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Beginners Guide to Running - Advice from a Running Coach

Hey there, new runner! I am excited to be a part of your running journey. Let's dive into the world of running, guided by your friendly running coach.

Topics Covered:

Coach Ashley Brush Running on Gravel Trail

Starting Your Running Journey

The First Step: Commitment

Congratulations on taking the first step towards your running journey! The first step is all about making that commitment to yourself to be a better you. This is a commitment for you and you alone, you won’t regret it. It's not just about getting fit; it's about finding a new you, building resilience, and creating a lifelong relationship with the trail.

Finding Your Why

Before you start, ask yourself “Why?”. Is it to feel better in your own skin, boost your mental clarity, or maybe challenge yourself in a way you never thought possible? Your "why" matters, this will guide you through your running journey. It's what will motivate you on days when you just don't feel like it. Ensure your “why” adds value to your life, and doesn’t take away, i.e. “I run to lose weight” vs “I run to love the way I look and feel about myself”. One is focusing on losing a part of yourself vs the other is focusing on adding value and enhancing yourself.

Form Matters (But not as much as you may think)

Form does matter, but most likely your body knows how to run as it's the most natural form of movement for our bodies. If you worry your form is incorrect, a running coach can help guide you with proper technique, strength training, and over time, your body will find its natural rhythm.

Progress, Not Perfection (one step at at a time)

Keep in mind that running is about progress and finding joy, not perfection. It's okay if you can't run a mile the first day. Your running coach will create a plan to where you are now, gradually building your endurance and strength. Embrace the process, and celebrate every win along the way.

Consistency, Consistency, Consistency

Running is like a good book; the more consistently you dive in, the more captivating it becomes. Stick to your running schedule, even when it's cold outside or you'd rather Netflix. Consistency is key to becoming a runner. Keep at it, even when it's hard. You are stronger than you think, you got this!

The Running Community

You’re never alone in your running journey. There is a whole world of runners out there excited to run with you! Join a running club or online running community, this can be a game-changer.

If you’re local to Bend, Oregon check out this list of local runs, join Central Oregon Running Klub, and stop by Footzone in Bend. The running community is like an extended family, cheering you on every step of the way. Adding people in your life that have similar goals as you will only add to your success.

The First Milestone: Your First Race

Setting a goal for your first race is, whether that's a 5k or longer is a great way to stay motivated. This will give you a goal to work towards and keep up your consistent work. Your running coach will help you prepare. Stepping onto that start line and feeling the energy of the race is a one of a kind experience. You will surprise yourself and do better than you think, and that is something to look forward to.

Basic Running Gear Essentials

Let's talk gear, shall we? It's not about fancy gadgets or designer labels; it's about comfort, safety, and having a blast on your runs. Your running coach is here to guide you through the world of running gear, so you're ready to hit the road in style.

Shoes: Your Foundation

It's key to have a solid pair of running shoes. They'll provide the support and comfort you need on your journey. Your local running store is a great place to find the perfect pair. They have qualified shoe experts to match you to the shoe that's best for your feet.

Threads That Breathe

For your running attire. Ensure you're comfortable and your clothing is breathable. A moisture-wicking shirt to keep you dry, comfy shorts or leggings, and moisture-wicking socks to prevent those dreaded blisters. Cotton is not your friend, when it comes to running. Nylon or Polyester is a better route. As a new runner, don't worry about trends; just be you and be comfortable!

Shades and a Cap

If you're going to run under the sun's friendly (or not-so-friendly) rays, sunglasses and a cap or visor are essential. They keep the sun out of your eyes and protect your lovely face. Protect yourself with sunscreen too!

A Watch or App for Tracking

Whether it's a trusty running watch or a running app on your phone, you'll want something to track your progress. It's like having a personal cheerleader on your wrist, offering stats and encouragement.

Rock That Playlist

Lastly, keep yourself entertained as you're learning to love running. Find a playlist you love, a good audio book or your favorite podcast. Headphones can be your best friend.

Injury Prevention and Safety Tips

Want to love running and be able to do it forever? Injury prevention is key to your success. Your running coach has your back, providing you with the tools you need to prevent injuries to run longer and stronger.

Warm-Up Magic

Before you take off, ensure you do a proper warm up. Five minutes is all you need before you hit the trail. This allows your muscles to wake up and prepare for the running. Ensure to always warm up with dynamic stretches (not static).

Step Light and Easy

If you're just starting, take it easy on your mileage and run slow! Yep, running slow is actually beneficial! Gradually increase your distance to let your body adjust. No need to be the fastest, right away.

Listen to Your Body

Your body knows what’s up. If something feels off, like an ache or pain that's more than the usual "runner's high," take a break. You don’t have to do it all. Take it easy.

Hydration and Fuel

Keep fluid intake up, drinking plenty of water and electrolytes, before, after and even during your runs. Food is your best friend. Remember, that food is fuel, your energy source. Food is what keeps your body going and your body needs it to run!

Gear Check: Shoes Matter

Invest in quality running shoes. They protect your feet and joints. An old, worn-out pair can spell disaster for your running career. Your local running store will have shoe experts to help you find the best shoe for you and your body.

Cross-Training Bliss

Add some cross-training to your routine. It's like a running vacation for your body. Yoga, swimming, or cycling can balance your fitness and prevent overuse injuries.

Strength Training

Ensure you are strength training every week. It doesn't have to be a lot! Two days a week 15-20 mins a session is all you need. Unsure which exercises to do? Your running coach will include that into your plan. Keep following this blog and I will post a strength training for runner’s guide soon!

Post-Run Recovery

Cool down post-run with a gentle walk and stretching. Fuel up with a balanced meal.

Training Plan from a Running Coach

Follow your running coach's training plan. They're like personal trainers for your running goals, keeping you on the right track and injury-free.

Interested in working with a coach? Click here to learn about your options!

Progress Tracking for New Runners

Running is all about progress, and as a new runner, you should celebrate all the wins. Your trusty running coach will be your guide on this journey, and together, we'll explore some fantastic ways to track your progress.

Hello, Running Journal

Meet your new BFF – the running journal. It's like a scrapbook of your running life. Jot down your runs, how they felt, and any aha moments you had. It's your running diary, and it's as personal as it gets. Not the journaling type? Your running coach has an app you can use to track your runs and update anything that happened within the run, just like you would in a journal.

The Milestone Map

Setting mini milestones is the little boost you need to reach for and achieve more goals. Aim for a specific distance or time, and once you reach it, give yourself a little celebration. You earned it!

Celebrate the Non-Scale Victories

While we're talking about celebrations, don't just focus on the scale. Celebrate the non-scale victories like feeling more energetic, sleeping better, or running without stopping. These are the real wins! How does running or exercise add to your life, what things has it added, not taken away. Scale victories focus on losing something rather than gaining something.

Rate the Feels

After each run, rate how you felt on a scale from 1 to 10. It's an instant mood booster and a great way to see how you're progressing. This is also a feature in the app your running coach will use to give you your running plan.

Join a Running Group

Running groups are like your cheer squad. Share your progress with fellow runners and get some virtual pats on the back. You're part of a running community, and it's all about lifting each other up.

Don't Forget Rest Days

Even on rest days, you're making progress. Your body needs these days to recover and come back stronger. So, track those rest days too and pat yourself on the back for being kind to your body.

Record Your Running Playlist

Your running playlist evolves, just like you. Keep a record of your favorite tunes, and when you switch up your playlist, you'll know you're entering a new phase of progress.

Running with a Smile

Last but not least, the best way to track your progress is to run with a smile. When you enjoy the journey, every step is a celebration. You're on the right track, my friend.

Tracking your progress is like sprinkles on the running cupcake. It adds that extra dash of sweetness to your running journey. So, grab your running journal, lace up those shoes, and let's make progress-tracking a fun part of your runs!

Now that you have the guidance you need to get started running, get out there and get started!

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