Insider Secrets for the New Runner

Brad is a USA Track and Field certified coach who specializes in teaching first timers how to run. You can find his free running program, as well as articles on health and fitness at his website,

New runners have so much to learn. When I started back in 2004, I made every mistake in the book. I had no idea what I was doing so the process of learning to run was much harder than it needed to be.

Over the years, I have learned many things that would have been helpful to understand when I was first getting started. While I cannot turn back time and help my 2004 self, perhaps I can offer you a few ideas to help smooth the path as you first learn how to run.

1. Buy new sneakers.
Running sneakers have a limited life. Don’t even think about using the old pair in your closet. Go to a running store, ask their advice, and buy what they suggest. You have no idea how important it is to have a new pair of running sneakers that are properly fit to your foot and running style. Using an old pair is just asking to hurt.

2. Take your time.
When I was getting started I wanted to go as far and fast as possible. Guess what? I got hurt often, and made poor progress. Jumping in to the deep end as a new runner is a recipe for injury, and failure. When beginning, find a running program that progresses at a slow pace. Learning to run takes time. If the program you are doing feels too fast, it probably is.

3. Schedule your workouts.
The sooner you treat your workouts like a professional commitment, the sooner you will make progress. Schedule them at the beginning of your week, and keep your appointments. It is one of the keys to success.

4. Missing workouts happens.
Life gets busy. Understand that there will be some workouts that you just have to skip. When this happens, forgive yourself, and reschedule the workout as soon as possible. The key to success is not avoiding mistakes, but quickly getting back on path after they happen.

Hopefully these ideas will help to keep you on the right track. Good luck, and good running.


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