Running Tips for Newbies

Gear Up

Technically, you could run naked and barefoot—however, investing in a few key items will make your runs more enjoyable (and less scandalous).

  • Running Shoes: You don't have to buy an expensive pair, but you will need shoes that fit you properly. Purchase these in person (not online), preferably at a running store.

  • Sports Bra: This is a must-have for all female runners. Make sure to buy a high-impact bra that fits your cup size.

  • Watch: A simple stopwatch will enable you to time your runs and keep track of intervals.

  • Wicking Apparel: Cotton is okay, but shirts, shorts, pants, socks and hats made from technical fabrics will be more comfortable. Look for lightweight materials and flat seaming.

Body Language

Here's a simple field guide to runner "speak" . . .

  • Bonk: To suddenly lose energy during a race, often due to going out too fast in the beginning. Also known as "hitting the wall."

  • Chip: A timing device built into your race bib number or attached to your shoe that clocks exactly when you cross the start and finish lines. Sometimes referred to as a D-tag.

  • Chub rub: Painful chafing caused by upper thighs rubbing together.

  • Fartlek: A silly-sounding Swedish word meaning "speed play." This is a kind of running workout that incorporates irregular bursts at various speeds.

  • Lactate threshold: The intensity at which lactic acid begins to accumulate in the body, causing fatigue. This threshold can be raised with regular training.

  • Negative split: A phrase used to describe when a runner completes the second half of a run or race faster than the first half.

  • Overuse injury: An injury that occurs from running too hard, too frequently or not allowing enough recovery time.

  • PR: Your "personal record" or best time for a distance. Also known as "PB" (personal best).

  • Rest day: A day free from running or any structured workout.

  • Speedwork: A hard workout, often performed at a track, which includes fast-paced intervals or sprints.

  • Tempo run: A moderately difficult workout in which a runner sustains a comfortably hard effort (e.g. half marathon race pace) for an extended period of time.

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