10 Things I Wish I Knew as a New Runner

Trust the process, celebrate every stride, and celebrate your uniqueness. I started out walking for weeks before I could even try to run for 30 seconds without swearing out loud. And in time, I found out I actually had some talent (who knew?). It wasn't enough to win a race, but it was much more than I ever imagined I could do. Keep your focus on the road ahead, stay true to your running journey, and you'll begin to see yourself as a runner.

More: How Beginners Can Make Running a Healthy Habit

Make Running Friends

OK, I think I know you well enough now to tell you my true secret for running. Be open, be vulnerable, and surround yourself with other runners or running wannabes.

More: Solo vs. Group Running: Which One Is Right for You?

My healthy running journey started with a challenge. I was working an internship and all the employees were runners, and they challenged me to run a 5K later that year. They also backed me up, trained with me several times during the week, and taught me how to slowly work my way up to running by tricking my body into liking it. At first, it was walking for 30 minutes, then sprinkling in 15 seconds of running every 3 to 4 minutes of walking. In time, I ran more, walked less, and learned the power of running friends. They guided me when I didn't know how to get started, pushed me when I was scared to go farther, and supported me through every mile.

Research tells us that when we exercise socially with others, we can go farther and faster. Find a buddy, a group or join a training program at your local running store. It will change your life forever and you'll make a host of new active friends.

More: How to Train With a Running Group

Lube Up

Once I could run farther than a minute or two at a time, I started to notice things began to rub. To be more specific, I earned running tattoos under my arms and on my thighs from the tremendous friction of my running speed. When moisture and friction play together, chafing happens—and it hurts.

Simple solutions: avoid running apparel with rough seams, wear technical apparel that wicks moisture, and invest in a tube of runner's lube (Body Glide). Just make sure you lube up generously any where on your body that rubs together, and consider this an initiation to becoming a runner.

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