In 2012 I bought my first pair of running shoes. I had heard about Run Disney and then came across a pin, on Pinterest, about the Princess Half Marathon. I was dazzled by women running in tutus and tiaras who had tight abs. I imagined the feeling of finishing a race and immediately wanted to be a part of it. I laced up my pretty pink running shoes, with very little knowledge about the sport, and ran around my neighborhood.
They say ignorance is bliss, but there are some things I wish I could go back and tell myself as a newbie runner. It would’ve saved me from a lot of heart ache and physical pain (ahem– chafing).
Things I Wish I Knew When I First Started Running:
1) Don’t pick your shoes based on color, prettiness or trend. Proper fitting shoes are so important. Go visit your local running store and have an experienced runner fit you. Even better, have a Podiatrist give you a recommendation. I had to toss my pretty pink shoes for better arch support.
2) Not all runners have flat abs and run 7 minute miles. I was so intimidated before going to my first race expo. I thought it would be like registration at the Olympics. I was relieved when I saw women & men of all shapes and sizes at the Run Disney Princess expo. Short, tall, curvy or thin people can be runners! Don’t let anything stop you from running.
3) Body parts run together while running. I fall into the curvy category of runners. After a successful training run for my first half, I came back to take a shower and SCREAMED my head off. I had chafing between my legs and on my back. It’s caused from the friction of things rubbing while you run. It’s so important to invest in an anti-chafing product, such as Body Glide.
4) Walking is allowed in races. For whatever reason, I conceived the idea that walking is completely prohibited during a race. I thought other runners would see me as “weak” or “inexperienced”. You CAN walk in a road race and it is encouraged sometimes so you save some stamina.
5) Running is NOT a cheap sport. Have you heard people say, “all you need are shoes”. LIES! You need shoes, sports bras, clothes, fuel and water bottles minimum. Then you’ll need multiples of those! If you decide to race, you can add registration fees and travel (even if it’s local) to that list. It adds up– especially if you fall in love with Run Disney (like I did). Before you know it you’ve spent $5k on a 10k!
I had to learn these things the hard way. When I met my group of running friends, I gained even more knowledge about the sport. I highly recommend finding a local running group to learn the ropes. I gaurantee you’ll have questions as a newbie runner, from a small ache to the must-do races. Never be afraid to ask questions!
When did you start running?