My 5 Tips for New Runners

written in running

Yours truly started running just over 7 months ago with the goal to get into shape. I dropped 17 KG since and now really enjoy running. I even finished my first 10 miles race! (1:21:05). Here are 5 things that I learned in the process;

Tip 1: Drop weight with this one weird trick

I dropped 17 KG by running three days a week and eating less and better. Sorry, not shortcuts here. I eat muesli with milk in the morning, a big green salad in the afternoon, and a small dinner with lots of veggies. No food/snack intake after dinner really helped to increase my weight loss.

I tracked my progress and future progress using trend lines in a spreadsheet with graphs. This made my weight goals achievable and predictable, which really motivated me.

Weight graph with trendlines

Tip 2: Buy good running shoes

I started running in old sport shoes. After 20 minutes running my feet became numb. I blamed the shoes. So I went to a nearby running store and walked out with a great pair of Asics and friction reducing Nike running socks. Never experienced numb feet again. I did get HUGE blisters, as I’m stupid and didn’t broke them in properly.

Tip 3: Prevent overuse injuries

After five-ish months of running, I felt super fit, and started to increase my weekly mileage way to fast. Turns out that the quote “metabolic fitness precedes structural readiness” by running coach Jay Johnsen is a correct observation. The overuse resulted in ITBS symptoms and I couldn’t run my planned first half marathon. I stopped running for two weeks, and did a lot of hip strength exercises. I’m now very gradually building up a good base. The goal is a first HM race in the spring of 2015. No more overuse injuries if I can help it.

Tip 4: Hydrate on long runs

I ran for over two hours once, which was really an achievement for me, but didn’t hydrate properly. So, I totally crashed afterwards. My body was telling me to put some water and salt in it. I did, an after an hour I felt much better. The next day I ordered the Nathan Trail Mix hydration belt, and I never go out on a long run without it since.

Tip 5: Run negative splits

My best long runs start with a easy pace (~5:30 min/km for me). After a few KM’s I very gradually step up the pace and finish strong with a fast pace (4:40-50 min/km). In running slang this is called a negative split. In my limited race experience, I noticed that a lot of folks go out way too fast in the beginning of the race and they have a extra hard time towards the end of their race. With a negative split, you better distibute your energy.