So You Want to Run?

The best thing about running, is that in it’s purest state, it’s something uncomplicated that most people can do.  You don’t need fancy equipment or a gym membership, just a pair of running shoes and a road or trail.



Somehow I ended up with  many running shoes…

Yes, I know I have a shoe problem.

Once you take that step out the door and move your walk to a jog or run, you are a runner.  It’s not a fancy title that needs four years of school or a special test.  It’s not something so exclusive that only the richest or most athletic people can call themselves.  You don’t have to be fast or look like a Runner’s World model.  If you run, you are a runner.   It’s as simple as that.  But the pride that comes with calling yourself a runner can exceed some of the most prestigious awards and titles.

Just taking that first step can be the hardest, but if you want to give it a try here are some steps to get you started.

1. Start off Slow.

Don’t be afraid to go too slow.  It doesn’t matter for now, you’ll get faster with time. Just keep your feet moving.  Most of us will never be an elite athlete.  Only compete with yourself and try to do a little more each time you run.

2. Try a Walk/Run Combo

Don’t feel bad if you can’t run constantly to start.   It’s very hard to start something new.   I couldn’t run a half mile when I started without losing my breath!

Aim for a 20 minute goal.   If running for 20 minutes straight is too hard (and don’t feel bad if it is), try running for 3 minutes and walking for 1 minute.  An inexpensive stopwatch can help you with the timing.  Over time, run more and walk less.  Soon you will be shocked that you will go through the whole 20 minutes and you can start running for longer times and distances.

3. Plan Ahead!

Decide when you want to run ahead of time and put it in your calendar, planner or smartphone.  If you are running in the morning, put out your exercise clothes the night before.  If you are running after work, pack a bag and take your clothes with you.   If you have invested time in getting ready to run, you are more likely to do it.

4. Tell Someone!

Find an encouraging friend or someone who already runs.  Tell them you are just starting out and they will most likely be thrilled to offer you some tips or kind words.  Runners love to talk about running.  Trust me!  This will also hold you accountable for following through with your new hobby.

5. Sign up for a 5K!

Find a local 5K that is 2 to 3 months away.  This will give you a goal to run 3.1 miles within a reasonable amount of time.  Here is a link to a “couch to 5K” program online.  If you have goal, like a specific race, you are more likely to stick with it!;s=2_3;site=1

If these tips aren’t enough, and you feel like you need a little more guidance, there are local programs that can guide you through your first 5K.

Girls on the Run of WNC is kicking off a “First 5K” Training Program September 26th!   They are offering 10 weeks of guided runs and training sessions to prepare you for their 5K on December 8th.  It’s a perfect way to start running or return to running.

Click here for more information on the program.  It sounds perfect for newbie runners!

Enjoy and happy running!


See? This is at my first half marathon.

I couldn’t be happier!

How did you get into running?

Have you ever thought about starting to run?  If so, what is keeping you from giving it a try?


By | 2017-08-15T14:04:36-04:00 September 15th, 2012|Asheville / WNC Living, Fitness, Healthy Living Tips, Newbie Running, Running|8 Comments


  1. […] So You Want to Run? […]

  2. […] 3. Do Your Research- Don’t fall for the gimmicks or quick fixes to lose weight or get in shape.  Your best bet to lose weight is to make a lifestyle change which includes eating healthier food, monitoring calories and burning more calories through good old-fashioned exercise.   Fad diets will not bring you long term results.  If you want to join a gym, find one that matches your lifestyle and location.  If you work at night, a 24 hour gym, might suit you best.  Many gyms will be running specials to join right now, but make sure you read the fine print of the contract and can fulfill the commitment.  If you aren’t comfortable with their deal and they will not change it, go somewhere else.  If you want to start running, find a good couch to 5K program or read a great blog about starting to run.  In fact… I might just know of one…. click HERE. […]

  3. Theresa December 10, 2012 at 4:28 pm - Reply

    Ok, so today is my birthday. I have always been fascinated by runner, but worried about my knees. Do you have knee problems? What are the best shoes to start running with?

    • JulieWunder December 12, 2012 at 7:05 pm - Reply

      I don’t have knee problems… but I’ve had shin and ankle problems. I recommend starting off slow. Don’t try too much too fast.
      I actually wrote a post about starting to run that may have some good information for you…

      I wear Mizuno Wave Rider and Wave Precision shoes. They work for my narrow, neutral foot. I also have an insole made for them that helps relieve ankle stress.
      Each foot needs a different shoe though. I would HIGHLY recommend going to a local running store (foot rx or jus running) and have them fit you for the right pair of shoes.

      Happy BIRTHDAY!!!!!!! and Happy Running!!!
      Let me know if you give it a try!

  4. Sharon October 8, 2012 at 3:30 am - Reply

    I am in my late 50’s In the last 8 months I have quit smoking and lost about 30lbs.ran my first 5K back in June. I just ran another 5k for Autsim. And I came in secvoond for my age group. It feels so good to be healthy. I want to run mathon in about 3 years is my goal. My Daughter and I are plaininng on running the 10K hot chocolate in january. I never though that I would like to run but I just love.

    • JulieWunder October 9, 2012 at 2:47 pm - Reply

      Hi Sharon! 2nd in your age group? That’s awesome! Congrats. Keep running! I’m so glad you are having fun with it. Sound like you have a great plan to slowly increase your miles to the longer distance. 🙂

  5. Ken September 17, 2012 at 1:01 am - Reply

    Call it a mid-life crisis maybe but as I approached 40 I knew I had to improve my health if I wanted to continue to enjoy life and be here for my family so I decided to loose some weight, eat better and knew exercise would help. I was able to find a thing on itunes called “Pod Runner.” It was a 10 week program (it took me more like 16 weeks cause of my weight at the time). It was an intrival program that had “techno mixes” that kept my mind busy as I got my body used to running and tones that let me know when to walk and when to run. With it I was able to progress and now, 4 years later, find myself in the best health I’ve been in since high school!

    • JulieWunder September 17, 2012 at 7:24 pm - Reply

      Thanks- that so awesome Ken!! Just proves the power of running if you put your mind to it 🙂

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