10 Tips for Beginner Runners - What I Wish I Knew Before I Started Running

So, you just started running and you're looking for the advice from somebody who's been running for a long time.

Well, you're in the right place, because I'm Jesse Funk. I've been running for almost 20 years competitively now. And this is Runner's High, the long distance running show.


So, you just started running and you're looking for the advice from somebody who's been running for a long time.

Well, you're in the right place, because I'm Jesse Funk. I've been running for almost 20 years competitively now. And this is Runner's High, the long distance running show.

Today, I'm going to share with you the top 10 tips I have for beginners, the things I wish I knew, before I started running.

My first tip for you is to realize that you're not going to go as fast as you want, as fast as you want. It's another way of saying, be patient.

I know I was always frustrated with not going as fast as I really wanted to go. And there's something to be said about being patiently impatient, this balance that you need to build where you say, I want to be better, I want to be faster, I want to be stronger.

But also realizing that things take as long as they take, there's a certain amount of processes, you can't simply go faster with. Your body can only process as fast as it can, it can only repair as fast as it can.

And there are things you can do, adequate sleep, good nutrition, that helps you recover faster. But there is a limit there's only so fast you can go.

So my number one tip is to realize to be patient, you're not going to go as fast as you want.

My second tip for you is to realize that running shoes are essential, not optional.

Running is really nice because you can just get out your door and start doing it. You don't need a gym membership, you don't need to get an instructor, you don't need a coach.

All these things are nice to have, but not need to have. And some people think that running shoes are the same way.

I will ?? 1:59> disagree every day all day because I've been injured countless numbers of ways over the years from overtraining, and specifically poor shoes.

So, I've learned a lot about what does not work and what breaks you. Poor shoes or an easy way that you can hurt yourself and it can be an easy fix.

My suggestion is go to a local running store, try on some shoes, they'll have a treadmill or they'll let you run them outside. And they'll figure out, you know, a kind of general selection for you to pick from. And then you can feel out from there, which shoes are going to be best for you.

It's all about injury prevention and consistency over the long term, the less you're injured, the better you're going to be. So, running shoes are essential, not optional.

Number three, realize that running is a love hate relationship, even for the pros.

When I say that, I mean, some days, you're going to be out, you're going to feel great. Everything's going to be working, and it's going to be an awesome time. And there are other days, you're just going to feel terrible.

It's not going to be fun. And you're going to be out there slogging wondering, what the hell am I doing. But know that when you're out there, that consistency I just talked about over the long run is what's going to make you better.

And that love hate relationship exists for everyone, no matter how fast you are. Everyone has good days, everyone has bad days.

I'm going to get a little philosophical on you for a moment because my number four tip is to realize that running isn't about running.

Running is really about life. Running is about you. Running is about your development in becoming someone different, someone better and kind of optimizing you your existence in a way, if you allow me to be a little esoteric.

Running actually allows you an outlet for your brain to shut off for a while, to culminate in the background, all the thoughts and to digest all the feelings you've had. It's also an opportunity for you to pound out the pavement, if you have stress or you've been mad about something or sad about something.

There's a catharsis that happens when you're out there and pushing and letting all this energy go out into the world, through your feet through the pavement, through the grass, whatever service you're running on.

Running is more than just motion. It's about life. So don't forget that when you're out there and you're out doing your thing.

There is the possibility that you'll learn more about yourself, and about what's going on with you in life than just how to go faster.

My number five tip for running beginners is to realize you will become part of a bigger community. And this is interesting part of life.

When you become involved in an activity like running, it's so simple, it's so basic. There's not a whole lot to it, get out your door, start running. That's it.

But there are so many people that are fanatical about running, that you are now a part of this larger community, you have compatriots and running, that have stories, to have a history, that have a race season, that have all these things that they know and love, and hate, and want to talk about, just about running.

It's the perfect place to meet new people, if you're an adult, and you want new friends. Or if you are still you know, in high school, you have a built in team. And maybe you can move on to college and have your own team there.

I know the guys I ran with in college will always be family to me. We had shirts made that say, “miles are as thick as blood”.

There's a saying that “blood is thicker than water”, meaning family is more important than friendships. But the bonds you build with people as you go through mutual suffering is something that can't be described. It can only be experienced to actually know the true essence of it.

So know that as a runner, you're becoming part of something bigger than you. And that's an opportunity to enhance your own life.

Number six, and this comes back to patients as well. Realize that injury will be a test of your patience and one of the most frustrating things that you'll deal with.

I don't know any runner ever, that's never been injured, there plenty to do really well. And I know personally post-college, want to be able to maintain my own schedule, will it be much easier to be injury free.

But every once in a while, I still get a little issue here and there. And it is frustrating because you're like, damn it, I want to be running without pain, without injury, without issue. But that's not how it happens all the time.

Injury is real, it's frustrating. But it can be managed. And there are plenty of, you know, resources for you to go to, to figure out how to deal with it, how to rehab it. A lot of times it's rest, that helps you and then you need to take care of yourself to not be injured in the future. So, injury will be one of the most frustrating parts of being a runner.

My seventh tip is to realize that if you love training more than you love racing, you will reach your potential. This is a pitfall I saw a lot of people fall into as they fell by the wayside.

Now, I'm a decent runner. I'm not, you know, “Olympic caliber” by any measure, I wasn't even division one. But I maximize my potential and became very, very good runner because I was consistent and because I love training more than I love racing.

That's why when I saw guys quit because of the kind of test of the day in day out grind of running. They didn't love training. There's a little bit of masochism involved, where you have to say, I love the pain so much. But if you kind of train yourself to do that, or you do it naturally, you're going to be the best runner you can be. Love your training days, racing days will come easy.

I touched on this next point earlier and that's to realize that running partners will become family. It's really a great part of being a runner and running with other people is that you get to have these new connections in your life that are stronger than some of the more casual connections that you have.

Like I said, miles are as thick as blood. It's something that's been important to me over my nearly 20 years of running now. And it will probably continue to be into the future, finding those people that, you know resonate with you, that, that thing that you do which is running, and they love it, you love it and now they’re family.

I've met people traveling to races out of state throughout the country. And these people don't live anywhere near me. But anytime we get together, it's just like old friends.

It's something that I hope you will find throughout your running career. And it's something that I can only hope you find sooner than later because it is something special.

My next tip is to realize that you're going to discover new things about your body, your mind and your spirit, no matter how long you've been running.

Like I said a couple times, I've been running competitively for almost 20 years. And there's still days where I have to test myself to become a better person.

There is nothing that gets easier about running, it only allows you to be faster, and that axiom is really a saying. It comes with everything else that I've said that, you know, you are on a personal development journey, really.

It's a little whoo-whoo, magical me to say I suppose. But having been through it, realizing that pushing your own limits is something that not that many people do.

Plenty people are happy to stagnate and not change or become better at all. But because you're a runner, and you're embarking on this journey, you will discover things about yourself you didn't know before, and dimensions that maybe you didn't understand, you know, about your mind and your limits.

For my last tip, I want to say, don't forget to subscribe to the channel because I'm going to be bringing you all kinds of content in the future.

No, but seriously, I do have a last tip for you, and that's to remember that running is not the most important thing. No matter how obsessed you are, and trust me I've been there, running is not the most important thing in your life.

Running maybe one of your biggest priorities, but there are things that come before the sport. No matter who you are, whether you're an Olympic athlete, or you're an age group athlete, just looking to break 40 minutes in your 5K, there are more important things.

Know that sometimes you may have to take a step back to take care of, you know, family or your friends. This is saying I kind of grown accustomed to or thought I had a few years ago, a realization that there are three basic ingredients to a good life; family, friends, and food.

Running surprisingly, is not in there. And that's to know that no matter what happens, whether you're injured, whether you're healthy, that running is not the be all end all of existence.

Life should revolve around what you want to accomplish to be happy, not letting running control absolutely everything.

I'll see you next time on Runner's High, stay tuned for more tips from me to help you become the best runner you can be.

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