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Bill Bergeman


Ideas for 1st time Runner

@Hisariap I love this topic! I've been running for 25 years, including 10 marathons, 16 ultra marathons, and scores of shorter-distance races. I don't claim to be the greatest runner in the world, but I have a lot of experience.

    1. Set small achievable goals to start.

    Whatever that is for you. It could be running to the end of your driveway and back, to the end of the street and back, or for two miles and back. Whatever distance that doesn't feel overwhelming is the one to start with, and then build on that the next day.

    2. Start slow.

    Let me say it again: START SLOW. Every runner tries to go too fast in training, newbies and pros alike. Set aside ego and listen to your body.

    3. Start a streak.

    Try running every day. It's like starting any other habit - if you do it every day, after a while you're likely to keep it going. A lot of people will tell new runners to take a day or two off in-betwen runs for rest, and while in general I agree with them I think it's more important to establish the habit. Once you get that streak going, it feels really good and you just want to keep at it. Besides, if you follow #1 and #2 above, you'll have a better chance of being recovered enough each day to run.

    4. If you feel like something isn't right, stop.

    This is one time you can and should break a running streak. It's easy to keep running if something feels just a little off but you can keep going. This might be fine if you're in the middle of a race just to get to the end, but otherwise stop and rest. All the stories of runners you hear that get injured ignore these warning signs (guilty as charged).

    5. Have a goal.

    This usually means a race on the calendar for which to train. You noted that you have a half marathon you signed up for, so you're in good shape here. This will keep you motivated!

    6. Find other runners to run with.

    It can't be overstated that having other people to run with who are similar in pace and experience is hugely helpful. You can exchange tips, establish accountabilty partners, and simply make new friends. If there's a training group for the race you're running, that would be perfect to join. Check out your local running store(s) as well. They are typically stocked full of experienced runners and they can tell you about local running groups (often the stores host their own group runs, too).

    7. Get good shoes.

    They are worth the money if they feel good. You'll learn to hate running if you force yourself to run in shoes that don't fit right. This is another good reason to find a good local running store (preferably not a corporate chain, unless that's all you have nearby). They'll do a great job in putting you in shoes that fit you well, and they're usually good about exchanges if the shoes don't end up working for you.

    8. Have fun!

    Maybe the most important idea here. Like anything else, if it's not fun, you won't keep doing it.

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