Getting Started

Since I've started running I've gotten several emails  from readers asking me how I got started so I decided to do a post about it.

I am by no means an expert. I am very much a beginning runner but I have been able to run 20-40 miles a week without a single injury so I must be doing something right.

can buy awesome shirt on {THIS BLOG}

Getting Started:

1. First things First. You need good shoes. 
I highly recommend going to a specialty running store so you can get fitted for the right shoes. They will also observe your stride and see if you over or under pronate. I over pronate and have a wide foot with a high arch (basically your worst nightmare) but I was able to be fitted for the perfect pair of shoes that have left me injury free. The brand I bought are Mizuno. L*O*V*E them! Note: your shoes will typically last 500 miles and then they need to be replaced! 

2. Start slow.
I cannot stress this point enough. Most people who are not "runners" or who have never been "runners" need to start really slow. Running is hard. It's a very high impact sport that takes a lot of muscle groups and a lot of stamina  and coordination to achieve. Your not going to be a marathon runner straight away. It takes time and practice. When I first started running I could go about 2 miles at a very slow pace of around 12 min per mile. Mind you I had been power walking for a year before this so I was in pretty good shape to start out and almost at my goal weight so I wasn't heavy either so don't be surprised if you can only run a mile really slowly to start out. If you try to run fast your only going to get exhausted and frustrated and want to quit. You will probably get side cramps for the first week or two when you start running. These are VERY NORMAL for beginning runners. Just stop or slow down and breathe through it. They will go away and you won;t have them once your body gets used to running. I never get a side cramp anymore.
Also, let me just say that I felt like I was going to die for about the first 3 weeks..........seriously.....then it got better.............and now I can't live without it! 
Hello runner's high!!!! You'll get there but be patient!! 

3. Never Stretch Cold.
I always stop to stretch between miles 3 and 5. I am nice and warmed up and I just take about 2 minuets to stretch my calves and thighs. I also so a much more thorough stretch at the completion of my runs. You never want to stretch cold. 

4. Listen to Your Body
This is something I find extremely important when it comes to running and remaining injury free. I probably adjust my shoes 3 times during any given run. Honestly, it's small, simple things like how tight your laces are that can keep you injury free. Don't assume your shoes need to be laced up extremely tight and leave them like that. I run with my laces loose and I find the smallest amount of pressure in the wrong spot will cause a arch cramp in my foot. 
It might just feel like a tiny nag at first but after 8 miles can very easily become an injury. This goes for any body part. If something doesn't feel right, either adjust it or stop running. Don't injure yourself before you can even give it a chance. 

5. Your body needs fuel
Make sure you are well hydrated hours before you run. If your going to run first thing in the morning then make sure you drank enough the night before. Don't try to drink 5 glasses of water right before you run. It will make you sick. Try to hydrate well the entire day before. I always drink one glass of water right before I go for a run and one right after. I also have a hydration belt that I use for runs longer than 10 miles. You really shouldn't run much longer than 1-1.5 hours without water. This also depends on the temperature your running at. If it's warmer than 70 I would only run 30 min without water. This will take a little experimenting but just be careful and realize that if you are sweating a lot, you need to replace that water in your body.

Also, be sure you are giving your body enough calories. I always eat a banana or a cliff bar before I run an average run. If it's my long run day (more than 10 miles) I eat 2 pieces of toast, a banana or a cliff bar and a glass of water. Also, always be sure to get a few hundred calories into your body as soon as you get back from your run. I like to refuel with some fruit and water.  You have about an hour window where your muscles will be very open to receiving glycogen and replacing your glycogen stores.  If you replace your glycogen immediately after a run you are less likely to get sore.

6. Don't spend too much time on the treadmill
I always try to run outside.   It is proven that avid outdoor runners get injured far less than indoor runners. You will develop much greater versatility as a runner if you run outside. You will develop a much wider range of muscle groups and skills like running on uneven surfaces and hills. Naturally you will be a stronger runner. 
Running outdoors comes with it's fair share of challenges like weather and safety but I find it MUCH, MUCH more gratifying than running on a treadmill. I only run on the treadmill if it's ice and snow here. 
Please be safe. I run with mace at all times. 
Tips for running outdoors:
- wear a hydration belt if necessary
- layer your clothing
- carry mace
-don't run in the dark
- don't run the same route everyday
-tell someone how long you expect to be gone and which direction your heading
-be careful

7. Get a good bra
A good sports bra is ESSENTIAL for running. I mean ESSENTIAL!!! You cannot run well and not injure your back if you don't have a good bra. No you can't wear 2 underwire bras and bra from Target. {THIS} is where I got my bra and it is awesome!!!!  I ordered {THE 3 BLESSINGS BRA} and I cannot run without it. One day I tried and threw my back out within 3 miles. I had to come come. Seriously, it's important and {THIS PLACE} has the best bras especially for well endowed women.

 8. Reading Material
Some people like to read about their sport before they get into it. I know I do. It helps me stay in tune with everything I need to know. I  have found {THIS}book really helpful. It has a little bit about everything you need to know from training for a race to what to wear and how to stretch. Everything and it's easy and fun to read! Get it! 

Some of My favorite Running Gear

I have discovered I love compression socks. They are supposed to help with blood flow to the legs during and after your run. They are also supposed help keep shin splints at bay. I can't really run without them. I have several different brands that I wear. 

{these}are my favorite. They have medium compression and I wear them the most
{these}I wear on my really long runs and are tighter
and {these} are kinda in between with lighter compression and I wear a lot on runs and to work.

 My hair is always driving me crazy. I have been looking for years for headbands that are elastic that stay in place and I finally found them Thanks to {Skinny Runner}. They are called BIC bands and they DO NOT slip and they also do not give you a head ache. I am majorly impressed. I ordered 2 to try them out and then immediately ordered 4 more. Seriously they are awesome,. 
You can find them {HERE}

Well........I finally broke down and got a {garmin}to track my mileage and speed and I am in L*O*V*E with it. I can at a glance see exactly what I'm doing in the moment. I love it. It really helps with my speed work.

However, if your not quiet ready t make that leap I might suggest that you use an iPhone app called "run keeper". It's free!!!!   It is also a GPS tracker that can track your mileage so you know how far you are running when running outdoors.


My friend Christy is an amazing athlete and has been like a mentor to me in my short running career.  You can find her and her lovely blog The Buhrs, {HERE}

I also have really enjoyed reading {skinny runner},  {haute running mama}{once apon a lime}and {run, eat, reapeat}.

I Hope a few of my tips will help any of you that want to start running do so. Honestly I have  never been so fit, happy, thin or satisfied in my entire life. Running is a great daily discipline and I treasure the "me" time. I think I would probably loose my mind with out it. Plus I am in the best shape of  my life. I honestly don't think I will ever stop. 
I am running my first marathon in a month!! 18 mile training run in 2 days! WHOOP!!!!

Oh and I track my training online on a site called THE DAILY MILE. Is anyone want to join and become my friend I would love to give you motivation on your runs and posts. You can friend me {HERE}


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Christy said...

Awh, I'm honored! Love you girl! Great tips. I'm amazed how fast you became hardcore! I would like to feature your journey on my lil blog from weight loss to rmarathon training. I think it would be so inspirational for my family and friends, etc. :)

Katie said...

Great advice Hanna! I bet it will encourage a lot of people. Those first few weeks of running are killer... it feels like it will never get easier, but it does :) I want a Garmin so bad! Someday... :)

SueAnn said...

What great advice Hanna! I am moving up to power walking and still have some weight to lose...but in about a year I hope to be running too!
Thanks for the encouragement

Mindee and Austin said...

Thanks you for posting this! It helped me so so Much! Your just awesome girl ; )

Karly said...

Thank you so much for posting this! I was actually just thinking about asking you this a couple of days ago, ha ha ha. This is awesome, and makes me pumped to try running again. I used to be a good runner while I was in the Air Force, but it was easier then because I was always accountable to someone else.

Laura and Sarah said...

Hi Hanna, thanks for this! I have been thinking about trying to run (have been walking an hour every other day (home from work) and am hoping to eventually turn that into a run) because of what it has done for you - I'm overweight, but I hate dieting with a passion! I'm starting to eat healthier, but I hate the thought of not being able to bake, cook and eat my creations because I'm on a diet - so I think something like running (home from work every day) would really change my life, allow me to tone up and get fit without losing my quality of life! I've got this page favourited - as the weather gets warm here in London, I'm going to start jogging, and working up to it!

Thanks again!! Laura xo

Jane Craske said...

Fantastic ideas! You've even motivated me to sign-up for a running clinic.

CaseyWiegand said...

YES! Thank you for this post!!!!!!!!!! eeeep!!!!

CaseyWiegand said...

YES! Thank you for this post!!!!!!!!!! eeeep!!!!

Heather said...

I just started running 3 weeks ago and emailed you for advice before my first run. "GO SLOW" was the best advice I ever received and I can't say enough how much it helped me! I'm still running at a v.e.r.y. slow pace but the fact that I'm ABLE to run is so encouraging!

Thanks so much for this post and for helping me a few weeks back, you are wonderful!

Jamie said...

Nicely said. I've been asked that too..... I'm gonna refer them to this post! Love.

Beth Ann said...

Run a mile very slowly to begin with? Ha! How about run a few minutes very slowly to begin with? I'm like less than a beginner...I'm in the negatives! ;) I would not be able to make a mile starting out...a mile would be a big accomplishment for me at any speed!

This sounds like great advice. I wish I could be a runner. It's a big time mental battle for me!

Lindsay said...

Gosh I wish we lived closer so you could be my modivation. Your amazing and the shirt rocks :)

AugustMagnolia said...

That shirt is AWESOME! :)

Barry and Rena said...

Thank you for this incredible post.Hope to try out running soon so this is a great guide to help me get started!!

Laura@Splendor said...!!!! Thank you for this! :)

erin.nicole said...'re doing awesome with your running! I just added you as a friend on The Daily Mile...I just joined but I think it will be a great way to track my training :)


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