What Beginner Runners Should Know

I’ve been running on and off for the past fifteen years or so, and I’ve learned, only today, the most important thing beginner runners should know: get fitted for your running shoes.

For years, I’ve been scouring Runner’s World magazine for all of the best running tips and there are plenty to be had: beginner training plans, nutrition, hydration, avoiding injuries, and recommendations on the next best thing in gear. However, as I’ve found in the last couple of days, one big secret to running stronger and longer is finding the right pair of running shoes.

I learned this lesson the hard way. The last couple of weeks have been wonderful as I’ve resurrected my running routine but as I’ve started tackling longer intervals, the deficiencies in my poorly-chosen running shoes began to reveal themselves. Today’s run was the last straw: the nagging calf pain I’d been experiencing during the last two weeks completely sidelined my workout. I’d had enough. After completing my course (which I had to walk partway because I hurt so much), I hightailed it directly to my local running shop.

After studying my gait and listening to my concerns and complaints, the sales associate diagnosed my problem as something I would never have suspected: my shoes were too small. He suggested a pair I would never have purchased on my own, almost a full shoe size larger than I’d normally wear. I won’t know for sure how this pair of shoes will make me feel while running but I can’t wait to find out (and I’ll be sure to update you when I do!).

When you just start running, the experience should be enjoyable as possible so you can stick with it. Start slow, find a regular route to run that you’ll look forward to seeing every day, and make sure you’re running in the most comfortable shoes for you. It matters.

Need more beginner runner advice? It’s Newbie Week at Runner’s World. Check it out!