Running to the Start Line

Hiya friends! How’s your Wednesday treating you? Supa dupa I hope…

A few days ago I wrote what has helped me get through those tough runs. A lot of you said you were just starting out runnning, and the tips helped a lot!

You’ve probably heard me mention my friend Heidi a few times on the blog. She’s my gym buddy (and a very good friend in general) and is training to run her first 5k! I introduced her to the Couch25K plan, and she’s been hooked ever since. She’s almost finished, too! I also used the couch25k plan to train for my first 5k race.

While a good training plan is key, it’s not the only thing new runners need to think about. Last May, when I dove head first into running my first 5K, I learned some great tips (some the hard way…) that helped me along. I’m currently training for my first half marathon on May 1st! 🙂


(finishing my first race, a 5k)

Before beginning an exercise program, you should check with your doctor.

  1. Realize that not all runs would be good runs. When training for my first 5k, I let myself be patient. There were even a couple weeks I had to repeat. If I struggled to get through all three days of training that week, I’d do it again. I feel that helped SO much instead of just moving on to the next week. I felt prepared.
  2. Find runner friends! I had a few runner friends that I really got to know on another level through running. They became running partners who I really value and rely on for running. Plus, getting through your first 25 minute run can be easier if there’s another body running it with you.
  3. Know your limits. Many beginner runners are SO eager and excited to start running that they can over do it. I did the Couch25K plan pretty much by the book. Actually, as I stated above, I repeated a couple of the weeks, but I started slow, and gradually increased the intensity (pace or hills,) duration (in minutes of miles,) and frequency (days per week.)  At first. Then, I got hooked. I got excited. I was a new, over-eager runner, and I started adding more than 10% duration each week, and wound up with tendonitis. It’s very important to gradually increase the level of running. As far as intensity, start out running at YOUR pace, not at the pace you think you should be at or the pace you want to be at.
  4. Add in Speed Workouts. After completing the couch25k, or your basic beginner’s program, go ahead and add in one day of speed work either through tempo runs or intervals, or both. This helped me increase my 5k race pace immensely! Just make sure to vary your speed workouts with easy runs.
  5. Add in one long run. On the weekends, usually Sundays, I’d begin to run one long run each week. I followed the 10% rule. I’d only add 10% of the distance I previously ran, starting with 3 miles. So my very first “long run” was 3.3 miles! In this post, I considered my loong run (with two o’s!) 4.5 miles.
  6. Warm up and cool down during each run. Warming up let’s your body know it’s about to start working harder. It also raises your body temperature and warms up your muscles as well as gently shunting the blood away from your abdomen and to the working muscles. Cool downs prevent blood pooling in your legs and other working muscles, and bring your body gently out of a working state. Stretching is key, too. You can find a great post-run stretch routine in my fitness tab!


Seasoned runners: What tips do you have for beginner runners?

Beginner runners: what have you learned along the way so far, and what types of questions do you have?


Do you guys remember a loooong time ago I started reading New Rules of Lifting for Women and wrote a part one review on it? Well, I’m now going to start the second half – the workouts!! I’ll be tweaking them, because I kind of already have a kick-booty program that works for me, so it will be Paige-ified, but I plan on doing a review when I’m done! However, it’s probably not a grand idea to start a new program less than two weeks from my half marathon, so I’m going to begin it the week after. Just for kicks, I did the first workout this morning after running though, and so far, so good!

Well, I’ve got a long day’s work, and then meeting with a new client afterwards. So I better get going!

Have a lovely hump day! 🙂


25 Responses

  1. Do you have a big race looming? Signed up for a 10K, half marathon or full marathon?

    Have you thought about what you are going to wear?

    Give the spectators something to shout about when you run past, get your name on your running vest.

    Ikon Sports are providing personalised running vests for just £9.95 each:

  2. Great post, Paige! I started training for my first 5k with the C25k plan last year too. I love c25k! It turned me into a runner 🙂 I ran a 14k this past Feb and will be running in a Ragnar Relay next month, and a half mary in Sep! My biggest tip for new runners is to not give up. In the beginning of the program I couldn’t run for two minutes straight. Running a 5k seemed like an insurmountable task that I wouldn’t be able to do. Just focus on today’s workout, and the endurance and agility will come! Also, invest in a foam roller 🙂 Mine saved my IT band.

  3. Great post Paige – I love the ‘not every run is a good run’. I used to get so frustrated with bad runs, but I’m growing to learn it’s just something that happens.

  4. I’m doing the Couch 2 5K workout for a race I’m running on May 1. I just did my first 25 minute run last Sunday and I have to say the amazing Chicago views helped me keep going. I love being able to run on the lake front, it’s so pretty and lots of good people watching:)

  5. I love the first rule about the reality that not all runs are going to be great, for so many factors. I struggled with this as a high school and college cross country runner and now that I don’t have added stress of being the first runner at every practice, I take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Even though we run to race (a lot of us are training, after all), it is most important to remember that we are doing it for ourselves. No one in this world will care as much about your PR, other than yourself.

    Convincing myself to do a warm up and cool down is a whole other story…and why I need more runner friends!

  6. I always browse through that book when I’m in the store–can’t wait to hear 2nd half review!

  7. Thank you SO much for these tips – not only are they very helpful, but it’s nice to know there are other people out there who started off right where I am. While I completed my first 5k just a few weeks ago, I didn’t train how I had planned and am starting from the beginning again. I’ll be running another 5k in about a month, and my ultimate goal is to run a half. Again, thank you for such wise words! And good luck with your training. 🙂

  8. Love all the tips! Those are good things to remember and I will be sure to take note of them whenever I may start running more.

  9. Wonderful, wonderful tips! I was totally nodding in agreement the whole time 🙂 I especially agree with the tip to not go too fast. So many people start running by sprinting, tire out really quickly, feel like death, and label themselves as “non-runners.” It’s much better to start out at a “jog” and let the speed come with experience 🙂 Hell, I still jog!

  10. I’m looking forward to the details of your new workout.

  11. Great post! I’m a huge fan of the run-walk method of training. Building up mileage and endurance sloooowly has been key for me.

  12. I bet I’m your oldest, posting runner:-) So, my advice is to go inside when it’s too cold or the roads are too slick, rest when injured, and when your body tells you to…start walk/running. Well, it’s time to get my walk/running shoes on (morning is best)…Remember, “The hardest part of running is getting your shoes on.”

  13. My tip for new runners is to start out slow and set realistic expectations…never increase your mileage more than 10% a week to avoid injury!!

  14. Good tips!!! I think it’s really important to capture and remember that feeling of success when you finish a run or go a new distance. You can use that for inspiration all the time.

  15. LOVE YOUR BLOG so delicious- amazing pics. ur really pretty too btw.

    happy earth day! xo

  16. Training for a half. I should write “training”. My plan is just to put on shoes and run. Run for 60 mins. Then 75 mins. Then 90 mins. Just run, build your stamina, dont stress over splits, and speed workouts and times and blah blah. Just make it fun and easy and it willl all come together on race day. That’s what I have been doing for 20 yrs worth of racing 🙂

  17. Couldn’t agree more with #1! Some days you’re on, some you’re off! And I think that overdoing it on running can really cause a lot of off days. Keep some variety in your workouts, I swear it helps make me faster on the days I do run

  18. Awesome tips I am new runner and really liked reading the tips! Great post! Im preparing for my first half, and I’m taking it very slow! I want to be able to run a good race and pain free too!!! No injures 🙂

  19. Paige
    I’ve had a green “goblin”? or something for the past two days. How can something that ugly taste so good?
    I put in a frozen banana, spinach, greek yogurt , skim milk and some pineapple.
    Really green but yummy. Oh yeah also some protein powder.
    Love ya
    Aunt Bobbie

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