At some point, we all began as new runners. Whether you started running at age 10 or 100, we were all new.
The beauty of the sport is there are no limits to when you can start and how old you can be to compete. How many other sports are we lucky enough to see a 100-year-old cross a finish line?
As new runners, we’ve all learned at least one lesson the hard way as well. Another significant aspect of running is you can learn from every event and mistake.
Even if you have an unfortunate event like chafing, you learn and grow from it. I’ve learned some of my hardest lessons with running a bad race.
So, what are some lessons about running I wish someone had told me?
1) You don’t have to run fast all of the time
Often times we think to get faster, we must always run faster. While faster running is necessary to improve, it’s equally important to run easy and recover.
Remember not every run can be your fastest! Any runner can tell you it’s easy to get caught up in running more, faster. Running fast all of the time is the fastest way to injury and don’t be afraid to step back.
2) Build mileage slowly
If you have never run before, training for a marathon is not the best idea. In fact, training for any distance event is not the best idea! Gradually increase your mileage and include walk breaks.
The last thing you want to do is get burnt out in a month or get an overuse injury. Running should be lifelong, and it’s not going anywhere!
3) Rest days are equally as important
Sometimes all we want to do is run, but resting and recovering is just as important as doing hard workouts!
4) Log your runs
Create a training log and log each of your runs. As a new runner you don’t know what works for you and by logging runs and workouts you are more easily able to figure out what does.
Over time you might realize you’re a morning runner or you might understand certain shoes feel better. Whatever the case is, logging workouts and miles benefit any athlete at any level.
5) Get the right pair of shoes
We have written about this before, but it’s so important to get the right pair of shoes for you. Don’t choose your shoe based on style or color. Go to your local running store and get fitted for the appropriate pair of shoes for your training.
It will save you injuries and aches and pains. There is no perfect pair of shoes, but there is a perfect pair of shoes for you.
6) Give yourself 15 minutes
Make running a habit and give yourself 15 minutes of running even if you “really don’t want too.” Your mindset can change within 15 minutes of the first run. I’m not saying every run will feel fantastic or the best run ever.
However most of the time, you’ll feel better once you get out there. The worst case scenario is the run feels like garbage. So turn around and go home and you still got a short run.
7) Comparison is the thief of joy
Like anything, we all get better at different rates and speeds. Your best friend might improve ten times faster than you, and that is okay. Don’t compare yourself to others. You are truly running for just yourself.
8) Running can be as expensive as you make it
Realistically, the only piece of equipment you “need” are good running shoes. However, having moisture wicking gear as well as fun clothing doesn’t hurt anyone. While running is definitely one of the cheaper sports, it’s easy to caught up in the newest gadgets, gear, toys and races.
Finally: Young or old we are all runners. It doesn’t matter what you are training for or how fast if you like to run you are a runner.