Favorite Run Q&A: How Do I Start Running?

Question: “This might be the dumbest question ever but how do I start running? I tried the other day and felt awkward, probably looked crazy, and not at all natural. I have just been diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic and HAVE to loose 100 pounds. I live in a small town on a farm and don’t have anyone to work out with me. I need motivation.”
Favorite Run Group Answers:
No one can judge you or Condemn you for trying….. In fact you should be applauded well done!! All I can say is EVERYONE feels like that to start with ( my girlfriend being one) but it gets easier, wether you think you’re running for is improving or it’s just that you build confidence, or realize that it was all irrational fear that made you think you were running strange to start with…. Over time you grow to LOVE it good luck & happy running

I started with an app either running to lose weight or couch to 5k app they are awesome because they start you slow and build u up slowly!!! Just my opinion but they worked for me!! I also run/walk because I like the interval training part of it and I enjoy the walk minute lol

I actually started by counting walking steps, then counting running steps. Like, I started with walking 10 steps, then running 10 steps. Do that for a few days. Then, walk 10, run 15. Then, walk 10, run 20. I kept trying to run more, and just see how far I could do it. Soon I was at the walk one minute, run one minute. Then walk one minute, run two minutes. And so on. In a few months, I went from a non-runner, to a 5mile and then, a few months after that, 15.2 miles. The key, is not to bother worrying about the looking awkward thing. You might look awkward, but that’s the other people’s problem, not yours. It’s not about how you look, it’s about how you feel.

Just put one foot in front of the other Run when you can; walk when you have to; have a goal. AND baby steps do not go all out your first time…it will come. I keep motivated by doing 5ks you can run walk them walk them even. HAVE FUN …you can do it!! Good luck!!

Run keeper app (free) is how we started. It has a couch to 5k type program. Gradually works you up to longer distances.

It’s something new so it’s normal to feel awkward. Just do it anyway and don’t worry about what you look like. It might help to alternate walking and running and gradually increase the time you spend running. As you practice and run more, you will get used to and feel less awkward. Good luck!

Is there a beginners 5k program near you (often thru a running store). That’s how I started. Great accountability and they help you get started. Similar to couch to 5k

I can only tell you how I started… I used intervals where I ran for 3 minutes then walked for 1. Over time you can increase to 5:1, 7:1, and 10:1. You can set these intervals on an app like Runkeeper. Gradually increase mileage slowly. Way to go! Good luck! Joining a running group is also a great way!

You can do this. Walk a minute, run 20 seconds, repeat. Lots of us have felt embarrassed running outside. Put in some headphones and ignore everybody!

I’ve been running off and on forever-I still have I feel awkward moments. I did the couch to 5K and repeated many weeks over (some 4-5 times) before moving on to the next week. I still fear there could be someone with a video of me-especially when I run by geese (they can be mean and hiss)-I put my arms out to make myself look bigger and flap my arms like I’m flying-funny to watch I’m sure! Feel like the biggest dork ever while doing it! Bottom line is don’t worry about what you look like to others-it will keep you from achieving your goals and most of us have those awkward moments! Keep at it!

Couch to 5k.. Works wonders if you are determined to stick to it. If I can do it, anyone can. Whatever method you choose, good luck to you.

Couch 2 5K, super easy app to follow and you can repeat weeks too. I am also diabetic. Started running a year and 3 months ago. Now training for my first 1/2 marathon in April. You can do it.

I’ve been running for awhile now… I still feel awkward living in a small rural town. But I enjoy the sights learn new routes and it was an awesome feeling when I made it to the next town over.

Anytime you try something new it feels awkward. Because you haven’t done it before. The more you run the more comfortable it will be. Don’t stop and don’t give up.

start by doing intensive walking and after that look at yourself in the mirror that will be your motivation day by day then u will be able to run

Jog at a slow, steady pace for as long as you can, then walk until you can catch your breath and repeat this cycle over and over … your lungs and strength will build slowly over time and your jogging distances will become longer overtime. Focus on your breathing and find a good rhythm. I recommend strength training, too. We all feel awkward when we begin. Be proud of taking the first step! You can do it!!!

I am also Type 2. I started 6 years ago with walking and biking, gradually adding some running (am still a run/walker today.) I weigh 70 pounds less, have done 39 half marathons, and am competing in the United States Snowshoe Championship next month. If I can do it, anyone can. Start slow, stick with it and good luck!

Sounds like you’ve already started. Keep it up! Maybe some Sprint exercises will help build speed and hill repeats. Strength exercises start with light weights. Yoga too. Lots of stretching before and after.

Couch to 5 K …. It is a free app! Very easy & you can repeat the days as often as you need to before moving up. You can do it!

Just put one foot in front of the other and keep trying. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. I still look stupid because of bad joints, but I keep going. I applaud you, way to start and keep going. We are all behind you!

Couch to 5k all the way. I WAS type 2 as well but with running and watching the processed carbs, I’ve turned it around. I’m not on any meds or anything. Good Luck! It is work at first but you can do it!

No matter how small the progress it is still progress. U fail only if u do not try and you’ve accomplished so much by deciding to run! It takes a lot of courage! One step at a time! Running is a wonderful thing, be grateful u can run! Positive n motivating thoughts sent your way!

Just start by walking and also Journaling helps a lot. There are a lot of apps to keep track of your activity and calories. You got this and keep us updated on your progress

Jog until you get tired, the walk. When you catch your breath jog again. If it’s 5 seconds or 5 minutes just keep that method. Set a goal of a 30 minute activity. Make sure you’ve been cleared by your cardiologist. Have fun and good luck!

I started by adding power walking intervals to help build my endurance then gradually adding running to my power walks…

Check out Hal Higdon’s information about running without injury. His system has you walk for a few minutes, then jog for a few, then walk again. And like the others have said above, work on strength training too, you don’t need a gym either, do squats and lunges. I use the bathtub rim for the squats, I go down, touch my butt to the tub and come back up (that way I can’t cheat!). For the lunges, I go down and bend that front leg and to make sure I get that back leg DOWN, I touch the floor to the side of the front leg with the same side arm. No cheating, go slow, only do 5 or ten of each if that’s what you can do. It’s wonderful that you are doing this, congratulations!

Start slow walking and running. and running apps help. I love runtastic. Seeing your miles and times helps motivate. I live in the country and running with my dogs really motivates me. I feel bad when I don’t take them out.

Create a motivating playlist to listen to, then walk your way up to running. Stay positive, I even dance while I run sometimes! Lol! You will do well as long as you don’t give up, stay positive, and NEVER BEAT YOURSELF UP IF YOU DONT REACH YOUR GOAL. Tomorrow is another day… good luck!

I am a snail speed runner and love it but it’s perfectly fine to walk. 10,000 steps a day is what’s recommended. I use a Fitbit to tack my steps but there are free apps if you carry your phone with you all the time. Just move and cut down on your carbs.

Start out by walking to get used to exercising again and there are programs on line from couch to a 5k. Good luck!

Congrats for wanting to start and try!! I was no different when I started and felt like an idiot, but I didn’t care. I started walking and jogging a bit. The next time I went out, I tried to go a bit farther. Build and just always try to improve, day by day set those goals. I also believe in tracking your progress. Get an app that tells you speed and distance. I use Nike, but there are tons out there. Then you can see how far you’ve come. It’s amazing to watch the journey unfold. GOOD LUCK!!! You can TOTALLY DO IT!!!!

I used the couch to 5k app too and it was great. It gives you the push you need and you build gradually. I started running last April now I’m up to 8 miles on my long runs

I am by no means a natural runner! I work for it every single mile BUT I started running when I was 40 & stuck with it & now I love it. If you live in the country & can get out weather permitting I used to run to a telephone pole then walk to next then run to next & so on. Then I ran the lengths of 2 phone poles & walked one and then progressed & pushed myself. With the proper diet & exercise you’ll see results and be so proud of every little accomplishment!!!! Good Luck

Your muscles have something called “muscle memory”. Everyone feels that way when they first start. The C25K program is great. Remember to hydrate, run every other day to start & make sure you eat healthy. Good luck, you can do it!

You’ve done the hardest part- you have started! Just keep moving and do what feels good to you and what you can handle. Every tiny bit of movement is progress!!! Great job!!

It all feels weird at the start whether it’s your first time running or a training run of a marathon. It’s normal. Don’t get discouraged! You are awesome!! You have made the decision to change your life!!!

Welcome to the land of the brave! We’ve been there, still go there, and are so proud to have you among us. Try, try, and try again! Get some good shoes and a cute sparkle girls running skirt and some good music and be proud of every single step.

I started with walking then built up my speed and distance. When that started to get easier I found a beginner running clinic that did something similar to Jeff Galloway’s run/walk program. After a while I was able to build up to continuous running. Find some good music to walk or run to.

I could hardly make it through a 1 mile walk/run when I started back after a 20 year hiatus from running. Honestly, it was humiliating. That was 10 years ago this month. I have lost 50 lbs, continue to see faster and faster times and am two weeks from my 5th marathon. As others have said, put one foot in front of the other. I will add: Do it like you plan to stay at it. This is about consistency and permanent lifestyle change. Don’t worry about how you look, or what others think. This is about you and your health. Pretty soon, you’ll be sharing the joy of helping others who are inspired by your example.

Lots of us run strangely. You’ll get lost in it eventually and won’t even notice it.

The biggest part is starting slow and not worrying about what anyone else thinks. Like some of the other posters, a little over a year ago, I couldn’t run even close to 1 mile. Just started walking, eating healthy, increase the distance and pace. You’ll gradually start feeling better and better and able to do more and more.

Everything everyone else said. And just remember, those of us who count ourselves as runners all have stretches of time where we’re off our game, have setbacks and lack motivation. Sometimes we ask the same question you just did. How do I start running? And then we do exactly what you’re going to do. We just start.

I know I look like a crazy person running…but I’m out and I’m running. You don’t have to look at me. Go run, girl!!!!! Do it for you!

The run/walk method worked best for me. You can do it! Just don’t take no for an answer.

We all look strange – especially to people who are sitting on the couch. Run weird!! Just run!!

A little running tally of your weight, your A1C or other metric as a reminder of your starting point and keep yourself recognizing your progress. Getting started (or restarting in my case) is the hardest part. And, maybe you’ll find walking is more enjoyable. It is a simple equation – burn more than you eat and you’ll lose but walking is great exercise!

Oh yeah, and get properly measured for the right fitting shoe!! Your toenails will thank you. And lots of other parts too!

Start slow and be consistent. It’s a process, don’t be in a hurry. And don’t forget to stretch!

Couch to 5k. Go slow and you will get better. Started almost a year ago getting ready to run a 1/2 marathon in June

Congrats on making the decision to get healthy. I was like you about 2 years ago. A1C was off the charts and I had to lose 100lbs. Start slow and build from there. I found a few things out on my journey that you might find helpful: pick a daily goal and stick to it- say walking 1 mile. Find an app to track your progress. I like myfitnesspal for tracking food and Nike for tracking my run, but there are lots out there. Find some good music to listen to, something that gets your heart pumping. The comment about being measured for the proper shoes can’t be stressed enough. Your feet will thank you; nothing like having feet problems to derail your efforts. And while I know you really want to start out running, but I would start by walking until you build a little endurance. If you can walk at a pace in which the urge to run is almost irresistible, you get the same workout as if you had sprinted that same distance. Good luck with your journey. Wish you the best.

JUST DO IT! Who cares what you look like. I am proud of you for starting. Start running for block then walking for a block, run a block and walk a block do that for several outings, then when you get comfortable with that run 2 blocks and walk one and so on. Take it slow and get a good pair of shoes. in time you will learn to love how it makes you feel.

God bless you. Start out walking and add some running a block at a time. I would look up the street and tell myself “i can make it to the stop sign” or some mailbox or whatever, just give yourself some mini-challenges along the way. You will get stronger each day. Slow down if you must, but don’t stop. Check in and let us know how far you fly!

I started at the high school track. Great way to set visually clear mini goals.

Google “Couch Potato to 5k” And DO NOT GIVE A DANG HOOT WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE. Even better….if you can do it safely…listen to some music too. I “dance” while i run…it’s fun!!!

Back in 2009 I was diagnosed with hemiparesis. Walking was hard at first, running as per those around me I run funny. My left knee always gets stuck if I walk a lot. If I don’t repeat in my head left, right I end up stumbling on my own legs. But that has not stopped me from jogging at least 30 seconds on my walks. What counts is that you’re doing what most of other people take for granted. Who cares if you run funny like me, who cares if you run slow, who cares if you stumble on the way like I sometimes do. Just keep going.

I started walking before running but the first thing i did to lose weight was cut back. I ended up losing 112 pounds in a little over a year! i averaged 10 pounds weight loss a month for the first 5 months and then it slowed down a little. I can and will be your motivator if you want! YOU CAN DO THIS! BELIEVE IN YOURSELF CAUSE I STRUGGLED WITH THAT IN LIFE AND LOOK WHERE I AM NOW! I would suggest that you do like a friend of mine who saw me lose the weight and lost over 100 pounds herself and that is to use small plates. Portion control is major! You will yourself start to see results. i am 5’7 and i weighed 255 pounds to begin with in June of 2006. By about July 2007 i lost all 112! i know you can do this! May God bless you on your journey! 🙂

A few things-

#1 Don’t overdo it. Too easy to start too hard and get hurt or burn out. Start with walks. Then move on to brisk walks. Then brisk walks mixed with EASY jogs. Then start easy runs. Build from there. Don’t push too hard, too soon.

#2 IT’S ALL IN THE GEAR. You can walk in running shoes but can’t run in walking shoes. Get the right shoes. If at all possible, go to a runners gear store and get measured and fitted. Finding out what kind of feet you have (normal, over- or -under pronator) and getting the right shoes will also make a HUGE difference and keep you from hurting yourself. There are some home methods that you can use to a reasonable sense of reliability to figure out what kind of feet you have/shoes you need.

#3 IT’S ALL IN THE GEAR, PART 2. Running clothes. Wear something comfy. It doesn’t have to be cute. Beware of the heavy sweats. They are a really good way to sweat (and lose water weight) but will also make you uncomfortable and could lead to heat-related injuries. A good rule is to always dress like it’s 20 degrees warmer than it is. Maybe cotton stuff to start, but you will probably want to switch to tech stuff as you start adding the miles.

#4 It’s not all in the gear. Posture and tempo/timing will make all the difference in the world. Try to keep your body straight, all the way through your neck- think a turkey looking over a log. Letting your chin sag to your chest will wear you out and keep you from breathing right. Try to breathe easy. Try the two-in, two-out method: inhale for two steps, exhale for two steps. Keep your shoulders relaxed and forearms essentially level with the ground and easy swings/pumps just a couple/few inches fore and aft). Keep your hands relaxed (don’t clench your fists). Sounds almost impossible when you are starting, but stay relaxed. Stretching: Do it or don’t, pre- or post-run. A lot of info on this both ways. Do a little research and try it. You’ll have to figure that part out for yourself. Throw in some other exercises. Running is great and all, but you’ll do a lot more for yourself by making it part of a bigger, cross-fitness routine.

#5 Fuel and hydrate. Your body is a machine. I know folks that wake up, grab a cup of coffee and hit the door. I’ve got to have a little bit of fuel in me. I never run more than 6 miles without a water bottle and I DO DRINK it while running. You will figure what sits well for you and what will cause you problems (heart burn or, uh, other stuff).

#6 When you hurt yourself (notice I said “when” and not “if”) DON’T try to push through it. Stop, heal, then work back into it.

#7 Stick with it. Don’t get discouraged. Don’t let a bad day (feeling down, less than perfect weather or just a bad run) conspire against you. Start a logbook of your runs. Date, how many miles, weather, how you felt- anything that might help you over those humps.

#8 Set goals. Again, small and achievable, then build. The first mile run without stopping. The first multi-mile run. The first XX pace run. The first 5K. The first 10K. The First Half Marathon. The First Marathon. Maybe every one of these sound impossible right now, but set realistic and obtainable goals and work towards them. Most importantly, you are doing this for YOU. My dad had two quadruple bypasses by the time he was 53. I was on track for the same problems and had a really, REALLY bad scare with my blood pressure. I started running in 2001 and ran my first two marathons in 2004, after returning from Iraq.

#9 Do things to keep it interesting. I try all kinds of things to keep it mixed up: Different routes, drawing/spelling things with my routes (using some type of tracking app). I pick up and log how much change I find on my runs. I’m trying to run in every state (up to 43). You can run the same route every day if you have to, but mixing it up keeps it interesting.

#10 BE CAREFUL! Follow pedestrian laws, if you can’t run on dedicated trails, tracks or lanes, best to run facing traffic. Lights and reflectors at night. Watch out for the drivers and never, ever EVER assume that they see you!

God Bless You on your journey!!! By getting out there you have made the hardest step. It will get easier and more natural feeling the more you run. Couch to 5K is a great way to start. You can follow the plan exactly or modify it to fit your needs. God Bless!

You can do it. Couch to 5K is good. So is Jeff Galloway. Google programs and try them til you find what works. Good luck! You got this!

i started power walking outside NOT on a treadmill for 45 minutes three days a week until that got too easy then intervals of walking/running

Just interval walking briskly and short spurts of jogging to start! As you build up your fitness the running will come natural to you! We all were born to run, no matter our size or weight! Good luck and most of all have fun!

Don’t worry about how you look. You’re out there so be proud! I’d suggest run a minute walk a minute to start. When you can do that for 20 minutes straight do 2 minutes running and 1 minute walking. So on and so forth. I bet you can message anyone who is encouraging you here and get some motivation and advice. We all had to start by getting out there. I felt awkward too when I started. It gets easier, I promise.

Follow the running blogs, and don’t allow yourself to make an excuse to not get out. Start with walking, and gradually increase the running. You got this!!

Slow. Walk, run only for first couple weeks. ….start 1/2 mile unless u can do more then go ahead, but no more then a mile. 3-4x week

Get good shoes and clothes you feel comfortable in. Start with running and walking. I find it easier to go outside to run because no matter how far you go you have to make it back home where as a treadmill you can get off whenever.

You just run, it doesn’t matter how fast, it doesn’t matter what it looks like. Take it slow, go as far as you can,. Next time go a little farther, and so on. The awkward goes away after a time and you look forward to every run. You can do this. You’re strong. You’re determined. Go for it. There’s nothing to lose, everything to gain. Good luck!

You can do this! Everyone has pointed you to tools and they are great. But inspiration and commitment are what make those tools work.

You can do this! Everyone has pointed you to tools and they are great. But inspiration and commitment are what make those tools work.

Small changes a few at a time add up. Like a bunch of running facebook pages so you see daily encouragement. Also, so you see the daily struggle of others.

Look for small changes you can make to your diet. Make the better choices as often as possible. Soon, your first better choices will be replaced by even better choices.

Do personal development along with the rest of your plan. my current PD book is the gifts of imperfection.

I live by the motto: leaner, stronger, faster, better everyday.

Nothing breeds success like success.

Just take it slow, a run to the mail box and back and just keep going further every week good luck

Don’t worry about what you look like. Everyone has their different style of running. You’ll soon find what suits you. Just persevere. You’ll be so glad you did & welcome to the runners’ fraternity.

slow and steady, set goals and have fun!

I’m the same height and have the same goal weight. I was diagnosed with DCIS last year and went through a lumpectomy/radiation. I’m now finally motivated to lose. Too bad it took a health issue!

Also, cemeteries are great places to run. Secluded and very few cars/people to worry about. This is one of my favs. There’s a lot of hills and flat parts.

Just start. Walk a bit, jog a bit, walk a bit! (Walk/jog). I used Bob Glovers program to start. Walk 1 min, jog 2 for 20 mins, gradually increasing the jog times until you’re doing the whole lot. And then increase the length till your jogging 30 mins. Take it slow. But give yourself micro goals.

I started running at 52 because of a program called Run For God. A lot of diff churches offer this program and it was so great having the encouragement of walking and running with others. Also if your town offers any kind of walking or running program that is also great!! We have a group that meets in the spring and fall and it’s just so wonderful to walk/run with other people. Great way to make new friends as well!!

You slowly put one foot in front of the other. ..walk when you need to….and don’t give a crap what people think you look like Cruz your out there becoming healthier!!! Go for it you got this!!!!

I felt silly when I started too! Still do sometimes lol I started in February of last year and it was Cold! So I’d bundle myself up and I’m sure I looked like an idiot, but I just told myself that I look a lot less silly out there doing something GOOD for myself than sitting at home. And the people seeing me were probably more envious of me than judgmental of how I hold my arms or that my shirt didn’t match my shoes (yes I actually worried about that) hahah

I too felt so awkward and worried people were looking at me. I sometimes still do. I run in the dark, mostly in the early morning before everyone is up and driving to work. It’s a great way to start the day, get the work done early so you don’t put it off later on, and there is less traffic. Start by finding a mile route through your neighborhood streets. Look for a run that will take you a 1/2 mile out, a 1/2 mile back. Then when you find that one mile run to be doable, push it out to a mile and a half, or a 2 mile run, etc. You can do this! Best of luck

Good for you. Don’t worry about what others think. You are moving and that is all that matters. Walk/run/walk some more. More than not will be impressed, trust me. Over time your legs and lungs will be able to manage more run time. Keep us updated on your progress. Many of us started out in similar situations and I for one love to hear how others are doing

Remember to do it for yourself and as for those people who you think are looking at you funny (I live in a very small town too)…you are lapping EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM! You go girl!!

I do it to music I put a playlist together (songs that will totally motivate me) I start with a walk which should be your warm up and that would be the first song. Second song goes faster. Like a faster walk and so forth. Intervals are best. Be mindful that your stomach (core is sucked in to support your Lower back) also watch your feet keep the whole foot going to the ground (gentle steps don’t stomp).. These are cues you can give yourself to help keep you going! I hate running outside but then I think who cares I start hearing my music breathing in the air and remember you are truly blessed that you get to even move that sexy body!! You go girl!!

I started with the couch to 5k app.. Now I run all the time, developed a passion for it.. Funny how that happens. Good shoes are an absolute must also, the rest of it is just what you want BUT i recommend going to a running store being fitted for the right shoe. It’s gonna cost but worth every penny.

It takes a while to get comfortable. I started on a treadmill and could watch myself veering back and forth. Slow and easy. Walking is excellent too. Way to go for making the effort

Don’t worry about what you look like! At least you are making the effort! When I am out running, I just think about how I am lapping everyone sitting on the couch…no matter how fast or slow I am going! You can do it!!

First off who cares what you look like to others. Just put one foot in front of the other and go. And congratulations on getting your health and fitness a priority.

The fact you are doing something about your health is motivating and inspiring to others. As mentioned, don’t worry about how you look or what your running form is, just get out there and do it. When I started running 32 years ago, I did interval run/walk and built up to steady running. I was in high school then and kids are brutal. My friends would make fun of my form. They said they could tell who was running down those country roads from way off. When they would run with me though, it was a different story. Aside from all the excellent advice. You are receiving here, it comes down to one person, you. What works for one doesn’t always work for the whole. My only advice, running can become either monotonous or boring if you prepare and run the same route every day. Mix up how you train i.e. run that regular route a few times a week, find a hill or go to the local football stadium and run/walk bleachers, use Google Earth in your area to map out other routes and distances, do interval runs (sprint/jog), maybe throw in some swim time if you have access to a water venue (gives your bones a break from the pounding yet you still get in a workout). Find what you are comfortable with. Don’t worry about what people think, even in a small town. Those that support you are your true friends and those that heckle, well maybe not so much. Challenge the hecklers to join you. Best of luck to you.

One foot in front of the other. Take it slow at first – your first workout can literally be “run to the mailbox, walk back. Repeat as desired.” Find a plan (C25K is very popular, or contact your local running store/track club to see if there’s a beginner’s coach or if they have any advice). And remember that you can’t outrun a bad diet. Track what you eat, and WHY you’re eating it (hungry, sharing, boredom, etc.). Look for patterns (turns out I was sabotaging myself with mindless snacking in the evening watching TV. So now I don’t watch TV, I read instead, as it keeps my hands busy holding the book and I can’t snack at that point).

Whenever I see someone who looks like they’re just starting out running/walking I have an immediate respect for them!

Jog 30 seconds and walk 4 minutes until you are comfortable. Do this for 20 minutes tops. Put some headphones in with some kickass booty shaking music that makes you feel like the rockstar you are
Don’t EVER feel bad for trying

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