Running tips from a non-runner

And then 12 weeks later… I was running 10 miles at a time, smiling and sweating all over the city.

That was me last year this time. What is wrong with this picture?


Right… in my cute half marathon outfit… but sitting in the emergency room. whoops! If you haven’t heard about last year’s, um, situation, you can read about it here.

I was training for the half marathon in RI that was last May. It was the first time in my life that I could run more than 3-4 miles at a time. It was a fitness turning point in my life… one that I will be thankful about for many years to come. While I didn’t complete the half marathon due to a little tripping incident….. I did learn a lot about what it takes to run longer distances (which for me was anything over 3 miles).

Why do I even bring this up now? Well, PB and his friend are running the Broad Street Run in a few weeks and I keep hearing stories about their individual runs. Also, I have been running longer distances again now that my ankle is (much) better. So I thought I would share my tips!

1. Start slow. If you use all of energy up in the first few minutes trying to keep up with (ahem) your fast fiance, you will burn out and not be able to complete your run. I had to ask PB to slow down while we run, and he now he runs with me at my pace. He doesn’t mind, and that way I can complete my runs with him! Unfortunately, during this last year where I have been running less due to my injury, he has sped up a LOT (guess that is fortnuate for him). He now runs several miles at a 7 or 8 minute pace. Isn’t that great?

2. You don’t have to run every single day to see improvements, you only need to run consistently. I went from running 3 miles whenever to 10- only running 4 days a week. In the past I would try running every day and would get tired/bored/etc from that. This time, running 4 days a week, I was successful!

3. Overtraining can be harmful! I think that even with my 4 day a week training schedule, I overtrained last year. My doctor said to me in a phone call last week that he thinks I wouldn’t have been injured so badly when I was accidentally tripped at the half if I hadn’t overtrained. And boy am I paying for it now! For example, last night I rocked my socks off in an amazing step + kickboxing Tuesday… today? My ankle is throbbing.

4. You have to make it fun for yourself in order to stick to it. I am now obsessed with fun new playlists for my iPod. I have always loved music, but having a thought-out playlist reallly helps me get through my runs/workouts. I start off with a few very intense songs, then get into a medium-paced groove, then end with two or three relaxing songs that motivate me to finish hard and also to complete a full cooldown. I get so excited thinking about the next song or rocking out to the current one that time flies by faster… especially when running on those days I would rather be curled up on the couch.

5. Now it’s your turn… Share with me your running tips for PB and his friend!!!

*Note: these tips are just what I learned from personal experience….


14 responses to “Running tips from a non-runner

  1. great tips! Thanks for sharing 😉

  2. The infamous fall of 2008!!!!!!!!! Luckily the ring survived 🙂

  3. Fabulous tips!! At least you look cute after the fall?!

  4. Briana Maloney

    What I want to know is what you long distance runners do for water? Once I do over 4 miles I feel like I need to rehydrate but I really don’t want to run with water bottles in my hands or wearing a back pack. Do you wear a camelback? I kind of want to get one but feel like I’ll look like a tool unless I’ve got the awesome spandex running suits to go with it!

  5. rhodeygirltests

    Bri- First of all, HI!!!!!!

    I am too cheap to buy a camelback and too cool to wear a dorky fuel belt (sorry if this offends anyone) so I usually just tuck a water bottle into my sports bra strap. Seriously. Or into the elastic of my shorts. or hold it.

    On days where it is just too much work to do the above I usually run a path that has a bubbla somewhere along it.

    Caitlin of always uses a camelback and she looks pretty cool in it so I bet you would too!!!!

  6. thanks for the tips, im SO nerv for my half-er in late april. eeek!

  7. Thanks so much for the tips!! I am totally the girl who gets SO excited now when I run 2 miles without stopping! I hope to get to 10 someday! It’s great to hear it some someone elses perspective who was in the same boat 🙂

  8. oh i love the broad street run!! running with friends always helps, as long as they’re in the same mindset of speed 🙂 i think having fun whatever you’re doing is SO important, and also care when it comes to overtraining. DON’T eat anything new race day–i’ve made that mistake 🙂

  9. OH MY GOODNESS! I wasn’t reading your blog when all that happened – so sorry to hear it! But glad you have such a positive outlook! 😉

  10. My tip is… mix it up! I can’t stand running at the same speed for a long period of time. I like having short goals whether it’s speed or incline wise (well at least on a treadmill). Also, mix up distances, interval and tempo runs on different days of the week. You can’t get that much better if you do the same thing every single day (+ you’ll get bored!).

  11. These are great tips! I am still figuring things out with running–I am right on that cusp of running more than 3 miles regularly. For me so much of running is mental, so I could use tips on how to beat your own mind. I know I can run fast and longer than I currently do 😦

  12. For someone new at running I always say “run slower than you think you should.” It’s so easy to get burnt out quickly and then you feel like you’ll never progress. And if you feel like you’re stuck at a certain mileage, slow down!

    Walk breaks are a must! In fact, living in GA in the summer I still have to incorporate walk breaks in my runs…it just gets so hot here!

  13. Thank you for the tips. They’re very helpful for a first time halfer like myself!

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