A Fit Girl’s Guide to Running ~ Part 1

A Girl's Guide to Running

You all know how much I love running, and one of the things that’s makes my so, so, so happy when working with personal training clients is getting them to love running too.

It’s not the easiest thing for sure, but when done right, running can be the perfect exercise to get some stream out, help you reach your goals, and honestly, make you feel amazing! There is no feeling like that runners high once you complete a good run.

Over the next few weeks or so, I will be talking about how to get started with running for newbies. And also, for more seasoned runners how to increase milage, increase speed, the best gear, and how to fuel before and after your run.

Running Guide

Running Basics for Beginners

How do I get started?

First, it’s best to make a plan devoted to your new routine and create a running schedule to keep yourself accountable. You’ll see the rewards with just 30 minutes a day, three to five times per week.

When you start running, don’t plan to go too far or too fast right away. Start by running for 20 minutes at a time, three times per week. If you need to, you can always start with two minutes running followed by two minutes walking to get you into the swing of things. Gradually increase the amount your running until you can run the entire 20 minutes. Then start increasing your time once you feel comfortable. 

A great idea would to try a program such as Couch to 5k. This program will help you train for your first 5k run (about 3 miles). It’s great for beginners and you have a few options of how many weeks you want to train for, and what level you’re starting at. They have a great mobile app to that you can have on your phone while you run that will tell you when to walk and when to run.

When you’re just starting out, don’t worry about how far you’re going just worry about how long you can run for. You’ll gradually be able to run faster and that when you’ll want to start checking your distance.

What equipment do I need?

The BEST thing about running is that you really don’t need that much extra equipment. Your most important piece of equipment is your shoes.

When choosing a pair of running shoes it’s best to go to a specialty running store to be properly fitted and to find the best shoe to match your foot and the way you personally run, as in how your foot strikes the ground.

To find a local store near you, just Google “running store” and you will be able to find some options in your area. Make sure they have a treadmill and can watch how you run. You should be able to test the shoes on a short jog to see how they feel. The employees should be very knowledgable and helpful in getting you started.

You will also want to make sure to have a quality, well-fitting sports bra to keep everything in place! 😉 Jump around a bit in the fitting room to make sure everything is secure…yes I’m serious. A good sports bra is a MUST!

Another great tool to have is a digital GPS watch or a phone with a running app that records time, pace, distance, and maps your run. My favorite running app is the Nike+ Running App.

Will I get sore?

Your legs and hips may be sore or fatigued when you first start. But with practice and consistent training soreness will go away very quickly.

Shin splints are the most common injury and are usually caused by improper shoes or overtraining. Always make sure to stretch after each run to prevent being overly sore.

Should I feel out of breath?

Running will definitely feel challenging at first and you will probably be out of breath a bit when you start. But after a few runs that should start to go away. It’s helpful to use a “talk test”, meaning you should be able to hold a conversation while you’re running. This will help you know when you’re at a good pace. Then to increase speed, once a week, go for a shorter run, but run faster, where talking is a little bit difficult. This will help increase your fitness level and cardiovascular strength.

Should I run on the treadmill or outside?

The best advice is to run wherever you can. The most important thing is to get into the routine of running. Treadmills are great for when the weather is less than ideal and if you are trying to keep an eye on your pace. But nothing can compare to running outside. Not only will the scenery help motivate you to get moving, but the natural hills are great for toning up that behind! 😉 

As with any new routine, it’s important to take things slow at first. Remember, it’s not a race, it’s about respecting the level where you’re at right now. Pushing too hard when your body isn’t used to it will cause injuries and burnout. Make sure to listen to your body and if something doesn’t feel right, take it easy. Always stretch and foam roll after a run to keep your body feeling it’s best!

I love running, and with the right start I know you will too! It’s simple, free and can be done anywhere… even on vacation! You’ll feel amazing after every run with a natural “runner’s high”. As with any form of exercise, running releases natural endorphins throughout your body for an energized, happy feeling! 🙂

Any seasoned or newbie runners out there that have any other good tips? Leave them in the comments below!


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