Posted by: kzaitzruns | January 9, 2015

Top 10 Tips for New Runners AND a Few of My Favorite Things:

It’s a new year, that means it’s time for those New Year’s Resolutions.  Do you make resolutions each year?  Do you find that you end up breaking them?  People often ask me as a professional runner what kind of resolutions I make going into the new year.

To be honest, I don’t make any.  I make goals and those goals are based on my training cycles.  I find that January 1st is just like any other day, a day to make myself better whether it’s 2014 or 2015.  With that being said, I love seeing people get more motivated about fitness and their health.  If only they were given tools to help stick with it, to make it a life habit, not just a resolution that ends up being broken.

I know many people who want to run but aren’t sure where to start.   I get the question all the time, “I want to run, but it hurts.”  Sure most of the grueling workouts or races I do hurt, but running isn’t supposed to hurt all the time, the reason it often hurts is because people don’t know how to start, so they just run.  They go beyond what their body is ready to do initially.  This results in frustration and often injury.  I am going to give you my top ten pieces of advice for those of you who wish to run but don’t know where to start.  I hope these tips will help you get started and keep you running.

1.  It’s okay to walk/jog.  Often that is how I tell people to start.  This is a great way to work up to running consistently and without stopping.

2.  Don’t worry what other people think when you are alternating between a walk and a jog.  Also, don’t worry about what other people think of your pace either.  My motto is, if they are judging you they probably don’t know you and they probably aren’t worth knowing!

3.  Being consistent is key.  This doesn’t mean running everyday, but it does mean making it a habit and part of your daily routine.  On the days you don’t run, swim, bike, or ElliptiGO.  Cardio can build up your aerobic base without the pounding.

4.  If you are not a solo runner or have trouble motivating yourself to get out the door everyday, find a running partner with similar pace, similar goals and someone you can count on to be there no matter what.  What’s a running partner if they don’t show up because they want to sleep in or don’t feel like running?

5.  Have a program to follow whether it’s something you came up with or a coach designed just for you. Even if your goal isn’t to race, it’s good to have something you can go off of.  Also, remember it’s just a plan, if you’re sick or hurt listen to your body and take the needed time off.

6. Induldge a little. People tell me all the time, “I bet you can eat whatever you want!” Yes, I burn a lot of calories, but I see food as fuel. While I try and eat healthy (lots of organic fruits, veggies, and lean protein) 80% of the time, the other 20% is filled with some of my favorite indulgences. One being the Whole Foods Vegan Chocolate Cookie.  And thanks to the new Bradburn store that opened up a couople of miles down the road, I can indulge or grab a healthy snack more often.


Another one of my favorites is the “bacon bar” at Bradburn Whole Foods.  I can go in and get any kind of fresh  raw bacon imaginable.  Bacon is one of my favorite indulgences after a hard or long run alongside some blueberry pancakes or pumpkin waffles.  I use the motto, “Everything in moderation.”  Even bacon!  I always try and pair an indulgence with something nutrient packed!  Think avocados, blueberries, or clementines.

7.  Set baby goals and remember it’s not a destination to reach but a journey.  Have fun on this journey, even on the not-so-fun days!

8.  Coffee, coffee, coffee!  While I don’t drink caffeinated coffee everyday (I save that for workout or race days), I always have my cup of coffee every morning that I savor.  My favorite is:


Whether you like tea, coffee or hot water in the morning, make time for breakfast before or after your run.  I love to eat before I run because I find I don’t have enough energy if I wait to eat afterwards, but either way, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Make it special and savor it.  I love my Buzz Free Decaf before my easy days with peanut butter and honey on a rice cake with a banana.

9.  Find a good pair of shoes!  My go-to pair is the Brooks Ravennas!  They feel like they were made for me feet.  It’s important to have someone watch you run and put you in a shoe based on your running gait.  I know it’s fun to pick shoes based on their color, but comfort and support is much more important!

10.  Don’t do anything crazy and remember recovery is just as important as the workout itself.  Without recovery you cannot absorb the work.  If you cannot afford recovery modalities like massage or NormaTec compression systems you can always take an ice bath or a hot bath (preferred in the winter months). I find hot baths with Batherapy Bath salts (hint: in the bath and body section of Whole Foods) help with tired sore legs.  It’s a great way to unwind at the end of the day and will leave you feeling fresh for the next day.

I hope these tips can help you if you’re having trouble integrating running and/or health and fitness into your life.  It needs to become a daily habit for it to stick.  I often say it’s a lifestyle, that is why such things as diets, do not work long-term!  Be supportive of yourself, love yourself, be patient with yourself and forgiving when you mess up or veer off course.  Remember that tomorrow is a new day and you can always start again!

Until next time…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: