I started running in 2005.  I didn’t know much about it.  I knew one other person that ran (he worked with me).  My friends that run now, didn’t run before.  I remember going to races and I didn’t know anybody there.  Fast forward many years later, and I know so much more about running and more of my friends are runners now.  On race day I would always see someone I knew.  Sigh, cannot wait till I can race again.

I am pleased with how things have turned out.  I’ve run many races and have met many wonderful runners.  However, if I could go back in time, there are a few things I would tell my younger self.

✔️ Be ready to invest good money for shoes, clothes, and gear.   Running stuff is not cheap.  Do you have to spend $150 for a pair of shoes?  No, but there is a difference between spending that amount of money versus $50.  However, there are a few instances in which you will find some great deals.  I remember a few years ago I bought some Brooks shoes that were on sale and they were around $60.

✔️ Make sure it is fun.  It was within these past few years that I finally realized it.  Running is a hobby and not a job.  When running is no longer fun, it feels like a burden.  There is no joy so what’s the point?

✔️ Don’t compare yourself to others.  It is very easy to do it, but one of the worst things a runner can do.  Comparing yourself to others will not make you feel better.  On the contrary, it will make you feel worse.  I don’t do that anymore because sometimes it would make me envious of others instead of being happy for them.

✔️ Never say never.  I remember saying that I would never run an ultramarathon.  It my mind 26.2 miles was more than enough.  Why go longer than that?  Eventually I did get the itch to run more than that.  Ha, I didn’t run just one ultramarathon, I did two.  Now I am thinking of doing another one in the next couple of years.

✔️ Don’t run all of the races and have a goal or goals.  In the beginning I would sign up for whatever race I could find.  It was in 2012 that I decided to run a half marathon in each state.  By then I had run about 20 half marathons.  Then about 2 years ago I decided to work on speed and get some PRs.  The ones I have now are a few years old and it is time for some new ones.  

I am not saying that any of these are “wrong”.  I am just saying that if I knew those things, then I would have done things a bit different.  But then maybe that’s how it was supposed to happen?  Life is weird.  🙂 What running advice would you give to your younger self?

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26 Comments on Fit Five Friday: Running advice I would give to my younger myself

  1. Have fun is the important thing. So many runners are so serious with their watches and training plans. I was like that too at the beginning.

    And find your tribe. Don’t go at it alone. That’s why there are races. Running can be social.

    All good tips. I agree with all of them.

    • I like to check my pace and follow the runs my coach gives me, BUT I don’t stress out about it if things don’t turn out the way I want them to. My coach is very understanding and I like that he is able to move things around for me. Life happens.

  2. I think one of my biggest mistakes when I started to run was to not join a running group.

    Even so, the truth is when you’re a slower runner — it can be hard to find a group that will really take care of you. I did, eventually. I’m not sure I would have in the beginning!

    Hindsight is a fascinateing thing.

  3. All good advice for your younger self and for us too. I learned the one about investing in good running shoes the hard way. I bought shoes that were not right for me and developed plantar fasciitis. It took me a long time to recover. Now I spend the money to replace my shoes every 500 miles.

  4. I wish i had started strength training earlier! That would be my biggest advice to my younger self.

  5. These are all really great. I confess to signing up for all the races, but it’s kind of my social activity so I’m ok with it. Investing in the right gear is so important to your overall success.

  6. I agree with these! I have learned so much over the years. Never say never is a good one. I used to say I would never run a marathon, and now I’ve done 6!

  7. They say comparison is the thief of joy and it’s so true. There’s always going to be someone who is faster, thinner, younger, and comparing yourself to them is just a setup for misery.

  8. Great insights, Zenaida!
    I would tell myself to slow down – when I first discovered running I mindlessly signed up for ALL the races. Now, I pick a goal and train for that and it makes my running a lot more fun.

  9. I was the runner who bought whatever shoe was prettiest and on sale. It didn’t even have to be a running shoe. Live and learn!

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