An interesting question I got was my biggest piece of advice for new runners.  I realize there are so many different directions you could go and I’m sure more qualified people have better thoughts.  However, this is my personal advice and honestly I have exactly one big umbrella statement that if I could tell new, old and all runners in general.


Don’t worry about the pace on your training runs.  If you begin to worry, you begin to push the pace and second guess yourself.  Could I go run 70 mile weeks and force myself to run at a 7 minute pace?

Well, it would have to happen on the treadmill and I would get injured within two weeks.  I can almost guarantee you that.

When you begin to add more milage and time into running whether you are a new runner or a seasonal adding more mileage on 50,60…100 mile plan.  Adding more mileage takes time to adjust too and your pace on training runs will be slower.  Don’t worry about that.  Your body is beginning to adapt.  You will feel stronger eventually.

Yes, your short term goal of being faster (read 2 weeks) will not be achieved but when your body adjusts…you’ll feel a lot better.  I personally recommend keeping most of your runs untimed (it seems like the world is a slave to GPS watches these days).  It took me roughly 3 months of absolutely no timing of races to realize that it didn’t matter if my pace was 5 seconds faster, slower, exactly the same…who cares.  You aren’t racing anyone in your training runs…well infact you are racing yourself of how long you can stay injury free.  But I’m confusing myself now.

So with that my biggest advice for any runner is to relax and don’t worry about paces.  It’s physically impossible to get faster on every single run.  Go sans GPS on multiple runs.  It might liberate you.

Question for you: Biggest advice for new, old, any runner? 

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  1. I think this is good advice for any runner, beginner or advanced. I know or me personally the minute I start worrying or obsessing over mileage and time, I get slower. I haven’t figured out exactly how to relax but I know it will make the world of difference.

  2. I’ll be the first to admit that I check my Garmin more than I probably should during training runs. I’m still relatively new to running, so I don’t totally trust myself to dial into a specific pace and hold it–without double and triple checking to make sure I’m on target. And in terms of relaxing, I have mantras and key phrases I repeat to myself; they work well during tough workouts and races.

  3. Best advice ever for all runners- relax and enjoy it. Stressing yourself for a pace, time, distance is just not worth it- at least if you’re a recreational runners (Anyone having to run for a scholarship or money is entitled to a little stress over the sport, not recreational athletes). Plus I think sometimes the stress actually hurts us mentally and keeps us from goals.

    100% agree on the watch. I don’t race with mine unless it’s a half or longer (where pacing really matters) and I try to do some training runs without it, lots of people are slaves to the watch and that takes the fun out of it. No need to hate a run because you didn’t achieve those negative splits or it was .15 off the distance you thought, etc.

    1. Exactly. I think even college athletes (those not having scholarships on the line) need to relax. Actually, honestly while yes scholarships are important-no college athlete needs to be so stressed out from sports.

      1. I agree. I know the scholarship athletes have a lot on the line and it shows, along with the walk ons that are trying to earn scholarships (and there are only so many scholarship slots on some teams). To me all that pressure just ruins sports for a lot of high school and college athletes and takes the fun out of it. I could see the pressure at the middle school level when I coached.

  4. Amen sister friend!! I usually do bout 2-3 runs without my beloved Garmin for some peace of mind. I enjoy the sites around campus a heck of a lot more! Plus, who cares if you are .2 seconds slower or faster than yesterdays run – you know? Especially when you are just running for fun – not training

  5. I’m the exact opposite in that I would never run without some sort of tracking mechanism. It doesn’t make me push it too far on easy runs. In fact, it helps keep me in check. I have a tendency to run progressively if I’m not paying attention and my garmin helps me keep it steady and easy. Also absolutely necessary for speed work, not so much for the pace, but for setting up intervals. I don’t have easy access to a track. I use a variety of screens, sometimes hiding pace, sometimes hiding mileage, sometimes I just have the time up; it all depends in what I’m trying to achieve in a particular workout.

    But to each their own. I love data, so it is part of the joy of running for me. Probably even more than the actual run itself.

    1. I like to track my mileage on my GPS but as far as pace, I could care less. I like data nut not pace data. With speed work, I’m a lot more pace oriented.

  6. I think the biggest advice given to me is to start slow. I tend to go fast at the start of the race because of excitement and feeling already and struggling to finish. When I start slow, I would always finish the race strong and smiling! 🙂

  7. Relax is such a great tip! Run for YOU not for time, mileage, to prove yourself to others. Running should be fun, enjoyable, challenging, and self-motivating.

  8. I think that is excellent advice, so much so that I can’t think of anything I would add to it and will now forever steal it as my own advice to new runners. I almost always run with my Garmin, but I’ve gotten much better about not looking at it. I like to run new routes almost every time I am out, and I hate preplanning, so I basically have it to track mileage. If I AM looking at my pace, it’s usually to make sure I’m not going too fast. In the summer, it’s so easy to want to start off fast, but I can’t keep faster paces up on longer super hot runs. So I need to keep myself in check, and that’s when I look at the watch.

  9. Good advice! I would also add to “run your own race”. Don’t worry about what other people are doing and just focus on yourself. Often people get so obsessed with how fast, or slow, other people are and how they compare. Just focus on your own improvement and it will serve you better.

    1. Running your own race is so important too. Part of the reason I don’t like training with a lot of people consistently is because I never know how they’ll feel or how I’ll feel and no one wants to push the pace when they aren’t feeling it.

  10. Great advice. I would say have fun and stop comparing to other people. Unless you are trying to win the Olympics or are being paid to run its really just for fun and health. One regret that I have about running is how much I’d let a “bad run” ruin my day. I would GLADLY go run at a 13 minute mile pace rather than be stuck on a stationary bike. It’s about enjoying the time alone and being outside. At least that’s what I plan on making it be about once I can start running again. How long were you out of running from the cyst?

  11. As someone’s who’s been a beginner runner on a number of different occasions, my biggest advice would probably be not to compare yourself to other runners, and not to feel discouraged at how difficult it might seem at times. I know that when I was first starting out, I’d look at other runners and think “Why is it so easy for them and so hard for me?!” and get super discouraged, but everyone had to start somewhere, and everyone has difficult runs.

  12. I love that advice. Very true! I would add to that to make goals but keep them short term and easily attainable. You can always make new ones if you achieve them quickly.

  13. Thank you so much for directly answering my question! Honestly this couldn’t hit closer to home if you tried!

    Lately I’ve been running with my phone/GPS… But basically using it for music and an overall tracking. I just shove it in my sports bra and running. Oddly enough I’m running more consistently and comfortably without stressing/

    You are a wise, wise woman

  14. Following my gut and leaving my watch at home once or twice every week is the best thing that ever happened for me. I really love running now and I used to HATE it not even a year ago. I like it because for once time really doesn’t matter and I used to be a slave to the elliptical and the time flashing in my face on that thing

  15. I agree with your advice! I would say to just enjoy the act of running and let that be the reason to run, you know?! Life is too short to push ourselves to the extreme all the time!

    Thanks for the wise words, Hollie!

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