When I first started my running journey…everything was all sparkly and new. I was obsessed with my pace, my mileage, and wanted to soak up everything related to the how to’s of training.
Here are some things I wish I would have known as a newbie when I first dived into the awesomeness that is the life of a runner!
1. Having good running shoes makes all the difference. Change your running shoes out every few months especially if you’re logging tons of miles. Right now my mileage is close to 40 miles per week so I’m changing mine fairly often. Especially when I get race happy and start doing tons of marathons back to back I know I have to be careful and take care of my feet. Go to a running store and have them fit you in a pair that makes your tootsies happy.
2. Hydration is key. Investing in a hydration system, whether it’s a handheld water bottle or a fuel belt will help you in training especially if you are training for a marathon in the summer months. I do like to do my long runs in the park where there are water fountains but when the water source is few and far between it’s nice to be prepared when you need to re-up. Here are some great buys to look into.
3. Don’t wear the actual race t-shirt until AFTER you finish. Not only is it kind of bad luck (not that I’m superstitious or anything…haha) and it definitely makes you look like a rookie. Save it to wear after the run is complete.
4. Not every run is going to be a PR. Sure, it’s nice to set personal records…as well as win age group awards and such, but after you’ve racked up a ton of medals running will hopefully take on a whole new meaning for you. Learn to take the epic wins with the “this just wasn’t my best race day” moments and don’t beat yourself up. No matter how much you train, there are times when things will happen (such as the weather) that are just out of your control. And never compare your finish time with anyone else’s. Comparison is the thief of joy. But I always say…having a not so awesome run will make the PRs and wins all the more amazing!
5. You CAN’T eat whatever you want. I know some of us think…we run to eat. Well…frankly, it’s easy to overestimate how much you’re running and underestimate how many calories you’re actually taking in. When I first started running half marathons and training with a group…I tell ya the weight literally fell off of me. I was in my 20s and of course having a speedy metabolism helps. I never changed my diet or did anything different. But after a while your weight will plateau and your body gets used to you running distance. So watching what you eat (whole, fresh foods) and nixing the junk becomes all the more important. I think honestly after a while you start to crave healthier foods as a result so this definitely helps. Everything in moderation. And yes, I still have my glass of wine and enjoy it after a long run. So, cheers. Just take care of you and make sure your nutrition is just as much in check as the fitness part. *Abs are made in the kitchen* or whatever the young folks say these days.
6. There are going to be times when you’re just not feeling it. Let’s call it “burn out” or what have you. Learn to ride the wave and when you need to rest, chill on the miles and do some cross training. Whether it’s biking, swimming, dancing, kickboxing…find something you love that will compliment your running and keep you injury free. And keep strength training…always…a part of your regimen. As well as stretching.
7. BUT…for me, the start line never stops being an exciting place to be. I have run numerous marathons over the last 6 years and I still get pumped up every time. I always and forever will have a love for racing….years later and I still haven’t lost that joy.
What are some things you wish you would have known as a “newbie” runner?