5 tips to get started running


As my upcoming knee surgery gets closer (we're under two weeks now), I've been thinking a lot about running - and waxing nostalgic about how I got started with a sport I used to hate. I'm by no means a great runner. I don't think I'll ever be anything to write home about when it comes to running, but I love it. It's therapeutic. It's a challenge. It's something I never thought I could do, but I do it, and I love it. I've run seven half marathons to date, as well as one full marathon. And, once I've recovered from my MPFL reconstruction, I want to get right back it.

For those curious, no, running is not the reason I need knee surgery. I talked a little about it on my instagram, but this is an issue I've had for a long time. My left knee likes to subluxate and dislocate, and I've done it about 20 times in my 32 years. In December, it happened randomly, and I wasn't able to bounce back. This surgery should tighten my ligaments and kneecap back up, and I should be able to run pain-free - finally! Basically, my point is that running isn't the cause for me...it's the cure, and I can't wait to get started again. Here are five tips to starting from zero like I did (and will do again) soon.

1 // Set a goal. I like to think that being intentional helps in any regard, but especially with fitness. My first goal when I started running was to stay fit through my first pregnancy. I ran for the first 32 weeks, and it was incredible. I was out running again just three weeks after giving birth, and we set big goals. I wanted to do a half marathon, so we ran Lake Placid. It doesn't matter how big your goal is, honestly. Just set a goal. Whether it's to be fit, do five miles a week, run your first 5k, or beyond, your goal will be your driving force.


2 // Invest in proper running gear. One of the biggest mistakes I made when I got started was not investing in good gear - mainly shoes. Running is hard on the joints. However, great shoes absorb a lot of the shock, and actually protect your feet and joints from damage. I got fitted for shoes at Fleet Feet Syracuse, and I fell in love with Adidas Supernova running shoes. They fit my neutral stride, and I learned a lot about how my knees and feet track when I run. Quality athletic gear is also important. I wear a reflector vest (regardless of the time of day) from Nathan. I also invested in great headphones, and I have this hydration belt for longer runs. Buy gear and clothes that you will be comfortable in for a long time. Remember, it's an investment.

3 // Focus on time over distance. This was a hard one for me when I started. I'm an all-in kind of girl, and I wanted to start off running three miles. Some people are able to. Others, like myself, are prone to injury if they go from zero to 60 too quickly. When I started running, I ran for a certain amount of time versus a certain distance. I started with 30 minutes, and as I progressed, I was able to run further in that amount of time. Only after about a month of running 30 minutes consistently four-five days a week, did I start to focus more on distance.


4 // Choose a running app. Regardless of your goals, a running app is a great way to visually see just how far you've come through the process. Two of the most popular running apps are Strava and Nike+ Run Club. I, personally, prefer the Nike app. I like that it pauses if I have to stop my runs, and I've been using it since the beginning, so it's familiar. Both offer ways to connect with other runners, too, which is motivating. Nothing beats a sense of community.

5 // Train your brain - and your body. Your brain will tell you that running is too hard. It'll convince you that you want to stop. Here's the thing. When you first start, running is uncomfortable. For me, it was so far beyond my comfort zone that I really didn't want to do it. Teach yourself to shut off that negative voice, and convince yourself that you can and you will do it. A great way to do this is to listen to postive podcasts while running. They encourage you to get out of your own headspace. Ultimately though, remember that your body is the boss. Listen to your body. Know the difference between discomfort and pain. 


I hope that these five tips help someone get started running because I really wish I'd known more when I began. Running might not seem like a feasible goal or solution, but if you want to start, you can. It's transformed so much of my outlook on fitness, as a whole, and I've truly fallen in love with running.

Are you a runner? What are your favorite tips to give those hoping to get started?

11 comments

  1. Oh what fabulous tips! I used to run in my younger days but now it’s only a slight jog mixed in with my power walk.

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    1. That's seriously still awesome! My 70 year old mama just started running/jogging a few years ago! It's SO good for your health.

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  2. Thanks for the motivation! We have a great neighborhood where I could start doing this - I've been thinking about it, especially with the slightly warmer temps!

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  3. Oh I love this post because I use to run in high school and have been wanting to try it out again but have been to scared. So thanks for the kick in my butt that I need.

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  4. I'm not a runner but I do walk about 3-4 miles a few days week. I love this post and reading more about running as I'd love to do more running than walking one day ~ Happy Wednesday ! By the way I tried clicking on your social icon Instagram at the top of your blog to follow you on Instagram but a pop up says page can't be found !

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  5. These are great running tips. I definitely love setting running goals for myself. Love working towards something.

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  6. This years marks the 15th anniversary of my first half marathon!!! Holy moly - Can't believe I've been doing this for so long.
    I am definitely still working on #5 - Getting rid of that negative voice is continual work in progress for me.

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  7. These are such great tips! Setting goals is huge for me!!! Also, getting fitted for shoes, I had no idea how much of a difference this could make. So funny thought, I actually know the lady in that first photo with you! She is stationed here at Leavenworth. I met her not long after we got here at my neighbors BBQ. :)

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  8. These are all such great tips! I've never been good at running and really disliked it until last year until I just started and then started improving. Then I got pregnant and it took a far backseat. I'm really hoping to get back into it this year though; I was really starting to enjoy it!

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  9. These are such great tips! I’m definitely not a runner, but so many of my friends are!!

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  10. I love these tips! I love running and I love the Nike app too! Great tips. I really like the tip about time over distance.

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