Remember, as a child, suddenly taking off for no good reason? Remember the joy of it?
We didn’t think about it beforehand, we impulsively ran because it felt good. We ran for the fun of it.
Sadly, as we get older, the act of running can become a chore, or something we feel we aren’t capable of doing anymore.
However, there ARE plenty of people, of all age groups, who have successfully picked it back up. (And with that same amount of joy.)
I decided to reach out to a few exceptional runners (we’re talking Olympians, a world record holder, an incredible podcast host…) and asked them for some advice. My question was: “If you had the opportunity to give one piece of advice to all beginner runners, what would it be?”
Here are their incredibly helpful responses.
“Smile every mile” – Bec Wilcock
“To date, I’ve never regretted a run. Once I’m out the door, I choose to enjoy it. I know the run is not going to be easy BUT if I put a smile on my face it helps me.”
“Know your ‘why’” – Lucy Bartholomew
“My one piece of advice would be to know your ‘why’ in the sport.
Why are you choosing to open your valuable time running?
Why are you daring to be uncomfortable for a little of your day to be more comfortable in the future?
This makes those moments easier.”
“Call it practice” – Alexi Pappas
“Call it practice– even if the person you’re meeting for your run is yourself, call it practice and set a time, because I always say, “tomorrow starts tonight.” So if we set a time and label the run as something official, like practice, we are more likely to do it.”
“Don’t compare your running to anyone else’s” – Ali Feller
“Go slow! Don’t worry about your pace. Like at all. Keep it fun. Keep it light. Keep it pressure-free. It’s fun to have goals, and those are great, but try not to obsess over the numbers, and don’t compare your running to anyone else’s. And enjoy the journey — it just might change your life!”
Need ideas for what to do on recovery days? Discover here.
“There’s plenty of time” – Tom Denniss
“Don’t try to run too fast as a beginner – there’s plenty of time to get faster in the months and years ahead. Speed can easily lead to injuries.
Vary your runs and try to have a goal, such as a race to aim at.
Overall, make sure you have fun – enjoy your running, whenever and wherever it may be.”
“Find a friend” – Lauren Seserko
“Visit your local running store and get fitted for a pair of shoes so that you have something comfortable and right for your feet. They can also give you information about local running groups, routes and trails, and races.
Also don’t be intimidated, running will feel hard at first, but it will get easier. Find a friend or group to run with or sign up for a goal race to help you get out the door for your runs.”
“It’s worth it” – Debbie Woodruff
“My best advice for new runners would be to take your time. Start with a run/walk program and gradually reduce the walking and increase the running. Starting slow is a great way to avoid injury and to learn to enjoy running. Don’t worry about mileage, run by time at the beginning. It might take several weeks to work up to running a few miles straight but it’s worth it.”
“Set a goal” – Jessica Kuepfer
“When you are just starting to run, it can be exciting to begin something new, but nothing maintains momentum like having something in the calendar to keep you motivated and accountable. Get a friend to join you and sign up for a distance goal, a local race or a destination event that will give each run meaningful. Train with purpose.”
“Play the long game” – Colleen Quigley
“I see a lot of young runners right now who are so excited about the sport and have big goals for their running careers (which is SO cool!!) but want to have their goals met right now. The truth is that its a long process, distance running is something that you have to work at for many years to gain strength and endurance. It’s a fun journey, but it’s a journey and you won’t be able to train like an Olympian at age 15. In high school I only ran around 30-40 miles, then 60 or so in college, and now 75 or so miles is good for me. For me, playing the long game really worked out and I always try to remind young runners to not rush their career too much. :)”
Talk about some of the best advice ever!
Now I want to turn it over to you:
Which advice will you put into practice? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to share this with a friend who could benefit.
If you’re looking for things to do on recovery days, check this out.