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Hump Day Giveaway: Your Best Running Advice

April 7, 2010

Ferberize your baby’s sleep schedule. Let her find her own rhythm. Put him underwater so he’s not scared of swimming. Let him dunk on his own time. Bribe with M’n’M’s for potty training. Let him run around naked until he’s trained. Enforce time-outs. Time-outs don’t work. Make her take a “no-thank-you” bite. Don’t force foods; it’ll only make her hate them as a adult. Give an allowance. Don’t pay a kid to do household chores. Do homework right after coming home from school. Let him chill out in front of the tube when he comes home from school.

And on and on…the advice you get–and give (guilty as charged)–as a parent is never-ending and very rarely definitive; what works for my Thing 1 + 2 could backfire with your brood. Nevertheless, its an innate empathetic feeling, I think, that prompts us mothers to try to help, however fruitless our advice may be. I know how much it sucks to have a kid who doesn’t sleep; who won’t poop on the toilet; who cries like I’ve dropped a boulder on her toe when I put chicken, not in nugget form, on her plate; who doesn’t get fazed by time-outs, and, as such, discipline is murky territory. So, whether you asked or not, I’m going to offer up something in the hopes that it may stick.

Same deal with running: what works for my injury-prone, middle-of-the-pack body may not register with the swifties, and what resonates with ultrarunners may bounce off 10k specialists. But given the range of experience out there–we love that we’ve got everything from straight-up beginners to Boston qualifiers in our midst–we know there’s some good advice to be had.

So today’s question: What’s the best running advice you’ve been or have given? Could be anything from training advice to gear suggestions to goal setting…feel free to think outside the (dotted yellow) line.

I’ll start. My top three things I’d tell any runner, mother or otherwise:

1. Get up early and get it done. Otherwise, you dwell on it all day, and chances are, something else will eat into your running time.

2. Get a buddy. Nothing gets your butt out of bed faster than the thought of your friend, standing all alone, waiting for you.

3. Cross-train. Running does wonders for your mind and body, but, like all good things, moderation is key. Switching it up by pedaling, hiking, lifting weights or otherwise not pounding the pavement keeps both your mind and body fresh.

With a nod to number three—mixing up your routine—a random winner today will walk away with a new pair of Keen shoes (of your chosing), perfect for spring hiking, riding a bike to a farmer’s market, or pushing that silver, spinning thing on the playground that makes me nauseous just to look at, let alone ride.

So lay it on us–we truly want to know. What’s the running advice you like to  share?

98 Comments leave one →
  1. April 7, 2010 10:27 am

    Be consistent in finding a time of day that works for you and your “life” schedule. Whether it be early before everyone gets up or at the end of the day when everyone is in bed, do what works for your schedule and do it consistently. Consistency is everythign.

    I’ve also found that if I log my workouts on my calendar and/or log BEFORE I actually do the work out, it prevents me from cutting my workout short and putting in the extra/time miles. I DON’T want to go back into my training log and subtract a few miles — that just makes me feel weak.

  2. Katie permalink
    April 7, 2010 10:31 am

    Get fitted for shoes at a real running store where they can watch you run(videoing it so you can see is a bonus!) and then recommend shoes based on how you run!

  3. April 7, 2010 10:34 am

    I think having a positive mental attitude is key. Sometimes it’ll be a fight to have a positive attitude, but it’s something you need to keep going while running/training.

  4. April 7, 2010 10:35 am

    There is no shame in walking. That’s my advice because I used the C25K program to get started. Being extremely out of shape and overweight made it so hard to start running, and I hated it when I had to stop and walk, but if I hadn’t started out slow and easy I wouldn’t be able to do what I can today.

  5. April 7, 2010 10:38 am

    Don’t let people tell you that you can’t accomplish something because of your lifestyle, whether it’s being an On-The-Go Mom or working outside the home. If you want to do something, make time for it and make it happen. If will make you a happier person.

  6. April 7, 2010 10:39 am

    Hydrate! Short and sweet and OH SO important. I still struggle with it.

  7. Susan permalink
    April 7, 2010 10:41 am

    No matter what you feel like in the morning, just go. Rarely, if ever, have I felt *worse* after a run. Sometimes my best, longest and strongest runs are powered by an initial bad mood. And sometimes I have to tell myself that I’ll run a short version of my usual run, but inevitably once I’m out the door my attitude changes–which is really probably the real reason I run at all 🙂

  8. Priscilla permalink
    April 7, 2010 10:44 am

    I regularly tell new exercisers that it is ok to do a little at a time – walk/run is ok. Most adults have to start that way.
    I also recommend going out early, before dawn even, because it feels so good to walk into the house facing your groggy spouse knowing that you already ran X miles!

  9. Sheryl Ferguson permalink
    April 7, 2010 10:45 am

    Two things work for me:

    The first is to try to always have a race or goal on the horizon. I became a much better runner when I started signing up for half marathons. Following a training schedule for longer races or a goal of finishing under a certain time for shorter races helps keep me from skipping workouts. It takes away the question of “Should I go running today or sleep in?”

    The other piece is something someone told me when I first started running. I went on a run with a more experienced runner and kept telling her that I needed to stop to take a break. She told me flat out, “You always stop before you really need to.” She was right. I wasn’t walking in order to conserve energy or pace, I was walking because I was tired of running or I just wanted an out. I always think of that when I want to quit…do I really need to stop or am I stopping before I really need to?

  10. Michele Streetman permalink
    April 7, 2010 10:47 am

    No matter how much you may detest running, I know I do, work to find something to keep you energized. It may be a song that you sing in your head at least once during every run, it may be that weight loss or time goal, whatever, find the happy place that keeps you going. It will make it all go by faster and not seem so much like a chore.

  11. April 7, 2010 10:48 am

    Always have a “Plan B.” If you can’t get that planned run in – sick kids at home, etc., do SOMETHING. Try to get the same run on the TM – even if you have to break it into increments. 5K now, 5K later; 10 minutes 3 times that day; whatever your initial goal was, get it done however you can. Some of my “Plan B’s” have taken me off the road and into the pool for an equal-quality workout. I’ve had my running days scrapped a few times and that is the WORST feeling. I know the secondary plan probably won’t be as wonderful as “A,” but you will feel like you didn’t get swept away by the unexpected surprises of the day! Get ‘er done, y’all. 🙂

  12. Cynthia Holthaus permalink
    April 7, 2010 10:51 am

    First, download a rockin set of tunes on your ipod! These can really motivate you when you are losing focus or feel like giving up. Make sure to update every so often to keep it fresh.
    Next, get some fabulous running clothes every couple of months. I know I get excited for a run with a new outfit to wear while doing it!
    Make sure that your shoes are confortable – have a running store fit you – they are the best.
    Finally, set a goal for your self for every run. It can be as simple as a sprint for 30 seconds every mile, or to increase your time, speed, or milage. Whatever it is, it give you motivation. Once reached, set a new goal!

    Also, on days when you are just not feeling it, tell yourself that you will just walk few a few miles, once you get out there, you will most likely be motivated enough to kick it up a notch!

    Happy Running!

  13. April 7, 2010 10:52 am

    Communicate with your spouse/partner about how running makes you feel. Chances are, he knows it already. After a good run, you are a happier, stronger, more focused person for the remainder of the day.

    I find this especially important when my husband gets solo parenting duty on Saturday morning for our four kids ages 6 and under as I’m out with my training partners. Since he is a non-runner, he didn’t get it at first. But now, he is well aware that the weekend is best started with his wife out on the roads!

  14. April 7, 2010 10:53 am

    Love love love the Keenes!

    Running advise:Have two goals in mind for a race. Set your (pipe dream)goals just a little higher than what you feel comfortable achieving in your “I’m happy with that” goal. That will give you that extra motivation and drive to reach beyond your limits but not so far that its unattainable or you get injured. (Like how I took 17 1/2 minutes off my marathon time!) Even if you don’t hit your pipe dream you still have something to reach for and be still happy with your achomplishment.

  15. Tryna permalink
    April 7, 2010 10:54 am

    My golden rules:

    1. Trust your training (even if you never do 26.2 miles in training, you will still be able to complete the marathon).
    2. If you are going uphill, drop your arms, it will help you breathe better. It’s pretty basic, but if I visually think about this on a big hill it helps.
    3. Apply body glide liberally. Especially in the places that “never chafe.”

  16. April 7, 2010 10:59 am

    My best running advice is that one must listen closely and honestly to your body.
    The hardest thing to do is tell between having a hard time getting out there or needing to rest. I have a hard time slowing down to rest even when I know I should.

    Procrastination is not a runner friend. I have to take the chance to run when I get it and be ready at all times. Maybe the kids will take an unexpected nap but hunting around for clean running clothes wasted precious time so I have my gear ready to go.

  17. April 7, 2010 11:04 am

    Don’t let a day go by without doing something to improve your running.

    Injured? You can take some time to do rehab exercises or cross train. If your schedule for the day is not going to even budge for a run you still have time to take 10 minutes to do isometric exercises or stretching! Scheduled day off? Take some time to read about running. Eat right so that you are fueled properly to run. Do some yoga.

    You get the idea…you’re a runner even when you aren’t running.

  18. April 7, 2010 11:07 am

    My favorite piece of advice came from my friend, marathon coach, and of course, great running author Joe Henderson. It’s the one-mile check in. He says to just get out there and run a mile or for about 10 minutes and see how you feel. If you REALLY don’t want to continue, don’t. It gets me out the door sometimes when I’m not in the mood or it’s 15 degeres. I have never come back after 1 mile, but it fools my brain every time.

  19. Jeni permalink
    April 7, 2010 11:08 am

    Don’t be afraid to take a class. If you are new to running, it doesn’t hurt to make sure you have good form and learn and practice good habits. Running with a professional coach can offer a boost to even the most seasoned of runners.

  20. Debbi permalink
    April 7, 2010 11:15 am

    I’ve found the more I stretch, the easier all other movements are. Sometimes there’s never enough hours in the day to stretch all the parts, but stretching when warm & stretching a little bit here & there throughout the day makes a huge difference in how I feel when jogging (I can’t claim to run, it’s more of a shuffle!)

    And I hate to sound corny, but Nike’s right: Just Do It!
    Or as my fireman friend says: Get ‘er done!

  21. Danielle permalink
    April 7, 2010 11:27 am

    Get to know your body and listen to it. Following a training schedules made by people that don’t know your age, injury history or life schedule can lead to frustration or problems if you are having trouble sticking to it. I’m not suggesting being a slacker. But if your body is telling you to take a rest day instead of running hill repeats, it might be a good idea. However, remember, to get energy you must exert some energy! Usually you’ll feel much better physically and psychologically having completed a workout!

  22. April 7, 2010 11:27 am

    Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth and just put one foot in front of the other.

  23. April 7, 2010 11:53 am

    I am such a new runner I feel not quite right giving advice; but what I’ve learned in the past few months is a little motto my friend and I came up with: Find your own pace, and run your own race.

    It’s impossible to ‘fake’ running – it’s just you and the road (or the treadmill). You can kind of stay in back of an aerobics class, or not play hard during some kind of sport, but running is pretty pure that way. Even if your ego wants you to go faster, you have to do what your body has the strength to do. If it’s not strong enough; work on that, but don’t get discouraged by going slow. That’s a temporary situation that you can fix with hard work.

  24. Julie Fredericks permalink
    April 7, 2010 11:53 am

    I concur with get a buddy. For most of my life I aspired to be a runner, but would start and quit after a few months because I was miserable. Eight years ago, I started running with two women who quickly became my closest friends, trained for a half marathon and haven’t stopped running yet, despite having two kids in the middle.

    Also, don’t be afraid to walk. When I started running with these girls, we did the Galloway method of run 9 minutes walk 1. I did it for years – now I don’t because I moved and none of my buddies up here do it, but it got me through many a run and more important, it let me enjoy my runs – instead of a mental battle to see how long I could go without stopping, I just kept adding on 10 minute intervals.

  25. April 7, 2010 11:57 am

    A) The hardest step is that very first step out the front door to go start your run! B) Write down a training plan, and get a training partner — both help with accountability when training for a race. C) Most importantly — get out there early in the day — the longer you put your run off, the less likely it is that your run will happen.

  26. April 7, 2010 12:03 pm

    Don’t compare yourself to anyone. It’s easy to become discouraged if you start looking at speedy runners in the front of the pack at the starting line or you start dwelling on the number of people passing you.

    Run your race as well as you can and be satisfied with the best you can do.

    I love James Bingham’s quote – The miracle isn’t that I finished; it’s that I had the courage to begin. (paraphrased)

  27. April 7, 2010 12:06 pm

    Great post! Here’s some advice that I think is helpful:
    1. If you have to do an early morning workout, lay out all your gear the night before so you can just get up, get dressed, and get out the door.
    2. Get a good jogging stroller so you can run with your kids. You’ll be able to get in a workout and spend time with your kids.
    3. Get fitted at an actual running store for the right shoes. The right shoes will make all the difference in the world!

  28. Leah permalink
    April 7, 2010 12:08 pm

    I am always looking for good quotes. I get them from Runner’s World and various blogs that I read. My biggest thing is that I am not a very fast runner. I truely believe that there are people out there who could walk faster than I run, but I found this quote while I was training for my first marathon and it really changed my outlook. It said, “Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress…no matter how slow.” It was kind of a light bulb going off in my head. I have since passed that encouragement on to other “turtles” that I know.

    I have also found that a lot of people were encouraged and inspired by me running my first marathon. They will always tell me that they ONLY ran a mile or a mile and a half, but I always tell them, “Everybody has to start somewhere. I have been there.” I don’t judge people on distance or speed. It goes back to not discouraging anyone who makes progress.

  29. April 7, 2010 12:20 pm

    I would say two things: 1.) Start slow if you are new to running or are returning after, for example, the birth of your second daughter via C-section. Walk a minute, run a minute, or whatever you need to do, until you gradually work your way up to all running. It works! And 2.) If you’re fussing and floundering about your run, stop thinking about it and get out there. I once saw a Nike ad that said, “If you’d gone running when you first started thinking about going, you’d be back by now.” You’ll always feel better once you’re on your path than while you’re inside debating whether or not to go.

  30. Denise Brackstone permalink
    April 7, 2010 12:21 pm

    Joining a running clinic has been the only way I have kept with running, I have had to completely swallow my pride and go at my own pace and not turn it into a competition, although sometimes that’s fun. Learn to trust your instincts because there really are days when you shouldn’t run and that’s okay – rest is important too. Find a running hero that inspires you, whether it’s the endurance runner at the running store or Kara Goucher – find out their history, their goals and how they’ve accomplished so much. Don’t be too rigid with your goals, this is supposed to be fun, not stress you out. If you don’t reach your goal the first time, don’t brood for too long, try again. It helps to hear from so many people that the first 10 minutes pretty much suck no matter who you are.

  31. April 7, 2010 12:26 pm

    Although I’m sure there are better pieces of advice, I only have two small ones. Keep in mind I’m a brand-new runner (wow, I’m a runner?) so I haven’t ran any races or anything (and I don’t plan to race at all).

    1. Dream big. Who says you can’t run a marathon?
    2. Just do it. Ok maybe I stole this from Nike, but it’s true. Running (walking) starts with one step. Then it’s just one foot after the other.

  32. April 7, 2010 12:34 pm

    I think the best advice I have heard is just get it done! Whether you want to or not just do it because int he end you will feel so much better and I can say for me this is very true!

  33. Natalie permalink
    April 7, 2010 12:37 pm

    Get creative. As a mom who works full-time plus freelances evenings, I have a hard time fitting my runs in. I’ve learned to sneak runs in first thing in the morning (when everyone is still asleep) and on my lunch hour. I’ve also started running home from places a lot–my kids recently had a gymnastics show that took up the whole day. I got four miles in by running home from the gym after the performance was over. I need to start leaving running gear in my car at all times because yesterday I got a flat tire and was kicking myself that I didn’t have running stuff with me so I could squeeze in a quick run while I waited for a new tire!

  34. Emily Kratzer permalink
    April 7, 2010 12:54 pm

    This is an email I sent to another running mom who wants to start running races, namely, a marathon. It’s specific to our area, but the concepts are the same where ever.
    1 I use the website to track my runs, map out new runs, and see what other routes people have used in the area.
    2 You will need a plan to get your mileage up. I used Hal Higdon’s plan 4 times
    and really enjoyed it each time.
    3The only other thing I’d say right now is get GOOD shoes. I go to Metro Run & Walk on Grape Road in Mishawaka (by Outpost Sports.) They’ll watch you run and get shoes to match your gait.

    The best advice I’ve been given is drink more water. It solves a lot of problems!

  35. April 7, 2010 12:56 pm

    This always sounds like common sense to me, but if you’re dreading the next running workout & dread it every time it comes around (intervals, tempo) try telling yourself you’ll run SLOWER for this workout… just to get it done. Cut yourself a break. Not every workout is going to be the best, the strongest, the fastest. If you end up having no energy for the workout weeks in a row, its time to look for the source: stress, lack of sleep, not eating well, overtraining, etc. I did this for intervals last week & I felt so great when it was over. It wasn’t my fastest interval day, but it counted!

  36. April 7, 2010 1:13 pm

    Don’t worry about being in the back of the pack. Embrace your position, listen to your body, and just be happy that you’re out running with everyone else!

  37. becelisa permalink
    April 7, 2010 1:22 pm

    when i first started running i was reminded that, just like in every aspect of life, there will be bad days. days you never find your rhythm and barely make it through your run. NEVER let those bad days knock you down. push through best you can and then get back out there tomorrow because tomorrow might very well be one of the great days when you feel like you’re flying!

  38. Stacy permalink
    April 7, 2010 1:36 pm

    I have three pieces of running advice that gets me up at 4:30AM: 1) To quote Nike “Just Do It”.
    2) Pain is temporary and 3) The key is to get your a$$ out of bed.

  39. Julie permalink
    April 7, 2010 1:44 pm

    1 – Pay the money (if you’re cheap like me, when you register for a race, you’ll train for it)
    2 – Type up and print out the 3-4 month schedule
    3 – Hang schedule on your bedroom bathroom mirror
    – it reminds you what you need to do and communicates with
    devoted husband the child details

  40. April 7, 2010 1:59 pm

    I think you HAVE to keep a positive attitude. Running is 99% mental, and when you go into it saying you can…you will!

  41. Janine permalink
    April 7, 2010 2:08 pm

    I’m finding everyone’s suggestions inspiring, as I haven’t run much in the past seven months but am TRYING to get back into it. (We adopted two boys in August, and life is, um, different.) Thanks for the virtual pep talks, all.

    My humble advice is to honor your own achievements, whatever they may be. Not everyone will win their age group in the Big Race, but all of us will a) finish a race we didn’t think we could; b) break the X-minute mile barrier we set for ourselves; c) entice a nine-year-old non-runner to happily complete a 5K. When this happens, be sure to give yourself an extra scoop of ice cream, an extra 15 minutes of sleep or an extra yoga class–whatever motivates you to come back for more running!

  42. Ellie permalink
    April 7, 2010 2:13 pm

    I think the best advice I ever got was to go easy on myself. Running is hard and it’s easy to get discouraged. And it’s easy to think that you won’t ever get better so why keep going. Pushing yourself a little bit at a time, going further and further each day is it’s own practice in patience. Somedays I just don’t feel like I can do anything more – so then I walk and let it go!

  43. Julie permalink
    April 7, 2010 2:13 pm

    Have a goal. Get a training plan. Be accountable to others and share that goal; to either your kids, spouse, girlfriends or coworkers. And never forget, the first 2 miles always suck the worst. 🙂

    (And, oh yeah, swimming as cross training is fantastic for giving those muscles a well-deserved break!)

  44. April 7, 2010 2:22 pm

    The best running advice I got was from a running buddy who also happens to be my sports physician. She has taught me that it is important to listen to my body. It is ok to run through discomfort, but not ok to run through pain. When you have pain, take Naproxin, rest and ice, ice, ice!

  45. Eileen permalink
    April 7, 2010 2:33 pm

    “Think easy, light, smooth, and fast. You start with easy, because if that’s all you get that’s not so bad. Then work on light. Make it effortless, like you don’t give a **** how high the hill is or how far you’ve got to go. When you’ve practiced that so long you forget your practicing, you work on making it smoooth. You won’t have to worry about the last one – you get there and you’ll be fast” – Born to Run, Christopher McDougall.
    I’m still on easy, but I have to say that I haven’t had a bad run since I got the book for Christmas. That’s three months of great enjoyable runs.
    *I disqualify myself for the giveaway. I’m not actually a mom. 🙂

  46. April 7, 2010 2:39 pm

    My best advice, Get a Buddy!!!! The worst run of my life was a 9.8 mile run I took on by my self on an otherwise wonderful Thursday afternoon. It was awful, you don’t realize how much you depend on your little community for support and encouragement. I understand that sometime we have rough days and maybe need some alone time to pound the pavement but for the most part, having someone there with you is the best advice ever. Since getting a regular running partner I have pretty much run at a minumum of 3 times a week (up to six times) every week for the last year and a half straight. We run in rain, freeze, heat, 4:45 am, or even as late as 7:30 pm. Also, I used to be an pretty average runner, I’d run 3-5 miles and that’s it. This last year I participated in Hood to Coast without suffering the heavy lactic acid build-up I’m used to, completed my first half marathon (Run-Like-Hell) and am signed up for the Portland Marathon! I can honestly say none of that would have happened without my running partner; thanks Kati!

    That being said, I consider staying hydrated, getting proper attire and footwear standard requirement for making running a truly wonderful part of your life.

  47. Joanna permalink
    April 7, 2010 2:58 pm

    1. Get it done in the morning! With three kids under 2, I never know what will come up! Or if I will fall asleep on the couch after they go to bed.

    2. Cute Running Clothes make you feel that much better on a run.

    3. Good Shoes, make sure to replace them every 250 or so. Wear and tear depends on the running style.

  48. Kathy permalink
    April 7, 2010 3:05 pm

    Sign up for a race in the future and a training group! I never could have run a 10K, a half marathon and then a marathon without a training group who laid out a plan for me and a coach who kept me motivated! I need someone to tell me what to do:-)

  49. Cristina permalink
    April 7, 2010 3:05 pm

    thanks for all the great advice everyone. especially the tidbits about hills–oi, here in WVa, hills are all we’ve got. The best running advice I ever got was to lie on my back with my legs up against a wall for a little while after a long run. I’m training for my first 13 miler ever, and those 10 minutes looking up at the ceiling after my last long run made the pain go away!

  50. April 7, 2010 3:09 pm

    two words: fluid management! after having a baby my bladder was wrecked but i didnt realize this until i started running again. i tried wearing pantyliners to help with accidents but once i ramped up my mileage that became chafe city!!! so now i have learned proper fluid management. hydrate as normal until about 2 hours before a run, i try to drink minimally before a race. and visit every bathroom, port-a-potty, or discreet bush before starting a run. i tell any mother who is new to running about my “fluid management” plan

  51. April 7, 2010 3:15 pm

    Be your own health advocate. Put a calendar entry on your iPhone, Blackberry, etc a running date for yourself. For me it’s scheduled at the same time 4 days a week. I don’t schedule over it or move it. It’s a date for me to be free, to de-stress, to pound the pavement and have all of my worries, fears, anxieties, drain from my legs into the earth. It’s therapeutic and refreshing. I feel re-newed and can breathe more freely after my time of running.

  52. Lisa permalink
    April 7, 2010 3:18 pm

    I would agree completely with all three. Knowing that someone is waiting for me always gets me moving in the morning. The only other thing that has helped me is having a goal (registering for that marathon that everyone said you were crazy to run). It really helped get me out the door to know that if I didn’t get the training done, I was going to be walking 26.2 miles because I certainly wasn’t going to pay all that money and not show up.

    Also, I’ve found that it’s worth it to spend the small fortune on good shoes (good insoles as well). It may break the bank, temporarily, but your body will thank you in the end.

  53. April 7, 2010 3:19 pm

    From my old track days, the best advice I got was to really focus on your arms and form when you are tired. Your arms can carry you through when your legs want to give in!

  54. Lyndsay S. permalink
    April 7, 2010 3:22 pm

    Best piece of advice I was given was during a water stop at mile 6 of my first marathon. A random runner told me to crease my paper cup, forming a little spout, so I would actually get water in my mouth and not all over me! I still do that today and pass this tip along to newbie runners.

  55. Erin permalink
    April 7, 2010 3:45 pm

    Write your weekly workout plan on your calendar like you would any other important appointment. You have less chance of skipping it that way. This usually works pretty well for me when I actually do it.

    I actually would love to follow the “get your run in first thing in the morning” advice, but I leave the house at 6am to be to work. I just can’t bring myself to be on the road by 4:30 😦

  56. Jennifer permalink
    April 7, 2010 3:59 pm

    Keep a log of your runs. It can be detailed or simple, just keep a record of what you have done.

  57. JnetRuns permalink
    April 7, 2010 4:10 pm

    The best advice I ever got was as a new runner when I just couldn’t seem to catch my breath or run very far at all, was to slow down. Waaay down, especially if you’re over 40 as I was, otherwise you’ll just get frustrated. Eventually you’ll get in better shape and will be able to run further and faster. This also works after a long layoff.

    Also for older runners, don’t run everyday or you’ll just get injured and if you do get any pains or strange aches, don’t try to run through it, quit early and take a day or two off (learned this one the hard way of course).

    I also agree with the comment above about keeping a log, definitely keeps you motivated to fill those pages!

  58. marisa olsen permalink
    April 7, 2010 4:20 pm

    Listen to you body! And make time for you, it makes you a better mom!

  59. April 7, 2010 4:59 pm

    Over the years, I given and received a ton of advice on parenting – mostly regarding the very things you mentioned. A few years ago a mom said to me, “You know, you just gotta do what works.” I think the same thing can be said for running, or anything, really.

  60. April 7, 2010 5:15 pm

    Embrace a sense of honor, pride and confidence in yourself and use it to your motivational advantage. Regardless the pace, distance or venue, you’re a RUNNER and being such puts you in a league of very impressive company. Sometimes reminding yourself of that is all it takes to get you out the door or through that last grueling mile.

  61. mhelen37 permalink
    April 7, 2010 5:50 pm

    Find good shoes, follow the 10% rule (only up your mileage by 10% each week), hydrate, start off a running program slow, give yourself a break when you have a bad run!

  62. April 7, 2010 5:58 pm

    1. Try, not cry 2. Frozen peas are God’s gift to middle-aged knees. 3. Black Eyed Peas songs will get you up any hill, any time. Crank ’em!

  63. Carolynn permalink
    April 7, 2010 6:29 pm

    I love reading all the advice – I think I will isten to Juliejulie and go get soem frozen peas right now!

    My advice would be to run earlier in the day if possible. Then it is done and nothing can interupt it! The best advice I ever received personally was from an arrogant co-worker who told me that I had no excuse to not run a sub 4 hour marathon. It got me running faster (and I almost made it!)

  64. April 7, 2010 6:41 pm

    My dad always told me this and I’ve passed it on, too, “Don’t judge people who are running. They’re out there running so you should get out their, too.”
    Love the Keens!

  65. Rebecca MacKay permalink
    April 7, 2010 6:49 pm

    Buy good gear to run in, it will make you want to use it (and feel guilty if you don’t)!

  66. April 7, 2010 6:50 pm

    Rest days are as important as the actual workout days.

  67. April 7, 2010 6:59 pm

    I think the best advice I give newer runners is “Running is 90% mental. When you think you can’t run another second. Don’t stop. Run 30 seconds more. And then 30 seconds more after that. It will teach your body that it can handle more than your mind thinks it can.”

  68. Melissa permalink
    April 7, 2010 7:02 pm

    When I’m struggling to get out the door for a run–i.e. the couch, my sweats, and a glass of wine beckons–I remind myself how much better I’ll feel after I run. Without question, even my very toughest runs have made me feel so much better than had I never gone at all. I always get back more than I give.

  69. Meggie permalink
    April 7, 2010 7:18 pm

    The best advice I got I believe I read on Runner’s World: “Walk is not a four letter word. ” This goes along with listening to your body and knowing that its okay to walk; its not a bad thing. You’re still covering distance, still putting one foot in front of the other.

  70. April 7, 2010 7:35 pm

    This is a great topic! Thank you!

    The best piece of running wisdom I ever got was, “You’ll never regret the run you do, only the one you miss.” So true – it’s hard to come back from any run, however terrible it was, not feeling better than before you left.

    Find a good pair of shoes, be fitted for them properly and buy two if they’re on sale!

    Run against traffic. As counter intuitive that statement may be, I know that it has kept me safe on the road – and I run mainly on roads! You usually see the car before they see you 🙂

    Thanks for this fun topic! It’s good to read the others and get a new piece of advice for myself 🙂

  71. April 7, 2010 8:14 pm

    Set up an elaborate reward system and hold yourself to it.
    A certain lotion after X miles, a pedicure after X, yummy bath salts in the ice bath, massage, outfits, exotic running vacations, whatever keeps you motivated and putting one foot in front of the other is fair game.
    Treat yourself like the running goddess you truly are!

  72. April 7, 2010 8:14 pm

    Since college I’ve been training on my own and what works for me is keeping track of my mileage and staying accountable to my goals, whether I’m training for a race or, as I say, just training for life. The second piece of advice is: just run no matter what, suck it up and deal with it, because one bad run doesn’t define you as a runner and the good days are worth all of the bad days. The third piece of advice is to take care of yourself: food, stretching, lots of water.

  73. Jana permalink
    April 7, 2010 8:14 pm

    Running shoes, fitted by a professional. It’s worth EVERY penny. When the insides of your knees start to ache…. buy another pair. Injuries are so easy to get, and painfully long to recover from.

  74. Steff permalink
    April 7, 2010 8:22 pm

    I’ve gotten a ton of good advice over the years, but some of my favorites:
    Staying awaaaay from all-cotton running gear is a good call.
    Warming up is totally worth it.
    Registering for an event–and having a nice, healthy fear of it–is a great motivator!

  75. April 7, 2010 8:32 pm

    Via my non-running boyfriend who knows me well “your body has never given up on you” and the unspoken subtext [but your mind has]. It really pushed me to challenge myself over the last year.

  76. April 7, 2010 8:45 pm

    ever heard the term fun run?
    don’t forget to enjoy it!

  77. Jenn C permalink
    April 7, 2010 9:08 pm

    My advice would be, run at your own pace! Don’t worry about comparing yourself to others. I always tell pple it’s ok to be slow, if you run consistently, you’ll notice that it gets easier to run a little but faster.

  78. Molly Boland permalink
    April 7, 2010 9:34 pm

    replace running shoes regularly – dry fit clothing is your friend – and most importantly, you will never know how far or fast you can go unless you try!

  79. April 7, 2010 9:53 pm

    Listen to your body and give yourself a few days off if you are in pain more then a day after your run. I took that advice last week and I’m happy I did. My foot feels better and I’m still on track for my half-marathon. I talked to a running coach and she was adamant to take a few days off. Great advice!

  80. Jenny permalink
    April 7, 2010 10:25 pm

    take the training plan one day, one mile, etc at a time! you will be amazed what you and your body are capable of accomplishing!

  81. GottaRun26.2 permalink
    April 7, 2010 10:30 pm

    My advice to anyone who dreads hill workouts: Appreciate them. They do wonders for your legs and make flat runs a piece of cake.

  82. April 8, 2010 12:22 am

    Before I ran my first marathon, everyone told me to start off slow so you don’t burn out.

  83. FIgirl permalink
    April 8, 2010 4:36 am

    REST when needed and listen to your body! I am one to hit the pedal to the medal :). when I find something that invigorates me – I can’t stop which tends to get me into trouble with my running. Injuries occur, motivation lags, etc, etc. I try to designate one rest day a week – no running, no crosstraining. And then a couple times a year – I try to take an entire week off. It’s hard for me not to do anything for that length of time but once its done and I get back into the swing of things – I feel like a new person! It really does the body good!

  84. April 8, 2010 4:59 am

    Even when you have a plan have a plan B–with kids (or a husband who springs a: “I have to be at work early tomorrow” on your day to run in the morning) you never know what will interfere. A jog stroller, a good long list of sitters (because you know your run is worth it), even a way to get to the gym to get on the dreadmill. Have a back up plan!

  85. Tricia permalink
    April 8, 2010 7:15 am

    The best advice I was given about staying motivated is: have a goal race. Along with having lots of running pals, I need a goal race to stay motivated and to keep me getting out there. I find I’m less likely to slack off when I have a schedule/program to stick to.

  86. Jennifer permalink
    April 8, 2010 7:28 am

    I’ve heard two pieces of advice that have greatly helped me: First, be consistent in your training. This helps you to have a baseline fitness level, which makes it so much easier to ramp up the training a bit for different types of races. Second, find training partners. For me, this has made all the difference – it holds me accountable, it gets me out of bed when it’s dark and -5 degrees, it pushes me to do hill repeats and track workouts, and it makes the miles fly by because I am distracted by the good company.

  87. Charlita Fickus permalink
    April 8, 2010 8:13 am

    I’m fairly new to running, but I find that it helps me to stay mentally focused on running. I love to learn new things by reading runnning magazines and websites to help me with my workouts, food choices, running gear, etc.

  88. Cathy permalink
    April 8, 2010 9:12 am

    Just put the shoes on…get out the door.
    Probably the biggest challenge but the rest just falls into place after that.

  89. Melanie permalink
    April 8, 2010 9:39 am

    These ideas have already been stated in some form, but, they are still my best “advice.” 1) be mentally tough, and intentionally think positive thoughts, whether it’s a training run or a race day. 2) don’t make any decisions about whether or not to run in the morning while still lying in bed. At least get your feet on the floor first.

  90. Kristy permalink
    April 8, 2010 10:04 am

    Always have a goal in mind. For me, working towards the next race works best. Also, start out slow. I get into trouble when I go all out the first two weeks of spring after being cooped up all winter long.

  91. Tuba permalink
    April 8, 2010 10:54 am

    Mentally break a run into smaller segments, and it’ll seem a lot more achievable!

  92. April 8, 2010 11:03 am

    my best advice is get a partner and just go. Set a goal together and run to meet it. And yes running is hard at first but you just have to keep going.

  93. April 8, 2010 11:31 am

    Treat the cause not the symptoms – rest and ice are a great way to treat your injury symptoms, but if you don’t find the cause or eliminate it then you will continually face the same injuries.

  94. KarenM permalink
    April 8, 2010 2:13 pm

    Best advice: Just get out the door – that’s the hardest part! So true! I tell myself that if I still feel like crap after a mile I can come home. So far, I never have!

  95. KarenM permalink
    April 8, 2010 5:49 pm

    Thought of another one: Everyone has bad runs – don’t get discouraged! If every run was awesome, we certainly wouldn’t appreciate those beautiful runs when we fly like the wind!

  96. Megan permalink
    April 9, 2010 10:07 pm

    My best advice for running is to learn to let go and just run. Once you can do that, the miles/time will fly on by and you’ll relieve so much stress you’ll wonder where your former self went!

  97. April 9, 2010 11:31 pm

    Accept the pain at mile X(insert #) as part of the hard work you’ve done to get to this point. Do not dread the pain but accept it and embrace it as part of the journey. When I had a pretty bad leg cramp in a marathon once, I didn’t panic but instead stretched it a couple minutes then screamed, “bring on the pain, baby, I’m ready for ya!” and I qualified for my first Boston Marathon.

  98. Ashley permalink
    April 14, 2010 9:30 pm

    Getting fitted for shoes has made an incredible difference for me.

    Also, having a a baby/child who yells, “mom, momma, mommy, mommy, mom, momma, go!!” whenever you slow to a walk is a great motivator.

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