bad things happen but they are rare events. You do need to keep your wits about you. Try and run in daylight hours, carry your phone if you can, and if you listen to music keep the volume down low. It’s also not adviseable to watch Wolf Creek II the night before a long run.
15. Random strangers are more likely to be scared of you than vice versa. I run past one old lady some mornings and because I sound like an elephant thundering through an Indian jungle she whips her head around at me and looks at me in absolute horror every single time. I’m certain she thinks I’m going to stab her in the back just to steal her ugly fucking poodle.
16. Post Selfies – Some call it bragging, but runners know there is nothing like sharing the post run selfie – runfie. You’re proud of yourself, so why not let the whole word know it. Those who don’t like it, well there is a ‘unfollow‘ button, shut up and use it. Posting selfies inspires others to get off their butts and get out there. Just wait, it won’t take long until you get your first comment ‘I went for a run today because of you ….’. You won’t wipe that smile off your face for a week. Guaranteed.
17. Bust your balls – it is not necessary to run like the wind every single time you run. In fact, if you do this you will most likely cause yourself some serious damage. Mix up your weekly running with a tempo run, intervals, speed work, hill training and a long run.
18. Running is HARD – it is bullshit hard work. When you first start to run, you will be red faced, wheezing, struggling to breathe, trying not to vomit and thinking death is nigh. You will be writing your last will and testament in your head and choosing your funeral songs. It does get easier, each run gets easier and one day you won’t even have to focus on your breathing anymore it will just come naturally. Don’t give up!
19. Running is ADDICTIVE – There is not much that beats that runners high after a fabulous run. You don’t always get it but when you do, you know exactly why you run. Halfway through a run, you may swear you are never running ever again but when you’re at home uploading your stats to Strava, you will most likely be planning your very next run. Women, it’s similar to childbirth, you forget the bad shit and that’s why we do it again and again.
20. Rest Days – are not only important they are necessary. Your body needs time to repair and recover. If doing nothing makes you anxious then go for a swim, cycle or walk around the block. Or start a blog.
33. Hitting a wall – Most beginners stop running and walk when they hit their first wall. I hit a wall every single time at the 3-4km mark, I slow my pace right down and think all I can do is run in this moment and put one foot in front of the other, I concentrate on making it past 30 metre landmarks in front of me and I keep doing this until I’ve forgotten all about the wall I just hit and I get back in the zone. Until the next freakin wall and then I just repeat the process.
35. Chaffing – no matter how trim, taunt and terrific you think you are, bare skin will chaff unless it’s covered up. This means covering yourself in head to toe in running apparel or using a little bit of body glide in the places that naturally rub like your inner thighs and under your arms. Unless of course you are indeed Usain Bolt’s lovechild.