I was recently clicking around on YouTube when I came across a video with tips for new runners. Seeing that this video had millions of views, I was curious what this woman had to say.
I cringed while watching the video.
Not because her tips weren’t good. In fact, they were spot on.
But because there were a few things she didn’t do while preparing for her runs that would’ve made her life a whole lot easier.
I actually wrote a post in 2019 called Running for Beginners: 11 Little-Known Tips That’ll Skyrocket Your Progress. It was – and remains to be – one of my most viewed posts every single day.
But watching this video made me realize I have a ton more tips up my sleeve.
Being a runner since I was 11 years old has taught me some things.
So I spent a little time thinking about my running habits. Most of them are second nature to me now, but they make a big impact on each run.
Keep reading for 9 more simple running tips for beginners that’ll make all the difference.
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9 Additional Tips for New Runners
1. Socks with a Heel
Sometimes it’s the little things that prevent the blisters.
In the aforementioned YouTube video, I watched the woman don a pair of no-show socks for her run.
To me, this poses two potential problems.
For one, I’ve had socks fall down on runs before. After that happens to you once, you’re not taking any chances will low-cut socks.
Secondly, you run the risk of heel blisters when your socks are so low.
Maybe this is nit-picky of me, yes. But I don’t leave anything to chance when it comes to running.
I swear by using socks that rise just above the back of my running shoes. Better yet, I love ones that that have a little tab at the heel so they stay in place (even after hundreds of wears and a little stretching out).
Trust me people, this is not the time for no-show socks.
Don’t know what I mean by socks with a heel tab?
Here are some well-rated ones by Shinno on Amazon.
2. Learn How to Tie Your Shoes
Yep, we’re going back to kindergarten with this one.
Because another thing I do that’s very second nature is tie my laces so they don’t hit my ankles while I run.
To me, that’s the most annoying thing ever.
Besides getting stuck behind people who walk too slow.
In the YouTube video, I watched her tie her shoes without a second thought, leaving both a loop and an end already poking her in the ankle. When I saw this, I knew I had to write another tips for new runners post.
Preventing this is simple.
When you tie your shoes, make sure you’re pulling the loops and ends out to the sides; I find the rabbit-going-into-the-hole technique works the best for this. Then when you double knot (and you should absolutely be double-knotting), you’ll once again be mindful of pulling the loops out to the sides.
It’s rather confusing to explain, so take a look at this video:
3. Rainy Day Equipment
Some newbie runners will simply hold off on running when there’s rain in the forecast.
I say, just plan ahead!
To keep your vision protected, wear a snug-fitting hat that won’t get blown off in the wind. This is a MUST if you wear contacts like me.
I like listening to music and podcasts while running, which can get tricky if it’s going to rain. If it starts raining on a run, I opt to protect my phone and headphones rather than try out waterproof gear.
To do this, try bringing along a plastic ziplock bag. Fold it up and tuck it into the side of your shorts or leggings. If the rain really starts coming down, simply slip your phone and headphones into the bag and carry them safely home with you.
And I promise, you won’t notice the folded bag after you start running. If I don’t use it, I often forget it’s even there until I go to change.
Feel free to rinse and dry the outside, and reuse as needed. Because #savetheenvironment.
4. Where to Hide Your Key (if you don’t have a pocket)
Fortunately, the days of having no pockets in our activewear are steadily decreasing.
But there are still plenty of pieces that don’t have that convenient compartment for stashing your key, and that’s where my tips for new runners come in.
If neither your sports bra or shorts/leggings have a pocket, check if your sports bra has removable pads. If it does, you can slide your key in there and it will be secured safely in there throughout your run.
It may look a tad odd when you put it in there, especially since you’ll be outside your home after locking the door. But it doesn’t take long. I also don’t really care what people think if they do catch me wrestling with my sports bra for a second haha.
Another option is lacing your key into your shoe. This is pretty simple as well. Just pull one of your shoelaces out of a hole or two, then string your key on and tuck it into your other shoelace. All you have to do then is restring and tie your shoe like normal. Tah-dah!
Two very simple ways to keep your key secure if you have no pockets.
5. Only Run After You Go to the Bathroom
Okay, you may not always have this luxury. But if you can, this may be the biggest running tip for you.
I’ve been plagued by running-related stomach problems ever since my sophomore year of college. While I could run first thing every summer morning in high school, if I did that now I would likely feel pretty awful the rest of the day.
Most runners will agree on this – run to the bathroom before going on your actual run. If you can’t go first thing after waking, then maybe an afternoon run will be a better bet for you.
And if you don’t seem to have this problem, then you’re one lucky duck!
6. The Difference Between Aches and Pains
When you’re new to running, it’s hard to know when leg discomfort is normal…or an actual injury.
The main thing to monitor here is consistency.
There have been plenty of times I’ve started a run and quickly felt some sort of leg discomfort. It may be a knee twinge, hip tightness, or foot pain. The key is that these go away fairly quickly as the run loosens your legs up.
If the discomfort persists, slow to a walk and see if warming up a bit more helps. If not, stretching is your next step. I’ve done this before for hip tightness and then been able to carry on like normal.
So when it comes to tips for new runners, look out for those repeat offenders. If you have a pain that’s consistent – always in the same spot, appearing on multiple runs, lasting after a run is over, or is very painful – that’s when you should get it checked out by a specialist.
But as for the little discomforts that come and go during a run – that’s just running for you!
7. It’s OKAY to Walk
Running is such a mentally challenging sport. That’s part of the reason why I like it.
But when you’re starting out, you need to give yourself a little grace.
You’re not going to be the fastest runner right off the bat. You may not even be able to run as long as you want to at first.
When I was younger and first began running, I would only maintain my running shape during and directly leading up to a season. I remember trying to get back into it after months off and feeling so discouraged when I needed to walk. But that’s OKAY.
Walking is actually amazing for you, and needing to switch to walking for a few minutes only means you have something to work towards. You will get better.
But for now, if you need to walk (not stop, but walk), that is totally fine!
8. The 10% Rule
This may be one of my most important tips for new runners.
Because you’re only a beginner for now. Our aim is to get you running regularly and feel good each time you do.
The 10% rule for increasing mileage is the gold standard for runners. What this means is that each week you run no more than 10% additional mileage compared to last week.
For example, say I ran 20 miles this week. Using our 10% rule, next week I’d run 22 miles total.
This rule is a great way to prevent injuries. It gives your body time to adjust to your mileage, keeping your progress slow and steady so you don’t overwork yourself.
Yay for running injury-free!
9. How to Find a Running Plan for You
While I could sit here and type out a general running plan for beginners (Day 1: Run 15 minutes, 2 minutes running : 1 minute walking), as a personal trainer I know that everyone is different.
If you have a more extensive fitness background, you’ll likely take to running quite quickly. If you’ve never exercised before, you may need more walking intervals.
It all depends.
I think that running plans are great though. Pinterest has tons in circulation and is a great place to start looking.
If you’re looking for a running coach who can customize a plan just for you and your goals, check out Marc Pelerin. He’s an online running coach and experienced runner who has a ridiculously disgusting list of personal records (PRs) – meaning, they’re very impressive. If you’d like some running guidance, check him out!
I hope y’all found these tips for new runners as helpful as my last ones. If you haven’t read that post yet, check it out here. There are lots more running and fitness posts on the blog as well. Just click the exercise category and you’ll find them!
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