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Runapalooza Day 1. Beginning Runners

These running shoes are SO ready to go!
In honor of my 5k on Saturday I will be devoting a lot of this week to all things running. Where the mind goes the blog follows ;)

Today I thought I'd talk about beginning runners. I was there not so long ago. While I'm no professional I do have a few tips that I've picked up along the way.

First, good shoes and socks. I wish I had them when I first started running. Many blisters and a few foot aches down the road I read somewhere about gait analysis at running stores. 

I highly suggest finding a running store (not just a sporting goods store unless that's all you have in your area) and having them help you pick out your first pair. I went to Boulder Running Company and they put me on the treadmill in a pair of neutral shoes and had me run while a camera recorded about calf level down. 

By watching the video play back they said I mildly over-pronate (a term I knew nothing of prior to this) and brought out some shoes made specifically for helping with this for me to try. I tried on several, then ran on the treadmill again in the pair I liked best. I also found out that I was running in shoes a half size too small, the source of many of my problems, and very common they say. Once you've found your perfect pair most running stores will even let you bring them back within a certain time and exchange them if they don't work for you.

Don't worry about not being a 'real runner'. Most of the people in these type of stores are awesome and encouraging. Tell them you are new at this, they have a lot of information and help. If you happen to stumble upon a place that isn't like that, leave promptly. I went in my first time feeling a little odd, I weighed 195 lbs and had decided to train for a marathon. I thought they'd look at me as the crazy fat girl. But they were amazing. They talked to me about fueling during races and even online sites to find some good training plans. So lose the insecurity and just have fun.

I also learned that cotton is not your friend in running socks (and if you sweat a lot not in running clothes either). There are a myriad of choices in socks. From plain to uber fancy and expensive. Peruse the selection and try some things. For my marathon I had to go to Thorlos (which helped immensely) and still had some blisters. But for shorter distances any running socks do OK for me. I've even bought Target running socks. They are fine for shorter distances, which to me is 4 miles or less.

Look for local running clubs. I joined one for $15 and get 15-20% off at the local running stores with membership. Definitely worth it to me. Plus, a lot of them have training runs and will keep you up to date on what races are coming up in your area. 

Now you're geared out and ready to run, but wait...depending on your fitness level I think it is best to start with walk/run intervals. You can find many different plans for this online, such as the couch to 5k. A lot of people think they have to just get out the door and run like the wind. If you can do this more power to you. Most beginning runners can't and wind up tired, gasping for breath, and frustrated. Intervals allow you to build. You start with more walking, say 2-3 minutes walking to 1 minute running and work your way up to running the whole time. You will get there and not feel defeated in the process!

Control your breathing, try to keep it as even as you can. I find simply focusing on how I am breathing helps me. Relax your face and neck and try not to let yourself be gasping for air.

My number one tip for new runners: you don't have to run fast right away! I think the number one mistake new runners make is trying to hold a pace that is too fast for them. It's OK to slow down so that you can hold the run portions longer. You will work up to speed. Right now you're trying to find your love of running (I'm sure it's in there somewhere). So slow it down a little and enjoy it!

I hope some of that is helpful. I know it would have helped me when I started. 

Any other runners have tips for the beginning runner? Hit us up in the comments. Beginning runners have questions? Leave me a comment and I'll do my best to answer!

Happy Monday!

I am just a blogger, not a doctor or any sort of professional. What you read here are my personal experiences and opinions. Of course, always consult your doctor before trying a diet, diet pill, or new workout program.