Answers to common beginner runner questions

We’re here to address these common questions beginner runners have and provide you with essential insights, expert advice, and friendly tips to kickstart your running adventure on the right foot (no pun intended!) What shoes should you wear? Is it normal for running to hurt? How do you stay motivated, and should you carb-load before every run? Read on to find out:

What do I need to start running?

Invest in a proper pair of running shoes that fit your feet correctly. Head over to your local running store where the experts will put you on a treadmill, watch you strut your stuff, and find the pair that’s right for you. The general rule of thumb is don’t go for running shoes that are the same size as your everyday shoes. Depending on the brand, you might want to consider going up by half a size or even a full size larger. This article may help when choosing running shoes! 

I’ve bought my shoes, now what do I do now?

You’ve got your new running shoes, now it’s time to take them for a spin. Begin by mixing in some walking with your running to keep those muscles fresh and happy. Don’t rush it! Over time, you can gradually decrease those walk breaks and increase the time you spend running. There are loads of free couch to 5k apps to get you started! If you’d like further advice there are some fab tips in this article!

When should I eat before a run?

When it comes to running you’ve probably heard of the term ‘carb-loading.’ But there is no need for a pre-run feast before shorter runs. However, it is a good idea to have something in your belly within three hours before you hit the road. Your usual breakfast should do the trick. If you often find yourself in need of a loo stop mid-run, steer clear of high-fibre foods before lacing up those shoes!

Are my legs meant to hurt this much?

It’s normal to experience a bit of muscle soreness, especially when you’re new to running. Muscle soreness is part of the package but persistent pain requires attention. Keep those aches and pains at bay by taking a gradual approach when increasing your mileage. Your muscles need time to adapt, and pushing too hard too soon can lead to more pain than gain. Focus on nailing your running form too; it’s like a secret weapon against those niggling pains.

But remember, while running may have its ups and downs, it shouldn’t be a constant source of pain. If something doesn’t feel quite right, it’s a good idea to get it checked out. After all, we want your running journey to be as pain-free and enjoyable as possible!

My skin is chafing – is this normal?

Ah, the age-old issue of chafing – something many runners have faced at some point! You’re going to become best friends with anti-chafe products. Apply them to those sensitive areas, and you’re good to go! Clothing wise opt for moisture-wicking fabrics. This will help wick away sweat from your skin, leaving you feeling dry and comfy.

beginner runner questions

I enjoy running, but I always struggle to find the motivation. Is this normal?

Don’t worry; you’re not alone. This is a common experience in the world of running. Try establishing a regular running routine at a time that suits you best. Consistency is the key to forming a habit. Once you’ve locked in your schedule, fully commit to it. Think of your run as a non-negotiable meeting with a friend; the more you stick to it, the more your motivation tends to catch up. Remember, even the most dedicated runners have those days, but the secret is to take that first step, and you’ll often find your motivation tagging along as you go.

I’ve started running on a treadmill – is it the same as running on the road?’

Treadmills, in addition to being a safe option, are a convenient choice, especially if you’re not comfortable running alone outdoors. Rainy days won’t deter you, and on a treadmill, you have the added benefits of stability and precise control over speed and incline. Plus, you can catch up on your favourite TV shows while you run. While treadmill running is convenient, it can’t fully replicate the outdoors. Outdoor running offers a connection to nature, diverse terrains, and ever-changing scenery. It introduces variables like hills and wind, making it a unique experience. So, blending both into your routine ensures an exciting a well-rounded running journey

I want to sign up for my first race – any tips?

How exciting! When selecting your race distance, aim for one that you know you can comfortably achieve. Consider choosing a race close to home to reduce extra stress like travel and parking. To minimise race-day stress, lay out all your gear the night before, including your race bib (don’t forget safety pins). Arrive at the race venue early – it gives you time to calm those pre-race nerves and account for lengthy toilet queues. When the race starts, resist the urge to sprint; instead, start at a comfortable, sustainable pace. Most importantly, relish every moment of the race, soak in the cheers from the crowd, and revel in the sense of accomplishment that accompanies crossing that finish line. Your first race is a milestone to be celebrated!