Thursday, January 24, 2008

Some Advice for New Runners

This post written to link to the Runner's Lounge Take It and Run Thursday. Topic: Basics of Running.

I don't know that I have a lot of great advice for new runners. I am a new runner myself, one that is terribly slow, one that falters, one that still struggles both with motivation occasionally, and with physical things that can keep me from being someone who can run daily. However, I did train all summer and complete a half marathon, maybe I learned a couple things that I could share.

Don't look too far ahead on the schedule, take one day at a time and have faith in the plan you have laid out. Not all the runs are going to be fun, and some will even get you down, but if you keep on the schedule, it will get you there in the end. You won't believe when you are doing 3 and 4 milers that you will ever be able to do that 10 miler, but you will. Eventually you will. I did it. You can do it too!!

Keep telling yourself that the crappy runs make you stronger. Also, try to figure out why it might have been crappy. Mine were usually due to not being hydrated enough. For some reason it seems to be something that can slip my mind or get minimized. I learned that lesson over and over. Crappy runs will happen, you need to be prepared for that. If you are in it for the long haul, you will have to learn what you can from them, then put them behind and move on with a positive attitude. I often went back to Bingham's Courage to Start whenever my attitude faltered. Having something like this that makes you feel good about why you are doing this can be very helpful.

Bring your club along to beat back the uglies when they occur. This is my metaphor for handling the negative thoughts that seem to be inevitable. I don't know how I'll do Sunday's run, I must have been crazy thinking I could be a runner, I'm sure I'll be the slowest person at the race, and on and on. These will probably happen (although I am pretty negative so maybe I get this kind of thing more than most people) and you will need to combat them on the fly. Counter with the week's mileage or your latest blood pressure reading or the fact that most people are home on the couch or whatever it takes to beat those bad boys back.

Core work and cross training can make you a stronger runner. I didn't take this advice very well and learned that with a weak core, I had lots of aches and pains and it might even be the reason I had injuries. I kept hearing it over and over from doctors, advanced runners, books, etc. It just isn't something that got me very excited to do and took me awhile to "hear" but I've finally decided I have to take this seriously. It's so easy to get caught up with the running and the advances you are making, and you CAN run without doing this, I've just decided that doing it makes more sense for me.

Remember why you are doing this. I wanted to be a runner and improve my fitness and try to build myself a great healthy body. It's easy to get wrapped up in races and schedules and get down about being so slow. I am one of the slowest people out there and sometimes that can be really hard to swallow. There aren't too many things that I am this bad at! :D However, I have to remind myself that my mission here isn't to win or even to be fast. I'd love to be, but it doesn't seem to be happening. But, I am running, I am improving fitness, and I am building a stronger, healthier body. Those all sound like successes and it's important for me to keep that in mind.

43 comments:

Midwest said...

Totally true about not looking too far ahead on the schedule. If you build up bit by bit, it's a lot less daunting.

RunToTheFinish said...

OH is it new runner advice day? I want to play!

E said...

Thank you for posting this. I often times have a hard time convincing myself that a bad run does make me stronger. You are totally right - learn from them and move on.

Laura N said...

Super post, Nancy. Thanks for this today.

Pokey said...

GREAT stuff Nancy! I think this is all true for us rookies, and veterans alike.

Wes said...

Don't look too far ahead is great advice. I actually go that route when I start a single day's training!

Also, on crappy runs, it helps to switch things up. If your legs are tired, do some run/walking. Already walking? Walk longer! It helps, and it can turn a hard run into a happier run!!

My Life said...

Nice post! I love the bit about the club and beating back the uglies... sometimes it's so easy to get caught up in how crappy a run can feel! ;)

My Life said...

Nice post! I love the bit about the club and beating back the uglies... sometimes it's so easy to get caught up in how crappy a run can feel! ;)

J said...

These are awesome pieces of advice. You are so right on all of them. And I have used your "club" several times on bad runs!

Jamie said...

Great advice Nancy! Thanks for this :)

David said...

Excellent advice. Lots of new runners can be overly anxious to improve, and give up in frustration. It takes time to get out of shape, and possibly longer to reverse that and get into really great shape.

Great post!!

Viv said...

Great advice, Nancy. Dady by day I try to remind myself daily of that. The core, I am still stuck on doing something about that. I tell myself everynight tongith work the core a bit. it never happens :-/

J~Mom said...

Fantastic advice!! I really, really love the last point! I am super slow but if I can keep focused on why I started to begin with then I don't let it bug me!

Marathoner in Training said...

Thanks for the advice, I needed that. Since I am a new runner. :)

Bill Carter said...

Hi Nancy

Great advice that even the experienced runners should never lose sight of.. HaHa the optometrist said "sight of". It cracks me up when I do that, but I digress.

Thanks Nancy!

Nat said...

I think that the hyrdration thing is my problem as well. I would like to add that wine (even if it's white) is not hydration. (Just saying. I would prefer if it was. But you know.

(and it's better advice than I gave for sure.)

Nat

Marcy said...

Awesome advice Nancy!! ;D ;D

I've REALLY got to get with the program with #4. I know, know, know how important it is yet I hate doing it so I don't :-/

P.O.M. said...

People ask me for advice too. It's hard because I think running is such a personal experience. It's different for everyone, but the same. My advice would be to just stick with it and dno't give up :)

Bev said...

Nice post. It's true, we sometimes feel like less of a runner when we have an 11:00+ minute pace. We should try to keep in mind that we are kickin' those couch potato's butts.

Unknown said...

For me the first and last item on your post are the most important...not looking too far ahead and remembering why I'm doing this. Then the bad runs don't seem so bad and the uglies aren't so ugly.

Unknown said...

For me the first and last item on your post are the most important...not looking too far ahead and remembering why I'm doing this. Then the bad runs don't seem so bad and the uglies aren't so ugly.

Sunshine said...

Good reminders. Hydration, core work and keeping my eye on the "good health" goal are the most relevant for me right now.
Thanks!

teacherwoman said...

Great post Nancy! :) I think that us regulars need to be reminded of these things on an ocassion as well! :)

Anonymous said...

Great advice - even for those of us who have been running.

Sally JPA said...

I'm sloowww too. Sometimes it starts to bother me, but really, it's good to do something you're not good at once in a while.

DawnB said...

Sound advice Nancy. Thank you

akshaye said...

Great post! I specially like the point about crappy runs. Those are the best :)

Patty said...

You have no idea of how many really super people I have met over the years hanging with the back of the pack.

Running "that slow" makes it easier share with one another as we chew up the miles.

Also, us "slow folks" make the volunteers time a greater service. If everyone ran a seven minute mile they might think it wasn't worth volunteering for just an hour. When they have to hang around in the rain/sleet/snow/wind waiting for us "all-day-runners" they really earn their volunteer T-shirts!

Jess said...

Those are all great pieces of advice!

Bob A said...

Good post, Nancy. Bad runs are just a part of running. Even after 4 years and 8 months of very steady running, I have whole weeks when I just feel terrible while I'm running and I think, "Now, why am I doing this?"

Unknown said...

So true about the cross training/core workouts! many injuries and missed Chicago before I took that advise :)

Thanks for posting!

ws said...

I think your advice is great and you're committment despite some injuries is really inspiring. Old or new (and I consider myself new as well) everyone falters, but as long as we keep trying, we'll keep improving. For me, crappy runs are also a result of poor hydration. Thanks for sharing all your wisdom...have a great weekend.

Sunshine said...

Are you keeping warm?
Can't remember ever being more eager for spring. Love-to-run Love-to-run.

Single said...

Great advice, though I do dislike working on the core strength.

Cranky

Tim Wilson said...

The not looking too far ahead rings so true to me to, but for that reason and also for the reason of wanting to run too much too soon. I just came across your blog - I like it. Thanks!

Unknown said...

Good advice for us all. I think we all need to be reminded of this occasionally.

Robert

Stuart said...

Great advice, even for us who are longer in the tooth a back to basics refresher can be a good thing!

Lily on the Road said...

Nancy HI

Not sure how I found your blog, but I'm glad I did!

I am too training for my first full Marathon which I'll be running in May in Ottawa, Canada!

I just came back from the Phoenix Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon and had a blast!

I'll keep checking in on your progress....Best Wishes and I'm looking forward to seeing how you're doing!

Take great care,

Life's fun if you don't weaken,

Laurel

Lily on the Road said...

Oh, one more thing Nancy,

would you mind if I link you to my blog??? I love your humour.

Just let me know if it's okay with you!

Cheers!
Lily
(Laurel)

Bob - BlogMYruns.com said...

Good Advice Nancy to keep Moving!

Sunshine said...

How's it going?

Amy said...

This is exactly what every new runner needs to know in a nutshell! Thanks, Nancy for putting it into words.

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