7 (MORE) FAQ’s for Beginner Runners!

Not so long ago, I gave you the answers to 7 FAQ’s for beginner runners…but since that only scratched the surface, today I have even more beginner runner questions and their answers to share with you! Even if you’ve been running for a while, some of these questions may still be something you’ve been wondering about.

7 (MORE) FAQ's for Beginner Runners! More questions from beginner runners answered by a certified running coach and personal trainer.

P.S. Some of the product links in this post are Amazon affiliate links – thanks for supporting Fine Fit Day! šŸ™‚

How fast should I be running?

When you’re first starting to run, your speed or pace shouldn’t be your first priority. Getting into the habit of tracking your runs and your pace is great, because later on if you decide you want to race, it will become important to know what your base pace is, and what affects your pace. It’s also a great indicator of progress. But at least while you’re still getting into the habit of running, just focus on getting out there and enjoying the run. Pace and mileage can come later. šŸ™‚

I want to run and strength train – which should I do first?

If you’re doing both on the same day, it really depends on what your priority is, and how your body reacts to both forms of workout. If your main goal is to become a regular runner, you may want to run first, when you have fresh legs and are not fatigued. If your main priority is strength, and you’re trying running as your form of cardio, I would suggest strength training first, then doing some slow running afterward as a good way of recovering after lifting. If you can plan to separate the workouts, it may be better to strength train one day, then use the next day as an easy run, or schedule a light lifting workout for the day after a harder run.

7 (MORE) FAQ's for Beginner Runners! More questions from beginner runners answered by a certified running coach and personal trainer.

How do I know when I’m ready to sign up for a race?

There’s no rule to when you can try a race. Apart from some races having cut off times for finishing, which would be dependent on how fast your pace is, it really doesn’t matter if you’re a newer runner and not used to racing. There are even some races that encourage entry by walkers, so if you’re using the walk/run method, you’d definitely have no problem. Many people sign up for a 5K as their first race, since the distance can be more attainable to a beginner runner. Make sure you research training plans first, to get a sense of what the recommended mileage and workouts are for the weeks leading up to a race. If your current running routine is in line with the beginning or even the middle of a training plan, you could find a race x number of weeks out and know that just by following that program, you’ll be prepared for the race.

What should I eat before running? (Should I be eating before running?)

This is trial and error, since every person is different. Some people can eat a meal and go out running with no problem on a full stomach. Some morning runners go out and get their miles done without eating anything first. Experiment, see how your body reacts to different quantities, and different types of food. It will be pretty clear what works and what doesn’t, so you’ll quickly develop your ‘go to’ routine when it comes to eating (or not!) before you run. Check out the Run It round up of what running coaches and bloggers eat before, during, and after their runs!

What can I do about blisters/chafing/shin splints?

Three comment complaints for new runners. Blisters are usually the result of ill-fitting shoes. Make sure you buy your running shoes a half size bigger than your regular shoe size, since your feet swell when running. Invest in some good-quality running socks (they can be pricey, but so worth it). And if you continue to get blisters, then try a different pair of shoes.

Chafing is horrible. It’s painful, especially when the water hits your chafed spots in the shower after your run. Luckily there are some products you can buy to prevent chafing, like Body Glide, or Aquaphor – you just rub it on your skin in the spots where skin rubs against skin, or skin rubs against fabric. If your chafed areas are consistently from rubbing against fabric, it may be that you have to try a different item of clothing. I used to get a chafed spot in the middle of my back, which was from where my sports bra clasp was rubbing. I tried changing which hook and eye I closed it on, but eventually had to just switch sports bra to stop the chafing. 

Shin splints are super painful and a common complaint for beginner runners. When you develop shin splints, you should stop running until they’ve gone away, because running will just make them worse. They’re caused by your tibia bone pulling away from the connective tissue of your muscles, creating micro tears. One of the main causes is running too much too soon – so when you’re starting running, you need to be building up slowly to avoid shin splints. They can also be caused by fast downhill running, worn out shoes, or consistently running on a banked surface. So you can also try easing off on the downhills, making sure you have new shoes, and varying your route and the direction you run, if you’re running somewhere like the edge of a road where you’re constantly on a slight slope. Check out this post for more tips on preventing and treating shin splints.

Should I be running every day?

Short answer – no. Especially when you’re a beginner to running, running every day is going to be too much, too soon. Your body needs some time to adapt to the new stressor of running being introduced, so you’ll need your days off in order for it to repair, recover, and get stronger and better at running as a result. Check out the tips in this article on starting running from scratch, and build up slowly.

Some experienced runners may run every day, but this is usually after many years of running, and with specific forms of running on different days. A 3 mile easy recovery run for an experienced runner in the middle of marathon training is not going to be the equivalent stress on his or her body that a 3 mile run might be for someone who has just started running.

7 (MORE) FAQ's for Beginner Runners! More questions from beginner runners answered by a certified running coach and personal trainer.

Should I start running on the treadmill, or outside?

This is totally personal preference. Some runners swear by one or the other, and it’s usually a love-it-or-hate-it mentality about the treadmill. Here are some issues to consider when trying to decide whether it’s a better idea to choose the treadmill or outdoors, and here is a Run It round up of how to stay sane on the treadmill (including some great workouts). 

Consider your end goal for running when deciding whether to start indoors or outside,as well. If you’re a gym-goer already and you’re adding in running to supplement your fitness routine, it might make more sense for you to start out on the treadmill. If you’re a beginner, and your goal is to start racing, though, you might want to start out running outside, since that’s where you’ll ultimately be spending lots of your time running. 

 
If you’re a new runner and you want more tips once you’ve checked out these FAQ’s for beginner runners, check out some of my previous posts aimed at new runners:

7 FAQ’s for Beginner Runners

50 Running Tips for Beginners

12 Mistakes Beginner Runners Make (and how to fix them)

5 Ways You Can Make Starting Running Easier

Tips on Trail Running for Beginners

Running Tips: Starting from Scratch

What was your biggest question when you started running?

Are you team treadmill or team great outdoors?

Comments

  1. Great tips. These would be great to know when I was first starting out.
    lacey@fairytalesandfitness recently posted…Holiday Card SwapMy Profile

  2. Great selection of questions, I particularly love that you included those about first races and strenght training. Even after years of doing both I still have issues combining the two.
    Nina recently posted…6 little things I do for myself no matter how busy life getsMy Profile