Welcome to a new year and new name for your dose of monthly Wednesday wisdom on running — Just Run! Clever, right? Since 2017 is already a blur I will remind you that myself and five or six of my most knowledgeable and experienced run blogger friends get together to bestow our collective wisdom on a variety of running related topics.

This month we are sharing advice and training tips for all the newbies who think starting a running habit in 2018 is a good idea. I’m adding advice for us old runners too since, if you’re anything like me, you forgot what it’s like to be a new runner!

ONE: RUNNING IS HARD

And….we’re done.

Seriously, if you can wrap your little newbie head around this one simple fact, you will forever love running. Like parenting, running doesn’t get easier, it just gets different. With time and experience (and great advice!) you will either come to accept this and embrace it or you won’t be a runner. It truly is the hard that makes it great and it’s so unbelievably worth it so hang in there…it gets different.

The hardest times in running for me were after having the twins and after turning 40.

The below picture was taken 30 seconds after crossing the finish line of my second triathlon in 2010. I was immediately back to being mom and it was unbelievably exhausting. Turning 40 was hard because now I have to work harder to keep up with the times I had last year or the year before and your mind starts to play tricks on you, so the mental side of running is harder as well. But again, every single bit of it is so worth it.

TWO: YES, IT’S THE SHOES (AND OTHER GEAR)

Do yourself a favor and go to a specialty running store and have them fit you for the correct pair of shoes for your foot and form. It matters. In fact, it matters the most. If you don’t have proper shoes, and since almost no one has perfect biomechanics, you will get injured and then you will hate running because it hurt you. If you’re local, I recommend Fleet Feet in Longmeadow (and tell them I sent you!) or really any Fleet Feet store near you.

The second most important piece of gear is probably your socks. It’s really all about your feet people I mean, it is running we’re talking about. Be prepared to pay over $15 for a good pair of socks and also be prepared to go through them fairly quickly. In fact, just set up a Go Fund Me page for shoes and socks now and get ahead of the game.

At least I had a great pedicure.

THREE: RUNNING IS NOT BUILT IN A DAY

If you have no patience, you’re not going to be happy about this one. Running takes a painful amount of time to build. Most people don’t even know how far one mile is, until they run it and then they are sure they must have run at least five. Welcome to running.

The key to not getting injured and to really love running is to start slow and short, maybe even take walk breaks, depending on where you’re starting from. There are literally thousands of running plans out there, just be careful who you get them from. Some of the trusted names in the biz are linked to Runner’s World and some great coaches that come to mind are Laura (below) at This Runner’s Recipes and Laura at Mommy, Run Fast. Obviously you need a coach named Laura. < – – that is not true but I would hire one of them, just to be safe

FOUR: RUNNING WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE

If you let it, running can change you’re entire life for the better. The best part is that it doesn’t matter how fast or far you run, you will become a different person and you’re life will then be divided into before and after running.

If it sounds too good to be true, try it. I dare you.

And, if you don’t want to take my word for it, I offer the following expert advice from women who know how hard it is to start and then keep running year after year.

NELLIE | BROOKLYN ACTIVE MAMA

LAURA | THIS RUNNER’S RECIPES

ANGELA | HAPPY FIT MAMA

SARAH | RUN FAR GIRL

CARLY | FINE FIT DAY

Do you want to start running? Why or why not?

If you are already a runner, what would you add?

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