As this site’s creator, let me be the first to welcome you to The Runner’s Resource. This page breaks down the important sections of site so you can get up and running (literally) as quickly as possible.
Feel free to go to specific parts of this page using the buttons below.
Step 1: Get Quality Running Shoes
One of the nice things about running is that it does not require a lot of equipment. Basically, all you need is a shirt, shorts, socks, and most important, running shoes. Unfortunately, choosing a good pair of running shoes can be difficult because there are so many brands and styles.
The best way to find a perfect shoe is to visit your local running store and get fitted by someone who knows what he or she is doing. Another way to find shoes that might work for you is to use the OnlineShoes.com Shoe Finder. The Shoe Finder makes suggestions for running shoes based on your gender, weight, mileage level, injury history, use of orthotics, running surface, foot arch type, and biomechanics (i.e. pronator).Please note that I do earn a commission if you click the link above and buy shoes through OnlineShoes.com. Your supports helps me keep this site going.
Step 2: Design a Training Program
Whether you are a beginning runner, or an experienced runner who is planning to run a race in a few months, it really helps to have a training plan if you are thinking about running a race. While jogging a few miles here and there will improve your health and fitness, having a planned out training routine is important if you want to run and race to your potential.
In general, a training plan is divided into four phases involving the following different types of running: Easy running, Interval training, threshold workouts, (i.e. tempo runs and fartleks), and long runs.
- The first phase of a training plan is made up almost entirely of easy running (or walking if you are just beginning your running journey). Easy running allows the body to develop the necessary strength and endurance to tackle later workouts and racing.
During the initial phase, and all other phases (besides perhaps the final one), a runner should incorporate one “long run” that is at least 20-30% of your total weekly mileage.
- The second phase of a training plan adds “threshold workouts” like tempo runs and fartlek workouts to the easy running routine. The goal of threshold workouts is to increase the body’s “VO2Max,” which refers to the body’s ability to process oxygen. This phase will also include some interval workouts, such as 4 X 400m on a track (this means run one lap four times at a certain pace with some rest time between.
- The third phase of a training plan includes a greater focus on interval training to increase speed, while still incorporating threshold workouts.
- The fourth and final phase is a “taper” phase in which you gradually reduce your training to be ready for race day.
A sample 12 week training plan, with the four different phases described above, looks something like this (E stands for easy running, L stands for long run, T stands for threshold workout, and I stands for interval workout):
|Weeks 1-3||E||E||E or Off||E||E or Off||E||L||↑ 20% each week|
|Weeks 4-6||E||T||E or Off||E||E or Off||E||L||↑ 20% each week|
|Weeks 7-9||E||T||E or Off||E||E or Off||I or T||L||↑ 20% each week|
|Weeks 10-13||E||I||E or Off||E||E or Off||I||L||↑ 20% each week|
|Weeks 14-16||E||I (short)||E or Off||E||E or Off||E||E||↓ 20% each week|
Your precise weekly mileage really depends on what you have been doing prior to your plan. If you are completely new to running, try to run/walk your way to at least 10 miles a week to start out.
Step 3: Learn How to Race
Many runners are content with simply training all of time and not bothering with racing. Others see racing as a great opportunity to challenge themselves against other runners and the clock. Racing is a great way truly understand how far you have come in your running. The feeling of setting a “personal record,” or “PR” in a race gives you tremendous to continue running.
Before you begin a training plan, I recommend that you sign up for a race three of four months into the future. A 5k (about 3.1 miles) is usually a good distance for an initial race. The goal of getting ready for a race will do wonders for your motivation.
There are so many great races every weekend that it can be challenging to choose one. One good place to start your race search is Active.com. Active has a huge database of races throughout the country.
Racing can be a ton a fun, but also a little nerve-racking. In addition to training your body for a race, also work on training your mind to be tough and not “choke” on race day. You can be in the best shape of your life, but if you are not mentally prepared to race, you will not run to your potential.
Step 4: Overcome the Inevitable Challenges
Like any sport, running offers its share of challenges. Injuries, lack of motivation, lack of time are some of the usual reasons for the abandonment of a training program. One thing to keep in mind is that so many other runners have probably experienced the exact same running challenges as you.
Instead of becoming frustrated, seek out motivation from those around and from this site. We’ve all been through many running valleys, but also know that, if you refuse to give up, there are also awesome “peaks” of running success.
As the American philosopher Amos Bronson Alcott said,
Success is sweet: the sweeter if long delayed and attained through manifold struggles and defeat.
Step 5: Subscribe to My Newsletter
Before you further explore the site and implement these recommendations, I’d like to invite you to subscribe to my newsletter which is loaded with great running advice and information. Of course, you can unsubscribe at any time.
As a thank you, I’ll give you immediate access to the free report Top Five 5k Racing Tips. Enter your e-mail below.
Once Again, Thank You For Coming
Let me finish by emphasizing that I regard everyone who has come to this site seeking running information as a friend. I am happy to answer questions through my contact form, Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. I’ll do my best to respond.
Also please know that I don’t regard myself as superior to anyone else. I’m just a guy who likes to run and share what I’ve learned over the years with others. If I don’t know something, I’ll do my best to refer you to someone who does know. Also, if you think I’ve made a mistake, I’m happy to listen! I hope you enjoy my site.