Newbie Runners Guide to Get on the Road

Motivation Tip

Stop Watching the Clock
It's more efficient (and fun) to track miles instead of minutes. But a treadmill isn't the only way to know your distance. Here are more tips to lose those stubborn last 10 pounds.

Use your car's odometer to map out a loop. Note landmarks along the way so you'll know how far you've gone when you're running.

Many towns have a ?-mile track at a high school or community center. Four laps equal a mile.

Plot your course on a Web site like or try preloaded routes (complete with tips on traffic and hills).

There are GPS-powered devices, pedometers—even some cell phones will measure your distance. Check sporting goods and electronics stores to find one that meets your needs.

10 Fast Fixes for Every Excuse

My Knees Hurt

FIX #1 Shorten your stride
No matter how cushiony the heel of your shoe is, your body isn't designed to land on it when running, experts say. Shorter strides help you land on the middle of your foot, activating your body's natural shock absorbers.

FIX #2 Strengthen your hips and thighs

One of the most common causes of knee pain is weakness in the thighs and hips, which absorb impact, says runner Alexis Chiang Colvin, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Go to for targeted toning exercises to keep you pain free.

More: 3 Exercises to Cure Your Knee Pain

I Keep Getting Blisters

FIX #3 Check your shoe size
"Your feet increase as much as a size to a size and a half when you run," says coach Hal Higdon. "Especially for new runners, fluids can pool in your extremities, making them swell."

FIX #4 Invest in fancy socks
Yes, there's a difference between $1 and $10 socks. Fabrics that "wick sweat," including synthetics (like CoolMax) and lightweight wool (like SmartWool), limit frictioncausing moisture.

FIX #5 Reduce rubbing
Apply a lubricant such as petroleum jelly or Body-Glide to hot spots before putting your socks on.

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