Tips for New Runners

It seems like I always think about food when I run.

Sure I think about other things, like my to-do list or upcoming events, but inevitably toward the end of a run, my mind wanders toward my next meal.

Sadie and I covered just more than five miles on our run this morning and during the last mile, my thoughts were dedicated to breakfast.

A strawberry banana smoothie sounded perfect.

Frozen Strawberries

After a quick shower, I got to work in the kitchen creating a thick, cool and creamy breakfast smoothie.

Into the blender went:

Strawberry Banana Goodness

Blended Up

I poured my smoothie in a large coffee tumbler to enjoy.

Smoothie Time!

I like my smoothies really thick and ate the majority of the smoothie with a spoon.


Me + Smoothie + Spoon

Though I do love Green Monsters, my heart really lies with a good old fashioned strawberry banana smoothie. I mean c’mon, it’s pink!

My Tips for New Runners

When I first received a reader request to compile a list of my tips for new runners, I initially thought I’m not qualified to do that!

As I’ve said before (and as you can see from my running story) I am by no means a gifted runner, but I had the desire to run.

Then, when I thought about it, I figured this probably describes a lot of new runners out there: People who want to run but feel a little overwhelmed or intimidated by running or assume they just don’t have the “running gene.”

I am simply a girl who wanted to run and eased my way into running by starting slow and keeping at it.

That being said, here are my tips for new runners:

  • Invest in a good pair of running shoes. I run in Mizuno Wave Riders (which I do not think are cute, but offer the comfort and support I need). I used to run in Nike Shox which were super cute, but gave me blisters. Not a good idea. Save the Shox for strength training!

My First Pair of Real Running Shoes

  • Start slow. Don’t overwhelm yourself by setting out to run five miles right off the bat. Start with a mile, then add a little more, and a little more until you reach the distance you’ve set out to accomplish.
  • Don’t worry about your time. If you’re truly a new runner, don’t worry about how fast you’re running. Just get out there and run! Whether you run a mile at a 7-minute pace or a 12-minute pace, run at the pace that feels right for you.
  • Set a goal. Whether your goal is to simply run three miles without stopping or compete in a 5k, 10k, half or full marathon, having something to work toward may help keep you motivated.

Running in a 10k

  • Research the training plan that is right for you. If you desire a little direction when it comes to training to reach your goal, search for a training plan to follow. There are lots of plans out there, from the popular Couch to 5k plan to marathon training. Some plans incorporate speed drills and hill running, while others stick to simple, long runs. Choose the one that’s right for you, your running abilities and your goals.

Running Race Recaps:

Here are a few links to races I’ve run within the past couple months:

Your Tips for New Runners

Here are tips for new runners straight from YOU:

  • From Elizabeth: Go to a running specialty store and have them fit you for YOUR perfect shoes.  Have them look at your feet and how you run so they can put you in the right shoe for you.  This will make running more comfortable and help keep you injury free! Set a goal.  Look online sign-up for a local 5k or 10k to work towards.  You can always walk the race! HAVE FUN! Don’t stress over pace and distance.  Start out going for time.  Walk/run if you need to.
  • From Vee: Start slow, mix it up with walking, then walk less, run more. And once you can run your distance, start working on other things – speed, longer distance etc.
  • From Ange: Invest in a Nike plus running system or the more expensive Garmin to track your progress & inspire! Treat yourself to a new running outfit at the end of every month. Make up fun playlists every week and run at a faster pace during fast songs. Eat complex carbs about at least 2 hrs before your run.
  • From Kait: I started by walking, then mixing walking with running, and then finally setting out on running adventures slowly upping my distance. I guess my best advice is don’t try too much all at once and stick with it, you’ll build the endurance over time.
  • From Katie: For brand-y new runners, definitely don’t go out there with some time or speed goals! Just get out there and run and have fun.  Take walking breaks, and slowly increase distance so you don’t hurt yourself (stress fractures love overtrainers!).  Don’t try to run every single day or again, overuse or just plain boredom set in.   Signing up for a 5k after your comfortable running 2-3 miles would be a fun goal!
  • From Angela: Start with the ‘jog for 2 minutes, walk for 1’ method, then work up from there. And don’t forget to stretch after, especially if your body isn’t used to working out on a regular basis (we don’t like injuries!!).
  • From Anna: I would definitely say to start slow and not get frustrated. Adding a little distance or time each week can seem really slow, but it adds up fast!
  • From Kelly: My tips for new runners would be to listen to your body and start slowly. Never increase your mileage each week by more than 10% to avoid injury!
  • From Holly: I think a good tip when starting is to just run light post to light post & then walk to the next one & do it all over! Or pick a particular thing & say ‘I’m just going to run to that stop sign’…and typically once you get to the stop sign (for example) you want to keep going.
    Also picking out good fast beat songs to listen to is another one. I love anything that pumps me up (usually rap- haha!).
  • From Kelly and Lindsey: I think one of the best tips is to get fitted for running shoes at a specialty running store…and not just buy any old shoes.


  1. says

    Great post! I think those tips would help any running newbie!
    I think running is the one time I’m not thinking about food haha – I want to try that smoothie, looks delicious!


  2. says

    Thanks for the great post on running! I, too, just began really getting into running and at times have felt a little intimidated. Your tips were great.
    Now, that strawberry smoothie looks so YUMMY! Where did you find that strawberry protein powder???


  3. says

    I’ve been reading your blog but this is my first comment. I had to tell you that you have the best hair ever. (With my thin hair, I get hair envy a lot.) What on earth do you do to it?

    I’m not a runner (Runner’s Knee in both knees means that’s out) but I’ll add an unfortunate piece of advice I learned: When you feel pain in your knees, stop. Taking a week or so off to recoup is better than spending years in pain!


    • peanutbutterfingers says

      thank you so much. my hair is actually ridiculously thin – seriously you would be shocked at how little hair i have on my head. my hair is completely blown dry in under 5 min – it’s that thin! the only shampoo/conditioner combo i’ve found that has added even the slightest bit of thickness to my hair is marc anthony instantly thick shampoo/conditioner. here’s the web site: hope this helps!


      • says

        Awesome, thanks for the tip. Good (for me, not you) to hear your hair is really thin. Usually I envy the thick girls’ hair and get all upset when mine doesn’t cooperate. I’m totally trying the Marc Anthony stuff!


  4. says

    That’s so funny that you said that about Nike Shox- I did the SAME thing! I always thought they were so cute…but then when I showed my coach he just laughed and said NO WAY HOLLY! haha! He made me get the not so cute, kind of ugly, but way more supportive running shoes 🙂


  5. says

    i totally thought of something last night while running, and now i have gone and forgotten it…

    but the MAIN thing is to go to a specialty running store and GET FITTED….otherwise its gonna suck 🙂


  6. says

    I love this post! It’s informative and fun. I am a runner but again, feel as though I’m not… but really, all of that is just titles and glitter to a name. If we have run or continue to run, we’re runners. 😉

    Love the pink smoothie too! Looks pretty tasty!


  7. says

    I remembered!

    I have been running almost 5 years, and just recently i was given this piece of information and wow I wish someone had told me sooner!

    As a new runner, and even up until recently, most often, when I ran, I would pretty much look either straight down at the ground or just barely in front of me, raising my head ever so often.

    Train yourself to keep your head up or at least at a degree where you are looking about 30ft ahead of you. When you keep your head down like that you are closing off some of the airway, making it more difficult to get air into your lungs! And that makes you more tired, quicker! ever since I started doing this more, my runs have gotten MUCH MUCH better!!

    go ahead try it!. even just looking down sitting or standing there you can see how this would do exactly that!


  8. says

    Nice list of tips! I completely agree that investing in a decent pair of running shoes is one of the best things that any new runner can do.

    I used to run in some terrible shoes and used to suffer from pretty bad hip pains, but then I went and bought a pair of cushioned Asics and hey presto the pain went away!



  9. says

    Okay, I don’t have a gps/ heart rate monitor watch and I have been running for over two months now keeping track of my distance by my iphone, but I think it’s time I upgrade to the real deal. I’m having a hard time deciding which one is best. I bought a new balance n9 gps cardio trainer, but there are no reviews online so I’m reluctant to keep it. Do you have any suggestions? I don’t want to spend a fortune either! Thanks for your help!


  10. Jess says

    Hi there!!

    I just recently moved back to Ocala and was wondering whether there was a running club? I googled running clubs in Ocala but there is only 1 that meets at 5 am at the YMCA. Does anyone know of another? I want to start training again but hate running by myself. Thanks!!


  11. Ashlee O. says

    I just started getting into running (and fitness of any kind) before I found out I was pregnant. I the. Stopped all activity out of fear that it would cause miscarriage (I won’t be doing that the next time around, for sure!) my son is now 15 months old and I just completed my first 5K (though I was a “wogger” for sure). My tip for newbie runners- FOAM ROLLERS ARE YIUR BEST FRIEND!!! When I set out to run again, I immediately found I was having pain in my hips and knees, despite having great running shoes and taking it pretty easy. A wise friend told me to buy a foam roller (I got a cheap one at Walmart) and to look up how to roll out my IT band. I did that immediately (and googled foam rolling for knee and hip pain and found ways to roll my quads and glutes that Cleared up my pain immediately! I roll now after every workout and have managed to aviod Injury, even when I can feel pain coming on! The same friend also reccommended I get comfortable slip on shoes to wear around our house, since we have all hardwood. That was crazy-good advice too. It helped the pain I was feeling prior to the foam rolling kicking. Plus, I hadn’t realized how much stress the hard floors were putting on my ankles and calves just while cooking dinner!

    Thanks for your blog! It helped me turn my desire into action and go from non-runner/no fitness of any kind to my first 5k!!! Thank you for all the motivation!


  12. says

    I would suggest start slow, and work your way up the distances. Just enjoy the moment, pace yourself, watch your breathing as this will determine your level of endurance. As you get confident and short distances get easier, it’s time to move to higher distances. Also, like what is suggested, invest in a durable and comfy runner’s shoes.



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