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By Columnist Ron Byland – USATF, RRCA and Lydiard certified Running Coach:


“Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it.” – Oprah Winfrey

Happy May everyone.

Wherever you are in the world, I hope your running and training is going well. As a running coach who works with a number of many new runners, as well as those just getting back into the sport, I find that I am asked the following question on many occasions…

I’m a Runner…Now What?

So let me answer this for you now. First and foremost, the most important suggestion I can make is, “Don’t be in a hurry with your training.” In fact, one of my favorite expressions is “Patience Grasshopper.”

Based on this, your goal for the first few weeks of training, whether you are experienced or just starting out, should include spending time on your feet, not pushing the pace, or struggling through a workout. Your main focus is to start building or rebuilding your Aerobic (Endurance) conditioning.

I truly believe one of the biggest reasons people get hurt or even worse, stop running is because they try to run too fast, too long, or too soon. My main motto is, “To get faster you need to slow down.”

Running Essentials

There are a number essentials that you need to consider before you start running. These are as follows:

  • Shoes – Everything else is secondary to these essential items. You need to go to a specialty running store and ask for a gait analysis. This will ensure that you start your training in the proper shoes and prevent future injuries.
  • Clothes/socks – The main thing to remember here is, “Cotton is Rotten.” Cotton holds moisture and gets heavy. Always buy a tech-fabric from a running manufacture like Nike, Adidas, Under Armour etc.
  • GPS watch or your smartphone – This will help you track your workout and depending which phone or app you use, also supply you with interesting statistics. Typically, you will want to focus on your speed, distance, and time.
  • Nutrition/ hydration – Often forgotten, but one of the most important pieces of training. Drink lots of water and maintain a healthy/balanced diet.

When it’s Time to Start Running

When it comes time to head out the door, start small and build yourself up gradually.

  • Initial run – As I mentioned earlier, the main goal to getting started is to simply. spend time on your feet. To start, begin with a 20-minute walk, run/walk, or run.
  • Timing – On your first run, time yourself and see how far you can run before you have to stop and walk. Then on the next few consecutive runs, see if you can add one minute onto your time. Once you are up able to run 20-minutes without stopping, you will likely have a great base to train for a longer goal distance.

The Golden Rules of Starting a Running Career

There are several ‘musts’ that you need to do, when you begin a running career. These are the essentials:

  • Train, stay relaxed, and remember to breath (don’t strain).
  • If in doubt, do less…or go easier.
  • You can never run too slowly.
  • Don’t run hard, until you can run easy.
  • Stick with initial conditioning, until your fitness starts to plateau.

Have a great month of training and I’ll…See you on the roads.

Coach Ron

About Our Marathon News and Review Columnist

Ron Byland HeadShotRon Byland is the current coach of Kelly Brinkman, 2013 USATF-MN Female runner of the year. He has an extensive competitive racing background that spans over more than 30-years, and he has been coaching runners for over 25-years. Ron is USATF, RRCA and Lydiard certified. He lives and works in Minneapolis, but also offers online training options for runners via his running club.

As the founder and coach of Minneapolis based Mile To Marathon Run Club, Ron Byland,  offers runners many coaching options, such as:

  • Customized Personal Training Program
  • Personal One on One Training Sessions
  • Virtual Training
  • Corporate Run Programs for 5 -500 runners
  • Couch To 5K Programs
  • Corporate Speaker

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Disclaimer: The information published in this column are based on the author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion. This information and opinion are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

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