Dear New Runner,
Thank you so much for joining the running community. I can’t guarantee you it’s going to be easy but I can promise that running will open many new doors to adventure. A running lifestyle can introduce you to new friendships, experiences and life change that no other form of exercise can. But you have got to keep a few things in mind…
#1 Get good shoes for your running style, gait and body mechanics. The most common question experienced runners are asked by people new to our sport is “What are the best shoes?” This is such a personal question with an answer that is different for every person. Once you decide running is your activity of choice for fitness visit a specialty running store. A specialty running store can provide a professional gait analyse to ensure your choice of shoes provide the best fit and function. It’s not about style, color, or what works for the elite level athletes in professional sports….it is about what works for you.
[Tweet “Brian address’s many questions new runners have in a letter – Dear New Runner”]
#2 Start slow. Once I fell in love with running I wanted to run often. Each run left me wanting to run longer and faster. BUT, you have to go slow at first to allow your body time to adjust. I once read an article on running injury free. The biggest take away was the 10% Rule. The 10% Rule boils down to never adding more weekly or monthly mileage than 10% more than the previous week or month. I also believe you should not extend your long run more than 10% of your previous and current long run.
Running is also about adventures, drama and life change.
Running to Leadville, the story of the 100-mile runner. A story about life as much as it is about running. A look into what compels someone to take that first step on an adventure that pushes them to the limits of themselves and exposes the core of the human movement. An endeavor that isn’t over until the last breath is taken. Running to Leadville – available on Amazon
#3 Listen to your body. There is no one perfect training plan for everyone. When selecting a training plan you must find one that will work for you, your life-style and your running and racing goals. Once you find that plan…you must listen to the feedback your body gives you and not become so locked into your plan that you potentially run yourself into an injury. If I have a long run, speed work or hill repeats on my training agenda and my legs, my lungs or my heart just don’t feel up to it….I adjust.
#4 Stop and smell the roses (take the selfie). To me and this is simply my personal experience…no single run, no single training cycle, no one race (unless your gunning for Olympic Medals, Boston Qualifier or a Golden ticket) is worth bypassing the experience. We only live this life once, enjoy the sunset, the misty morning on the trail, the geese, deer or squirrel you share the trail with. Your running life will be more enjoyable if you high five the kids, hug the dogs and smile at the cameras along the way.
#5 Embrace the community. I used to be a lone-wolf runner. I trained alone, I showed up at the races by myself, ran and went home to my family. Running was fun…but not very deep. Today, I have friends that have seen me at my lowest, I have friends who kept me moving, I have friends who have seen my victories. BUT more importantly I have helped a cancer survivor run her first marathon. I have ran with a new runner when they crossed the finish line for the first time. I have been part of a six person 200-mile relay team where we ran and laughed for 35+ hours. I’ve run across the Grand Canyon with a group that will forever share the R2R2R bound. I’ve run 50 miles with someone battling their own body to get their first 100-mile buckle. I could go on and on…the stories are endless. Running and runners are my tribe.
Running is a lifetime sport and more so it is a lifetime life style. Running takes you to edge of what you think you can do and expands your horizon, your self-confidence and broadens your life experience.
Best of luck…keep in touch I can’t wait to hear about your future running success.