Tips for non-runners who want to run

I think the biggest comment I get when I’ve told people I’ve run a marathon is, “Wow, I could never do that.”

And I say, “Yes, yes, you can”.

OK, perhaps not a marathon.  I realize that’s not every person’s cup of tea.  However, I do believe, many people can run if they are motivated to do so, are healthy, and are willing to stick with it.

Here are some great tips I was given when I began my running journey.

  • Buy yourself a good pair of running shoes.  If you are going to splurge on anything running related, a proper fitting pair of shoes is key to running survival.  Tip-Visit a well established running store in your community and talk to a knowledgeable staff member to help you choose the best shoes for your feet.
  • You CAN walk.  The biggest misconception is that runners just run.  Many use a run/walk plan to finish a race.  When starting out, many people run a minute and walk a minute until they build up the endurance to run 10 minutes and walk 1 minute.  Tip-Check out walk to run programs via Google.
  • When you are running, don’t focus on the whole distance of the run. Only focus on the next kilometre or the next few minutes until the next walking break.  Sometimes, we can get overwhelmed in a race or a training run that we deflate ourselves by focusing on how many more kilometres we have to go.  Stay focused on the next few increments, and try to forget about the long road ahead.  Before you know it, you’ll have finished the race.
  • Plan out your schedule.  If you want to run a 5K race as your running goal, then choose a 5K training plan and stick with the training.  A good plan should have you training 3-5 times per week.  Make sure this plan will work with your lifestyle schedule to keep you on track.
  • Keep a training diary.  Tip-Log your runs.  How long did you run?  How did you feel?  What was the weather like?  These are all things you can look back on when analyzing your progress.
  • Try not to focus too much on pace, as these things will improve in time.  Focus only on your breathing and your form.
  • Stay positive.  There will be days when you just don’t want to run.  You are not alone.  Believe in yourself, and the ability to follow through.  You can do this!
  • Seek out a run club to stay motivated.  There are many running groups in cities across Canada.  The Running Room has several run clinics for various distances, for new or more established runners.
  • What is your goal?  If it’s a 5K or 10K race in your future, register for it now.  This may keep you motivated in your training.
  • Stretch.  After every run, make sure you have a good stretch.  There are various websites that can help with proper stretches for runners.

These are just a handful of basic tips I was given when starting to run.  There are several more in terms of fueling, apparel, nutrition, safety, injury prevention and running etiquette that perhaps I’ll blog about in the future.

Who knew there was so much to learn on running?  😉

What was your favourite running advice when you began your running journey?

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13 thoughts on “Tips for non-runners who want to run

  1. Great points! I especially agree with the “yes you can!” I can’t even count how many people I’ve told that to when it has come to half marathons or triathlons. I also agree with the walk/run suggestion.

    As I mentioned in my bullet point recap for the DL Half the other day, I sprained my foot the week before the race. I ended up doing a walk/run pace (“I’ll run to *that* stop light, then walk”, etc) to be kind to my healing foot – and I finished EIGHT MINUTES faster than the previous year.

    • Thanks for the reply! Yes, I think we can psyche ourselves out sometimes in a race. It’s sometimes just a matter of how one approaches a race, determines the overall journey. Take care of that foot! Happy Running! 🙂

  2. Great tips and a great blog also! I like to tell people that say they “can’t run” that “If I can do it at my weight and age…they can too!” Keep up the great writing and I hope the business is doing great!

    • Thanks ZekeRunning! I appreciate the kind words. You have such a great attitude. Age has only ever been a number for me, nothing more. We are as old as we make ourselves believe we have to feel. You are mere 46 yrs YOUNG! A pup, a kidd, a baby coyote? That’s you! 😉 Keep up the great work.

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