Running 101: Getting Started


Running 101: Getting Started!

It’s weird it has taken me this long to write a post on getting started in running. I guess I was always hesitate to give advice because I am in no means a running expert. I realized that I do have some experience. I think I said I have been running for 8 years in a past post but, I believe it has been close to 10 years. Yikes! Almost a decade.

So…you want to start running, huh?!?!

Well you have come to right place. I know running can be intimidating when first starting off. I know majority of you that read my blog are already very experienced, seasoned runners. This series is for the ones who are thinking of starting up running or coming back after a break from running or just want to be able to run a mile or run their first 5k or 10k. What ever the reason, I am going to try and help you as much as I can in getting you started.

Running 101: Tips on getting started


1. {Invest in good running shoes}

I can’t emphasis enough how important it is in getting fitted for the correct shoes. Some think “well I’m not a “serious runner” so I don’t need to invest in expensive shoes.” That is completely wrong! Whether you are training for your first 5k or full marathon you still need the right shoes for you. For the first 3-4 years of my running journey I was wearing the completely wrong type of shoe for my feet. Once I got fitted for the correct ones it was like night and day in my running.

My recommendation: Visit your local running specialty store and have your feet analyzed by a running expert on the type of shoe that will work best for you.

2. {Have realistic expectations}

Don’t expect to be the fastest. Don’t expect to go out on your first run and be able to run 20 minutes straight or even 5 minutes straight. If you set your expectations too high than that will only lead to being discouraged and wanting to give up. Set mini goals throughout the first few months: run for 2 minutes straight with no stopping, run for 20 minutes using the walk/run method, run a full mile with no stopping. These are just a few examples that you can set for yourself in the beginning. With these mini goals it will give you something to work towards without feeling defeated each time you go out for a run.

My recommendation: For those that have never ran before, set a goal to run for 1/4 mile, with no stopping. After I had my son, I couldn’t even run a 1/10 mile but, I slowly built back up my strength and endurance. Each week I would try to run a 1/4 mile farther each time I would go out for a run and eventually built back up to running a full mile with no stopping.

Suggested article to read: Runner’s World: How to start walking

3. {Trust the process}

This is probably the hardest of all the tips to follow, even for me. When I was training for my marathon I was constantly questioning my training on a daily basis. Was I not running enough? Could I have run faster in that last mile? Was I running too much? My mind was always racing. It is crucial to start gradually and slowly and to trust the process. Follow a training plan and stick to it. In the end all your hard work will pay off.Running 101 on One Mother of a Day


4. {Walk/run method}

The walk/run method is just how it sounds. You walk for a certain amount of time and then run for a specified time. By following this method you will gradually build up your endurance and stamina.

My recommendation: Start with a run/walk ratio of 1:4.  Once your body adapts to that than you can increase to run/walk ratio of 1:2. Listen to your body and what it is telling you. There is a difference between good pain and bad pain and it is very important for you to be able to identify the difference.

Suggested article to read: Runner’s World: How to start running


5. {Pick a race}

If you give yourself something to work towards, you will most likely stick to your training and continue your running journey.

My recommendation: Pick a local 5k and register for that race! Use a training plan and follow it!

Running 101: Getting Started @Onemotherofaday

 My own experience

I have one regret when it comes to how I started running. I wish I would have joined cross-country in high school. I didn’t start running until I was almost done with college.

For the first few years of running, I struggled with side stitches, hip pain, black toe nails, toe nails falling off, burning lungs and many others.

Reader question:

What kind of exercises would be helpful to build up strength for me to start running?

My answer: To start walking. When you can walk at a comfortable pace for 20-30 minutes without being too much out of breath, than I would try to pick up the pace into a slow run. Again I am not certified in anything, this is all based on my own experiences and everyone is different in their fitness levels.

Suggested article to read: Runner’s World: Strength Training for new runners


Did you miss how my running journey started? Read it here.

For those of you who are just getting started: Did you find this post helpful? Do you have any other questions that you want to ask for any of the upcoming topics I will cover (see below)?

Running 101 series:

Getting Started

Nutrition and Paleo

Proper Fueling

What I ate before, during and after a 12 mile run

gear (coming soon)

training/recovery (coming soon)

exercises/stretches/strength training/cross-training for the runner (coming soon)

Misc.-weight gain during training, etc.  (coming soon)


Don’t forget to follow me!






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21 Responses to Running 101: Getting Started

  1. I am getting back into running after recovering from back surgery and then a broken toe. The most I did before hurting my back was 5 miles. The hardest part about coming back is that I can do less than when I originally started.

    I’m most interested in specific exercises/routines for core strengthening, weight training and appropriate post-run stretching. I know that kind of stuff would have helped me prevent an injury in the first place!

    I love this series. Thank you for putting it together.

    • Glad to hear you are back to running! I know strength training is very important in preventing injuries, I learned the hard way. I’ll add those topics to the series! Thanx for reading and commenting!

  2. I recently had a conversation with someone who was just getting in to running. She knew I ran a lot and felt like she shouldn’t do it because she couldn’t get very far without walking. It ended up being a great conversation and we talked about a lot of what you mentioned above. These are great tips to help someone start out and help to make it successful!

  3. Great advice! I love that your one regret is not starting sooner! I think your trust the process tip is bang on. And it’s so relatable to every stage of running!

  4. Meghan says:

    This is a great post on how to get started! It’s all very true. I, too, didn’t begin to run until after college and though I didn’t face the same situations you did, I still didn’t find it to be easy at all. I couldn’t run for longer than 2 minutes, if that, when I first started. I also was addicted to the treadmill when I started because I thought it was easier. Nowadays, if you see me on a treadmill, you need to ask me if I’m okay because I hate it so so so much. Trusting the process is something that takes time. It hasn’t been until these past few months that I’ve really just felt like trusting the process. It’s not always the easiest task, but it sure is a relief when you do start to trust. 🙂 Great post Lindsey!!

    • Thank you Meghan! Yes I hate the treadmill now too! I haven’t ran on one in years and hope to never have to again! Trusting the process is probably the hardest one to follow, no matter how many years experience you have. I know it’s still very difficult for me to trust the process. I hope to get to where you are , in trusting the process! I’m not quite there yet 😃

  5. Great post! I’ve accomplished being able to run 3 miles (haven’t ever run further than that) but I still struggle with side stitches when I run sometimes and piriformis syndrome which causes set backs sometimes. I think I need to stretch & foam roll more often!!! My short term goal is to run a 10k & my long term goal is to run a half marathon. I look forward to reading your running series posts as I continue on my running journey!

    • Yeah I used to have side stitches in the beginning, I think I wasn’t hydrated enough. You will get to your 10k and half marathon goal!! Keep at it and all your hard work will pay off!!

  6. Kimberly Morganstern says:

    Last, year I started to really run and really enjoying my new fitness fav. Months in and I started to get lots of feet and leg issues. My running buddy told me to get properly sized, I come to find out that I was wearing the wrong size shoes for the last 7 years! I was wearing 1 1/2 bigger than I needed and I wasn’t getting the support for my poor feet. Next, it was the knees hurting and on and on came more problems. Finally, I got new shoes and in the proper size (Hooray), picked up dry wicking socks and learned to proper clean my shoes. Did proper exercises to help my upper quads get stronger, to relieve the pressure from my knees. Thank you, for the run/walk advice, I will the 1:4 and to 1:2 next week. I need to improve my time and run without injuries.

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  10. How is the running going? I combine running with weights because I love both.
    I am looking forward swimming again as well. Who knows? Maybe I can do some triathlon one day.

    Great blog. I am glad I came across it through Pinterest!

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