Experienced Runners on Reddit Give Advice to New Runners

If you are just starting with running or you’re thinking about starting, it can be daunting and intimidating. But, a massive amount of experienced runners on Reddit collectively put together what they’ve learned and give advice to new runners.

I began my running journey last year in the pandemic as a way to stay in shape and keep busy. Now I run frequently and I can tell you all this advice is valuable!

Advice to New Runners

Even though it sucks sometimes; Warm up and cool down properly. Take the time. It’s obvious but overlooked a lot of times. – jrc83 

Many experienced runner will fail to take this advice. Do a warmup and a cool down, this will help with injury and recovery hugely. Also, key advice to new runners, stretch!

Just run! Don’t stress so much about gear and training plans. Get out the door a few times a week for as many minutes as you want and learn to love it…or hate it. If you don’t hate it, keep going and take care of your body. Sleep, eat well, and take a day off (or multiple days!). Once you get some experience and find you really so enjoy it, then you can start thinking more about specific plans, GPS watches, and all the other crap thrown at us that we don’t “need”.
Next, don’t take advice from one source! There are lots of opinions or examples of success with one person or a small subset. Seek variety and experiment with what works for you, not matter the subject (nutrition, shoes, training plans).
Last thing – stoke the passion. Watch videos, read books, join a running club, etc. There’s so much history and remarkable human achievement in our sport that we can all relate to as runners. It doesn’t matter what you run or how fast – I watched almost every event of the Olympic track trials, and I’m an ultra marathoner who knows very little about those events. – day_time_sleep
If you run, you’re a runner. You don’t need to qualify yourself. Whether you run an 18-minute mile or a 7-minute mile. And a walk/run is acceptable. Just move.
Also: a running group who were around my pace/same running mindset made a world of difference for me when I started out. Not only for accountability but they helped me feel more a part of the running community because there were other people at my pace. – teamcilantro

Just start! Don’t overthink it. Running requires no special equipment to begin. Advice to new runners; just start.

The first mile will always suck, no matter how long and hard you train
It gets better at mile 2. – imagonnaforget

First mile is the hardest. Keep pushing.

Consistency is key. Doing one super long run every few weeks or max heart rate short runs here and there is just going to get you injured – CompletePaper
You can (and should) walk. I was floored when I found out all these amazing long distance runners I knew walked, def made me feel like I could do it too! Some people also find it helpful to walk at set intervals, esp as they are just beginning or increasing mileage, etc. But you can also just walk when you need it. – Wildsweetlystormant 
  • Consistency beats blasting a workout or one high mileage week. My best running has occurred after 8+ weeks of consistent mileage with 2 good but not exceptional quality days a week.
  • Easy days easy, recovery days after workouts very easy. Quality days hard but under control.
  • Long 8-12 mile sub threshold runs are incredibly important. They teach mental toughness, build strength and still push your LT down.
  • Pushing recovery intervals during workouts is great for general fitness without breaking the purpose of the workout. I try to keep all recovery periods during workouts at around 6 minute mile pace creating longer continuous runs alternating between reps @ goal 3k/5k/10k pace and 6 minute pace.
  • 8-12 100m strides run on the minute or 8–12 15s hill sprints with a jog back down once a week do wonders for efficiency and turnover.
  • Sleep is the only particularly important part of recovery. Everything else is just noise.
  • Converting pace targets to reflect the hot temperatures is an important thing to do.
  • Wrist based HR isn’t good enough if you are using HR to guide training.
  • Even as an older runner how I consume calories doesn’t seem to matter much. What does matter is the calories themselves.
  • All things being equal you will run faster the lighter you are (up to a point obviously). Finding the balance between what you are willing to tolerate and how fast you want to run is a personal decision. Clearly there are unhealthy eating habits out there in running world but pretending weight doesn’t matter is insanity (coming from a guy who dropped from 250-180 and could still stand to lose 10-15 more pounds).
  • Run early or it’s less likely to happen.
  • Caffeine is a performance enhancing drug.
  • Find shoes that work and then don’t mess with your rotation.
  • Good socks are a great thing to ask for during the holiday season. – NotAsFastAsIdLike 
Stop trying to PR [personal record] every run. Or even every week, or month. – bltrvns9 
80/20. Run way slower than you think you should most of the time. Low heart rate training to properly build an aerobic base will make you faster than going out and crushing every run at max effort.
You’ll be less likely to get injured, you’ll be able to run further and more often, and you’ll enjoy it more. Run hard once (or twice if you’re well trained) a week, long once a week, and take the rest very easy. – asmwilliams

A series of great advice to new runners from experienced runners! We hope this helps you start your journey. We’re focused on health and fitness here at LWOS.life and we’ll keep updating you!

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