So you want to start running?

Running allows you to see areas you may have missed on your vacations.

Running allows you to see areas you may have missed on your vacations.

Maybe you see someone out running every day in your neighborhood and you think, “I could do that”. Or you see your friends posting about that race they did over the weekend and it looks like fun. If I can run, pretty much anyone can run.

Growing up, I had exercised-induced asthma and it was not well controlled. I could barely do a lap around the track. I don’t recall every running a full mile, with no walk breaks, until I joined a gym in college. I ran on a treadmill for health, to lose weight. Nothing more. I ran off and on, eventually moved outside and ran my first race. I became hooked.

I am all for sharing my love and knowledge of running. I hope that my joy is infectious and others turn to running and love it. I want others to reap the health and fitness that comes from running. To clear your brain and stress less.

But just how does one get into running?

Have you tried in the past and given up because it seemed too hard? You went all out and didn’t enjoy yourself? It happens to a lot of people. I know I often went too hard when I first started. Heck, I sometimes start out too fast still!

My biggest tip for new runners is to go slow. Every time someone tells me they can’t run because they always become short of breath withing a few minutes I tell them they need to slow it way down. Not everyone can run a 7-minute mile. Sometimes I run 13-minute miles. There’s no shame in that. I am out there, doing my thing and I know that day is a slow run day for whatever reason.

You can see gorgeous sunsets (or sunrises).

You can see gorgeous sunsets (or sunrises).

My second tip is to take breaks. Too many people think they need to go out and run 30 minutes straight. Nope. Walk breaks can be beneficial, especially when starting out. In fact, I took strategic walk breaks during my last half marathon and thought I did a decent time for no training.

Go slow and build up. No one started out running half marathons. Most people can’t just go out and run a 5k with no training. We all have to start somewhere. Instead of wishing you were out in the race, why not start training for one?

When I started running in college there weren’t really apps. There was a Couch to 5K plan online but you had to print it off and time yourself, no prompts. Nowadays, there are a million apps and coaching programs available. The apps and programs are great and I guarantee you can find one that works for you.

Couch to 5Ks will have you do a run/walk and decrease the walk portion slowly. Don’t be afraid to repeat days if you aren’t comfortable moving on yet. A lot of the programs also have a 30-minute end goal but don’t feel pressured to go fast. As I said before, we can’t all be hares. Some of us need to be the tortoise. 😉

Do you want to start running? Do you have a dream race you want to do?


Jenna Volden has a degree in business and has spent the last 10 plus years working for others. She believes it is time to start her own photography and writing business. She enjoys running, coffee and helping others achieve their goals. Gluten-free foods are a lifestyle, not a choice, for her due to celiac disease. She is currently based in Phoenix, Arizona.