great running advice {updated}

{UPDATED} Thank you so much for all the great running advice! Keep it coming in the comments and I’ll just keep adding your suggestions to the body of the post. You’re the best!



It became abundantly clear after I posted a photo of my bandaged feet, I am still quite a novice in this running arena. I’m logging the miles, but I’m probably doing it all wrong.

I received so many awesome comments and emails with great suggestions about what to do, wear, and buy that I’m opening this post up to you. Leave your suggestions, tips, and running help in the comments {even if it’s just a great running song you can’t live without} and I’ll add them to the body of the post as we go along.

Seriously, you impress me. You’re smarter than me, fitter than me, and probably awesomer. Awesomer is totally a word.

So, get to it in the comments! Thank you.

Running Tips {from you}:


Jaime said…

I suggest buying a pair of Asics…but I love them so I’m biased.

I suggest that you go to a store that has treadmill machines that monitor your running and walking style — the employees will tell you what kind of shoe you need.

Be sure to get an entire size larger than you typically wear because your feet expand and swell when running. It’s weird at first but you get used to it.

Debbie Barr said…

The only piece of wisdom I can give is not to look at how long you have left to run. If you’re on a treadmill, check during the commercial breaks or in between songs if you must, but checking every 2 seconds to see how much longer you have left makes it so much harder.

Better yet, run outside and keep the time out of mind.

NestBliss said…

I think the shoe advice is so important. My mom was a marathon runner her whole life and purchased very expensive shoes that she would go through every few months. She went into a store and did a diagnostic about what shoes she should wear and ended up switching to a whole different type that were less expensive. They last longer and have made a tremendous difference for her. The way you run, your frame, and weight all make up what kind of shoe you need.

View running as a ‘stress release’ trying not to associate it as working out but as a hobby or way to relax – makes it much easier!

Fun clothes make everything more fun.

Run with friends or in a club but don’t talk to them while running just before and after.

Train for races and goals.

Subscribe to runners magazines and blogs so you feel like a real runner.

Listen to music – this takes a lot of fidgeting to figure out if you are headset or ipod on the arm person or if you like the radio or a playlist etc.

The Knickerbockers said…

Definitely buy shoes from a running store. You’ll pay through the nose, but you won’t have to buy stock in band-aids. Bring your current pair of running shoes and work with an employee to find the ones that are right for you.

For getting over the blisters you already have, get some mole skin. It won’t rub blisters like band-aids do. And it’s cheap.

Invest in a crazy expensive pair of socks. Even if you just rinse them out everyday, you’ll be glad you have them. Of course, if you can afford more than one pair of $20 socks, go for it. It seems nuts, but for a “long” run (10k or longer) you’ll be glad you have them. If you can’t bring yourself to fork over the cash for socks, at least buy the moisture wicking socks.

Good underwear. Worst part of a long run? Having to pick a wedgie every 5 steps. They might not be pretty, but find underwear that doesn’t ride, umm, up.

And walk. If you feel like quitting during a run, give yourself a two minute (or whatever feels right) walking period. Start running again. If you still feel like quitting, go home and take the day off, sometimes you need a break. But I think it’s much better to walk for a few minutes if it means you can get another mile or two of running in. Don’t be afraid to listen to your body.

Ashley said…

Hmmmm, I can’t run without my nike ipod gadget that logs my distance, speed, etc (without having to wear a bulky heart rate monitor). Then it lets you download and track your data online just by plugging in your ipod (totally simple–which I love)!

In the Trenches of Mommyhood said…

Great running song: Footloose.

And Nike Shox are my running shoe of choice.

Mrs. Olsen said…

It’s already been said, but having a professional from a running store help you choose your running shoes makes such a difference. Once you find out what shoe you like, the next time you buy your shoes you can probably find that same model online for cheaper. And I second that buying your running shoes a half size larger than your regular shoes is important. My first marathon I killed (read lost) a few toenails b/c I wasn’t buying my shoes large enough. I still lose at least one each time, but never as many!

sierra said…

Get fitted for shoes at a running store. You might not end up with the cutest ones, but your feet will be happier!

I wear the double layer running socks, and have never had a blister.

The Dragonfly said…

I just want to reemphasize what’s already been said. Go to a running store, get on their treadmill and they’ll evaluate how you run and help you find a shoe that will make
your feet super happy. they’ll be expensive and if you keep running, you’ll have to replace them sooner than you’d like, but it is so worth it. and you should wear a half or full size bigger than normal. also, get some great NON COTTON running socks. My personal favorites: BALGA.

Dianna said…

Have you heard of www.titlenine.com? They have great running clothes, including the essential undies. They have a SUPER selection of sport bras, for literally every size.

My only other suggestion is just keep trying. I never, EVER thought I’d be a runner. I still don’t think I really am, but this morning I went 4 miles, which is more than I ever thought I’d do consistently.

Buddy Rooster said…

Definitely worth the money to invest in a great, supportive bra for running.

Laura said…

Running has been my “thing” for 14 years. Now that I’m a mama who runs, I recommend getting up early to log your miles. I always hated running first thing, but now it gets my day started off right and also builds in quiet “me time” before greeting my baby. (In case you’re wondering… my husband gets ready for work while I head out.) It’s also inspiring to see the city “wake up” as I go along…

Have a few different routes that you can take just to keep things interesting. Spice things up.

Throw a few pieces of new workout gear into the mix when your enthusiasm wanes. If I look cute, I’m more inspired to run. :)

Lastly, I run faster when I know people can see me. Perhaps choose a route where spectators will make it tough to walk. :) Now get it, Gurrrrl!

Jessie said…

Ok, there has been some great adice that I would like to say AMEN to! I’ve ran 4 marathons and the best 5 things I can think of are these (even though most of them have been said already).

A great pair of shoes. You can go farther, faster, and longer if you have a good pair of shoes. I love Asics as well.

A good bra. For those of us who are well endowed a good bra is a must. My first race I crossed the finish line with blood dripping down from my chest. Not a great experience.

A good pair of socks. I really like Wright Socks. They are double layered and I’ve never had feet problems thanks to them and….

Vaseline and body glide. Before every run I put Vaseline on my toes. On the tops, bottoms and in between. Not a lot, but enough that they slide against one another. It will stain your socks, but I’ve never had toenail problems or blisters because of this.

And last but not least…something cute to run in. If you feel more confident in what you are wearing, you’ll keep going longer. Invest in some running clothes you feel great in.

the queen bee said…

cotton is rotten!! that is one running tip i will never forget. i unfortunately was blessed with thighs that rub together no matter how freaking skinny i get, and chafe is a word i have learned to loathe… as silly as it may feel at first, spandex pants or shorts have saved me from raw legs time and time again (of course, this is for running longer distances). same thing for socks – just avoid cotton wherever possible!

Kristen {RAGE against the MINIVAN} said…

I would also agree that you should go to the store with the fancy treadmill and have your “gait” observed. Yes, you will feel like a total doofus as you hoof it on a treadmill in the middle of the mall. But you really need to know if you are a pronator or a neutral or whatever those technical terms mean, and then have them recommend a shoe and FIT you for it.

Running clothes – I am really partial to the cute skirts with built-in capris from Athleta. I really don’t understand why so many women go with those short, paper-thin running shorts. For me, those just ensure that I spend half my run dislodging them from a bunch between my thighs. So unless you are one of those 2% of women whose thighs don’t touch, I’d go for the tighter capri-type pants. If you are of the lucky skinny thigh gene, go for it. But know that we could never be friends in real life. :)

If you start getting up above 10 miles, I would start looking at running food. It really does help to get a shot of calories on those long runs. I really like the Cliff shot blocks. I would make bargains with myself, and eat one at every mile after 5. It gave me something to look forward to. Also, on the long runs I thought it was fun to listen to a podcast instead of music. I really like the free This American Life podcast from NPR. It’s interesting, it’s funny, and then when I felt too tired I’d go back to my power music for a boost.

If you don’t have it yet, the Nike Plus system is pretty awesome for tracking your runs.

eden said…

I second what Jessie said…Body Glide. It will be your new best friend for long runs..you can use it on your feet, your legs, under your arms, and where your bra straps rub.

A Little said…

My advice is to get the pair of shoes that is best for you, not which pair is best for your friend. Everyone’s foot is different! Buy them at the running store for sure. I echo that you should go up a full size!

My fave running song: Take on Me!!! I love it when it comes on, I can run so much faster.

Most of all, have fun. Run sprints and hills! It’s hard but nothing is better for your fitness and endurance. Enojy!

Karen @ old beginnings said…

my brother-in-law has an excellent blog about running – lots of great technical info, too. worth a read if you’re in to running…

http://www.emergingrunner.com/

joolee said…ooh, wouldn’t i love to be out running a few miles right now…I’m expecting baby #3, so my belly makes that a bit uncomfortable, but i try to jog still. i must look ridiculous! :)

ditto on great running shoes – i always get a whole size bigger than i usually wear. and i usually have at least two pair of good running shoes to switch between – the cushioning in your shoes needs at least 48 hours to decompress (and become completely cushion-y again). that way the shoes last longer, instead of being pounded to nothing over and over again, every day or every other day when you run.

great running clothes are a MUST! i love Pearl Izumi clothing – shirts, shorts, awesome jackets and even long spandex thermal winter-wear.
.. LOVE my ankle-length spandex pants! I’d love to try one of their skirts/skorts.

as far as blisters/sore feet go, my friend once wrapped a special tape around my feet before running a half-marathon and it worked like magic!

also love the Jelly Belly sport beans for longer runs. Shot Blox and Gu make me gag, and these little jelly beans are just right!

The Ball Babies said…

I’m a technical running clothes snob. I have to have the good stuff so I’m not dripping, chafing, or blistering anywhere. If you invest in good running clothes you will definitely not be sorry. Good socks are key as well. Don’t wear them more than once before washing them though because you may get some nasty fungal junk that will wreak havoc on your tootsies! I also recommend not running every day. give your body a break and lift weights on your non running days. You’ll be glad you gave your body some time to recover from the pounding it takes on running days.

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Allison

Hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. I do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, home remodel projects, and cool DIY crafts you totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!

26 Comments

  1. Debbie Barr :

    Yay! I need the advice, too, as I'm pretty inexperienced myself.

    The only piece of wisdom I can give is not to look at how long you have left to run. If you're on a treadmill, check during the commercial breaks or in between songs if you must, but checking every 2 seconds to see how much longer you have left makes it so much harder.

    Better yet, run outside and keep the time out of mind.

  2. NestBliss :

    I think the shoe advice is so important. My mom was a marathon runner her whole life and purchased very expensive shoes that she would go through every few months. She went into a store and did a diagnostic about what shoes she should wear and ended up switching to a whole different type that were less expensive. They last longer and have made a tremendous difference for her. The way you run, your frame, and weight all make up what kind of shoe you need.

    View running as a 'stress release' trying not to associate it as working out but as a hobby or way to relax – makes it much easier!

    Fun clothes make everything more fun.

    Run with friends or in a club but don't talk to them while running just before and after.

    Train for races and goals.

    Subscribe to runners magazines and blogs so you feel like a real runner.

    Listen to music – this takes a lot of fidgeting to figure out if you are headset or ipod on the arm person or if you like the radio or a playlist etc.

  3. NestBliss :

    oh one more! Be safe! A female running alone anywhere, anytime of day is a huge target so make room for at least your cell phone and a small can of mace or at most a stun gun – just listen to the nightly news in a college town about girls running around their campus area – not something you want to think about but you should.

  4. Amanda K :

    Definitely buy shoes from a running store. You'll pay through the nose, but you won't have to buy stock in band-aids. Bring your current pair of running shoes and work with an employee to find the ones that are right for you.

    For getting over the blisters you already have, get some mole skin. It won't rub blisters like band-aids do. And it's cheap.

    Invest in a crazy expensive pair of socks. Even if you just rinse them out everyday, you'll be glad you have them. Of course, if you can afford more than one pair of $20 socks, go for it. It seems nuts, but for a "long" run (10k or longer) you'll be glad you have them. If you can't bring yourself to fork over the cash for socks, at least buy the moisture wicking socks.

    Good underwear. Worst part of a long run? Having to pick a wedgie every 5 steps. They might not be pretty, but find underwear that doesn't ride, umm, up.

    And walk. If you feel like quitting during a run, give yourself a two minute (or whatever feels right) walking period. Start running again. If you still feel like quitting, go home and take the day off, sometimes you need a break. But I think it's much better to walk for a few minutes if it means you can get another mile or two of running in. Don't be afraid to listen to your body.

    That's my two cents! Good luck!

  5. Ashley @ Little Miss Momma :

    Hmmmm, I can't run without my nike ipod gadget that logs my distance, speed, etc (without having to wear a bulky heartrate monitor). Then it lets you download and track your data online just by plugging in your ipod (totally simple–which I love)!

    ashley

  6. Sarahviz :

    Great running song: Footloose.

    And Nike Shox are my running shoe of choice.

    And when you run out of steam? Just repeat over and over and over "I think I can I think I can" just like The Little Engine That Could!
    (wait, is it weird that I do that?)

  7. Ronique Gibson :

    You all inspire me too! I actually am getting ready to run in the GATE river run here in Jacksonville, FL on Saturday.. I'm soo much the novice! I'm doing the small one – 5K, but last year when I ran it.. this is embarassing… That my bra was not a good running bra! Anyone have suggestions for a PLUS size girl? Those little one's are not cutting it! Thanks Allison for posting this one, I need help too, girlie! :o)

  8. The Dragonfly :

    just want to reemphasize what's already been said. Go to a running store, get on their treadmill and they'll evaluate how you run and help you find a shoe that will make your feet super happy. they'll be expensive and if you keep running, you'll have to replace them sooner than you'd like, but it is so worth it. and you should wear a half or full size bigger than normal. also, get some great NON COTTON running socks. My personal favorites: BALGA.

  9. Dianna :

    Have you heard of http://www.titlenine.com? They have great running clothes, including the essential undies. They have a SUPER selection of sport bras, for literally every size.
    My only other suggestion is just keep trying. I never, EVER thought I'd be a runner. I still don't think I really am, but this morning I went 4 miles, which is more than I ever thought I'd do consistently.

  10. Jaimers :

    I suggest buying a pair of Asics…but I love them so I'm biased.

    I suggest that you go to a store that has treadmill machines that monitor your running and walking style — the employees will tell you what kind of shoe you need.

    Be sure to get an entire size larger than you typically wear because your feet expand and swell when running. It's weird at first but you get used to it.

  11. Mrs. Olsen :

    It's already been said, but having a professional from a running store help you choose your running shoes makes such a difference. Once you find out what shoe you like, the next time you buy your shoes you can probably find that same model online for cheaper. And I second that buying your running shoes a half size larger than your regular shoes is important. My first marathon I killed (read lost) a few toenails b/c I wasn't buying my shoes large enough. I still lose at least one each time, but never as many!

  12. sierra :

    Get fitted for shoes at a running store. You might not end up with the cutest ones, but your feet will be happier!

    I wear the double layer running socks, and have never had a blister.

  13. Naomi :

    ooh, can't help you here. but know that your suffering is inspiring the jiggly masses!

  14. Buddy Rooster :

    Ronique – this is the best bra out there for us heavy chested gals:
    http://www.titlenine.com/product/313801.do
    it's not pretty, and it's not easy to get into, but once it's on there is absolutely ZERO bounce. Definitely worth the money to invest in a great, supportive bra for running.

  15. Laura :

    Running has been my "thing" for 14 years. Now that I'm a mama who runs, I recommend getting up early to log your miles. I always hated running first thing, but now it gets my day started off right and also builds in quiet "me time" before greeting my baby. (In case you're wondering… my husband gets ready for work while I head out.) It's also inspiring to see the city "wake up" as I go along…

    Have a few different routes that you can take just to keep things interesting. Spice things up.

    Throw a few pieces of new workout gear into the mix when your enthusiasm wanes. If I look cute, I'm more inspired to run. :)

    Lastly, I run faster when I know people can see me. Perhaps choose a route where spectators will make it tough to walk. :) Now get it, Gurrrrl!

  16. Marie {Make and Takes} :

    Love the good underwear comment! I'm happy to say mine are granny style, they stay on nice and snug! My a** looks hot!

  17. Jessie :

    Ok, there has been some great adive that I would like to say AMEN to! I've ran 4 marathons and the best 5 things I can think of are these (even though most of them have been said already).

    A great pair of shoes. You can go farther, faster, and longer (that's what she said? oops!) if you have a good pair of shoes. I love Asics as well.

    A good bra. For those of us who are well endowed a good bra is a must. My first race I crossed the finish line with blood dripping down from my chest. Not a great experience.

    A good pair of socks. I really like Wright Socks. They are double layered and I've never had feet problems thank so them and….

    Vaseline and body glide. Before every run I put vaseline on my toes. On the tops, bottoms and in between. Not a lot, but enough that they slide against one another. It will stain your socks, but I've never had toenail problems or blisters because of this.

    And last but not least…something cute to run in. If you feel more confident in what you are wearing, you'll keep going longer. Invest in some running clothes you feel great in.

    Good luck!!

  18. the queen bee :

    cotton is rotten!! that is one running tip i will never forget. i unfortunately was blessed with thighs that rub together no matter how freaking skinny i get, and chafe is a word i have learned to loathe… as silly as it may feel at first, spandex pants or shorts have saved me from raw legs time and time again (of course, this is for running longer distances). same thing for socks – just avoid cotton wherever possible!

  19. Kristen {RAGE against the MINIVAN} :

    I would also agree that you should go to the store with the fancy treadmill and have your "gait" observed. Yes, you will feel like a total doofus as you hoof it on a treadmill in the middle of the mall. But you really need to know if you are a pronator or a neutral or whatever those technical terms mean, and then have them recommend a shoe and FIT you for it. Because those bandages are screaming that you need new shoes.

    Running clothes – I am really partial to the cute skirts with built-in capris from Athleta. I really don't understand why so many women go with those short, paper-thin running shorts. For me, those just ensure that I spend half my run dislodging them from a bunch between my thighs. So unless you are one of those 2% of women whose thighs don't touch, I'd go for the tighter capri-type pants. If you are of the lucky skinny thigh gene, go for it. But know that we could never be friends in real life. :)

    If you start getting up above 10 miles, I would start looking at running food. It really does help to get a shot of calories on those long runs. I really like the Cliff shot blocks. I would make bargains with myself, and eat one at every mile after 5. It gave me something to look forward to. Also, on the long runs I thought it was fun to listen to a podcast instead of music. I really like the free This American Life podcast from NPR. It's interesting, it's funny, and then when I felt too tired I'd go back to my power music for a boost.

    If you don't have it yet, the Nike Plus system is pretty awesome for tracking your runs.

    I posted my playlist a few months ago, it's here: http://bit.ly/bBNqfi

    I'm interested to hear the other advice you get!

  20. eden :

    I second what Jessie said…Body Glide. It will be your new best friend for long runs..you can use it on your feet, your legs, under your arms, and where your bra straps rub.

  21. A Little :

    My advice is to get the pair of shoes that is best for you, not which pair is best for your friend. Everyone's foot is different! Buy them at the running store for sure. I love Wasatch Running Center… ask for Brad. I echo that you should go up a full size!

    My fave running song: Take on Me!!! I love it when it comes on, I can run so much faster.

    Most of all, have fun. Run sprints and hills! It's hard but nothing is better for your fitness and endurance. Enojy!
    Aly
    http://www.alittlegreat.com

  22. joolee :

    ooh, wouldn't i love to be out running a few miles right now…i'm expecting baby #3, so my belly makes that a bit uncomfortable, but i try to jog still. i must look ridiculous! :)

    ditto on great running shoes – i always get a whole size bigger than i usually wear. and i usually have at least two pair of good running shoes to switch between – the cushioning in your shoes needs at least 48 hours to decompress (and become completely cushiony again). that way the shoes last longer, instead of being pounded to nothing over and over again, every day or every other day when you run.

    great running clothes are a MUST! i love Pearl Izumi clothing – shirts, shorts, awesome jackets and even long spandex thermal winterwear… LOVE my ankle-length spandex pants! i'd love to try one of their skirts/skorts.

    as far as blisters/sore feet go, my friend once wrapped a special tape around my feet before running a half-marathon and it worked like magic! i wish I knew what it was called – i was having major pain in the balls of my feet and i felt NOTHING. it was fabulous. it almost looked like pre-wrap…hm. I'll have to look for it online.

    also love the Jelly Belly sport beans for longer runs. Shot Blox and Gu make me gag, and these little jelly beans are just right!

    running is always so relaxing for me and clears my mind, which alot of people don't understand. but i love it and i hope it does the same for you. good luck! wish i was training with you!

  23. The Ball Babies :

    I'm a technical running clothes snob. I have to have the good stuff so I'm not dripping, chafing, or blistering anywhere. If you invest in good running clothes you will definitely not be sorry. Good socks are key as well. Don't wear them more than once before washing them though because you may get some nasty fungal junk that will wreak havoc on your tootsies! I also recommend not running everyday. give your body a break and lift weights on your non running days. You'll be glad you gave your body some time to recover from the pounding it takes on running days.

    Oh, and by the way, run a little for me since I've injured my piriformis/sciatica/hamstring and I'm finding out that the only thing harder than running is NOT running. Get in some miles for me!

  24. hal-delicious :

    Can I just brave a topic I know needs to be … braved?

    Undies?

    Seriously. Cotton under these new technically-engineered bottoms is a no-no. But What? And Where can I get them? And Please – don't tell me thongs. :) Thanks for the help!!