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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About the Author

Jenny Hadfield

Coach Jenny Hadfield is an Active Expert, co-author of the best-selling Marathoning for Mortals, and the Running for Mortals series. As a columnist for Women's Running Magazine and RunnersWorld.com, Jenny has trained thousands of runners and walkers like you with her training plans and guidance. Known for her "Ask Coach Jenny" brand, she empowers individuals of all experience levels to improve their running performance and train more effectively for their next event by answering their questions. You can follow her on Twitter and at the Ask Coach Jenny Facebook page

Coach Jenny Hadfield is an Active Expert, co-author of the best-selling Marathoning for Mortals, and the Running for Mortals series. As a columnist for Women's Running Magazine and RunnersWorld.com, Jenny has trained thousands of runners and walkers like you with her training plans and guidance. Known for her "Ask Coach Jenny" brand, she empowers individuals of all experience levels to improve their running performance and train more effectively for their next event by answering their questions. You can follow her on Twitter and at the Ask Coach Jenny Facebook page

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