Misty Krug and Paul Gigliotti
So, you wanna be a runner? Lucky for you, we know a lot about running! Running can be as simple as you want, and we don’t like to over complicate anything, which is probably the reason either of us stuck with it in the first place. You can literally get dressed, strap on your shoes, and head out!
If you’re new to running, we hope you give it an honest effort, and even more, we hope you LOVE it. Running has been a big part of our fitness journeys in very different ways. Below are some pointers, and dare we say guidelines, for those who are new to the sport. We feel one is a must for all, two is a must for the ladies, and all the others are merely suggestions. So, if you wanna be a runner, we hope you find them helpful! We want everyone to love their running journey as much as we do ours. Run Happy!
- Find the RIGHT running shoes!
This is a case of functionality over fashion. The right shoe depends on your foot type, running style, and running terrain. Your best bet is to get properly fitted at a specialty running store. Let them know you’re interested in becoming a runner and need the right shoe. Don’t be intimated; that’s what they do!
2. Supportive Sports Bra!
If you’re a lady, you need shoes and a sports bra. Shoes are the most important, but don’t let that take away from the importance of supporting the girls!
3. Register for a Race!
This is great for new and seasoned runners alike. Registering for a race helps you stay committed, focused, and excited. A 5K, which is 3.1 miles, is a good goal race if you’re new to running. That may seem daunting, but with some training, you can do it! A typical 5K training program is 6-9 weeks. We’ve led a couple of these and watched the progress with our own eyes! As soon as you finish your first 5K, go ahead and register for the next one!
4. Go Check Out a Local Race!
After you purchase the right shoes, get a good sports bra, and register for your first race, then THIS!!! Volunteer or simply be a supporter at the finish line of a marathon and/or half marathon! You will see all shapes, sizes, and ages, and if you aren’t inspired, you may have picked the wrong sport.
5. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Just like in life, don’t compare yourself to others. It’s important to run your own distance and your own pace. Your running journey is yours and yours alone! Everyone runs for different reasons, so remember yours and keep putting one foot in front of the next.
6. Track Your Progress
Use your phone and download one of the countless apps to track your runs. One of the best things about running is the running community, so ask your runner friends and other local runners what apps they use. Follow your peeps to stay inspired. You can follow us on Strava. Once you love running, you can look into GPS watches. Hell, maybe one of your seasoned runner friends would give you a loaner.
7. Plan the Route
Whether you plan to run on the road, the trail, the track, the park, the beach, or the treadmill, plan your route. This is a form of commitment. It will also ensure you pick a route that makes you want to run and one that’s safe. You may find a route you love, but one of the great things about running is that we can do it anywhere. Don’t take that for granted!
8. Don’t Be Afraid to Run/Walk
Always know that it’s okay to walk, even in races! Some marathoners train and race with the run/walk method, so don’t discount or shame it. This won’t be the last time we remind you, but don’t forget that this is your journey!
9. Find a Running Partner or Running Group
If you enjoy running alone, that’s great! If you don’t, find a running partner or even a local running club or group. The running community is friendly and supportive, so put yourself out there. Who knows?!?! It may be the best thing you ever do!
10. Hold off on the Static Stretching until Post Run
Static stretching is holding a muscle in a stretched, fixed position. Save this type of stretch for after your run. Walking, dynamic stretching, and self-myofascial release (SMR), such as foam rolling, are all good options before you hit the pavement.
11. Just Know Some Runs Suck
We run because we enjoy it, but not every run is fun. How much we sleep, how we fuel, how much we hydrate, the temps, the route, etc. can affect how we feel, so not every run will be just as you hoped. The good news is, most of those things are controllables, so you can experiment with what works best for you. Don’t have a sucky run and equate that to running sucks. That simply isn’t true! It’s also important to know that your first mile or two are usually the hardest, so don’t give up.
12. Running Attire
While the right shoes (and sports bra) are extremely important, the right running clothes can be a game changer too. You want to dress for the elements. “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.” Running in the freezing a$% cold can suck. Running in the blazing heat sucks too. But with the appropriate running attire, you can be comfy and cruise through your runs. Again, this isn’t a fashion show, nor do you need expensive brand-new gear. You need one outfit and a means to wash it! If you live where there are four seasons, you need at least two, with the ability to dress in layers. You are dressing for safety and comfort, not the fashion police.
13. Early Runs May Be Necessary
If you live in the south like us, summer runs can be brutal, and early morning is the best time to beat the heat. Most races are early anyway, so if you’re interested in races (and we HOPE you run at least one), be prepared for an early morning start.
14. Run When You Can
While mornings are best to beat the heat, your schedule and lifestyle may ultimately dictate your running schedule. Before work is great, but maybe lunchtime is the only time you can fit it in with family commitments. Evenings may be best, or after you put the kids to bed. Again, this is your journey!
15. Challenge Yourself
As a new runner, you’ll see improvements quickly if you continue to challenge yourself, whether that be with distance, speed, or duration. You want to set a goal and work toward it. You want to be consistent and challenge yourself without pushing too hard too fast. Remember, it’s your journey! You want to enjoy it injury free.
16. Minutes Over Miles
When you’re new to running, it’s sometimes best to go for the minutes rather than the miles. You can adjust your pace based on how you feel. For example, you may want the option of a 30-minute run, regardless of your pace.
17. Try Some Music
If you’re new to running and need a little help finding your groove, music might be the key. Safety is most important here. You need to be aware of your surroundings. Run with just one earbud to hear traffic, other runners, and the world around you.
18. Find What Works for YOU
There are a lot of general rules of thumb, but we’re all different. We need to fuel with real food, hydrate with plenty of water, get adequate sleep, allow our bodies to rest and recover, and enjoy our runs!
When you’re ready to register for a race (we’re a bit partial) and you’re in the greater Ozarks, check out www.PiratePerryEvents.com. Whether you’re looking for something on the road or trail, a triathlon, or even a cycling tour, there’s something for all levels of athletes.