I received a suggestion for a post from one of my followers & I totally loved the idea! I was asked to write a post on “first time runners” or “running your first race”.
When I first started running in 2014, I had no clue about the world of running. All I kept hearing from friends was that I needed to go get fitted at a running store for good shoes. I did some research & found a few running stores in my area, but I was entirely too intimidated to go in. I didn’t want anyone judging me by my outside appearance: overweight & a complete newbie at anything resembling fitness. So instead of going to a running store, I had my mom take me to the Nike outlet & I bought a pair of Nike Pegasus. No one fit me, no one even really could tell me if they were “good” running shoes, but I didn’t care. I was so excited – I was already a week or so into the Couch to 5k program so I was glad to have an “actual pair of running shoes”.
My friends were right, though. The first thing you need to do when you decide you want to start running is invest in a pair of running shoes. Nike’s ARE okay – some people do run in Nike’s, but getting fit at a running store is incredibly important. The shoes you wear, if you wear the incorrect ones for your feet, could lead to future injury & no one wants that! My first pair of REAL running shoes were Brooks Glycerin 12’s, and they were perfect. They are considered a neutral shoe & I loved the cushion they gave me! I stuck with those for a little while, but I have since moved on to New Balance 1080’s. Brooks will always have my ❤ though.
When I first started running, I wore a lot of cotton everything. Hey, I had no idea. I would have never guessed clothing would be such a big deal. Once I spent more time with a running group, I realized you were supposed to wear “moisture wicking” material. Umm, what was that? is what I remember thinking. Listen, I had no intention of making this my lifetime sport, so I didn’t think research was necessary. Oh, the things I have learned in the last 2 years!! SAY NO TO COTTON!! Chafing is NOT fun. And cotton holds moisture & doesn’t allow your body to regulate temperature. Trust me, you’ll thank me later. Technical fabrics (nylon, polyester, etc) are the way to go. Most race shirts are tech tees, & I re-wear them a lot during runs. My favorite places to find running clothes are Old Navy, Marshalls (so cheap!) & Kohls. One last thing on this topic: always practice running in your outfit before race day. You don’t want to suddenly realize your shorts ride up or your singlet rubs in all the wrong places while you’re in the middle of a race. Again, you’ll thank me later.
I would have never done as much running if I hadn’t found a local running group, Elite Runners & Walkers (now Pro Bike + Run). When I first joined them, I was only a week or two away from running my very first 5k. It was hill repeat night & I was god awful slow & did not feel like I had any business being there. But, as I’ve said in previous posts, I was welcomed with open arms & I have been a loyal member ever since. So, my advice to a new runner is find a running group in your area! They bring motivation, advice, & a friendship that will last a lifetime. & some pretty funny conversations on long runs. You all are there for a common purpose & I have learned so much from my fellow runners – I wouldn’t be where I am without them.
Also – for your first race, here’s some additional advice: You are going to be nervous, but try to use that to your advantage. Go out there & give it your all! Don’t go out too fast, especially if a 5k (3.1 miles) is the distance you’re choosing. You don’t want to have a great fast half just to bomb in the second half of the race. Trust me; it’s happened to me many times. Know that this will not be your last race. There will ALWAYS be another race. Work hard, set goals for yourself, & love every minute of it. Being a part of the running community is truly a special thing.
One more thing: my coach will hurt me if I don’t mention this… STRETCH!! Always stretch after you run. It’s something I am not disciplined enough in, & I have paid the price for it in the past.
Happy running – & if you ever need motivation or would just like someone to chat with about anything health & fitness related, PLEASE reach out. It is what I’m here for 🙂