I am so happy to post this flashback blog from the always entertaining and uplifting Janae at Hungry Runner Girl.  Her current running goals are to finish a marathon in 3:00 and a half marathon in 1:20 (wowza!).


I saw THIS article the other day and loved the idea behind it so much that I wanted to do it on the blog!  I started running when I was 12 but didn’t start running races until I was 23 and over the years I have learned some things about running.  


Here is a list of some of the things that I wish I would have known as a new runner and a few of them I took directly from the article because they were perfect for me.  PS let’s be honest… some of them I am still learning and working on.


1.   Every race is not going to be a PR.  This one was hard for me to learn because my first three marathons were ALL PERSONAL RECORDS.  After that I had a bunch of races that I did not do so hot in and I finally realized that it is NORMAL to not always have a good race.  There are so many factors that go into having a good race that don’t always go right (weather, stomach issues, injury, sleep, sickness etc).   Sometimes you should just go into a race to have fun.  I learned to not take running so seriously. 


2.  Take in fuel during your long runs and races.  I was so confused when I saw all of the runners around me EATING while they were running during my first marathon.  I knew that I was supposed to drink water and gatorade but I had no idea that to perform your best you should take in actual calories!  Lesson learned when I hit the wall hard.   Now I know that skittles, swedish fish and candy corn make the best fuel ever but this is still something I am still working on.


3.  Do more than just run.  I thought that the only thing you needed to do to become a better runner was to run!


4.  Let your body recover.   For a few years, I would work out 7 days a week.   I was crazy, I know.  For some people that works, but for my body, I NEED time to recover properly.  I thought that the more I ran, the faster I would be but in reality it just meant getting injured more often.


(Cheering my sis on from the sidelines at a race that I was supposed to race but couldn’t because of injury)


5.  Save your racing for the race…. don’t kill yourself off in your workouts.



6.  EASY RUNS are so so important.  I used to go out and think that every run needed to be the same pace or faster than the day before.  I had no idea that you were supposed to actually include days running a much slower pace.


7.  I learned this lesson over the last few weeks: 



8.  Take a day off when something really hurts.  This was a hard lesson for me to finally learn.  As a new runner/racer I pushed through the pain more than I should have and ended up with some serious injuries. Taking a few days off from running because something is hurting is A LOT better than running through the pain and ending up taking a few MONTHS off due to injury.


9.  Run with other people.  I was always too intimated to run with other people when I first started running, but over the years I have learned that running with other people is one of my most favorite things ever.  It makes me happy and when you run with faster people, then you get faster too. 


10.  Running takes time!   It takes months to train for races, a heck of a lot of time to build up endurance and years to train for your really big goals.  It takes consistency and dedication.  There aren’t any shortcuts. It is so worth it.


What are some of the things that you wish you knew as a new runner!?!?

What running related injuries have you gone through?

To go along with #3… what else do you do besides running to make you a better runner?

How long have you been running?



  • Erica { EricaDHouse.com } January 11, 2014, 7:43 am

    These are all great tips! I’ve been running for 2 years. I went from my first 5k to first marathin in 1 year (and 5 days.) I’ve battled my fair share of injuries and I’ve learned that the hardest thing I’ve had to do as a runner, is NOT run (so I can recover!)

  • Katie @ Talk Less, Say More January 11, 2014, 7:45 am

    I absolutely LOVE this!! It’s so true! I’ve been running for a few years now but only racing for the last year. I ran 3 races at the end of 2012 and 13 in 2013. While I knew some runs weren’t always my greatest, that first REALLY BAD race was a major eye opener. Cheers to great (and smart) running for all in 2014! 🙂

  • Abi@AbsofSteel January 11, 2014, 8:11 am

    Love this post! I’ve been running off and on for a couple of years but only consistently for the past 6 months or so. I feel like strength training, yoga, and foam rolling have all really helped me become a stronger runner. I really appreciate the great advice in this post 🙂

  • Sara @ LovingOnTheRun January 11, 2014, 8:57 am

    Love Janae and all of these are so true! We have ups and downs throughout our running, and I just think it is important to keep your body healthy and keep challenging yourself throughout it all! Listening to your body can be the hardest thing for people to follow, but it is the one thing that can keep you from getting injured!

  • Runner Girl Eats January 11, 2014, 9:50 am

    All of these are so helpful. I wish that I knew that no one was judging me when I first started. It’s important to run your own race and do YOUR best.

  • Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs January 11, 2014, 10:43 am

    Great reminders!

  • Christina @ The Beautiful Balance January 11, 2014, 12:15 pm

    I absolutely despise running! Seriously, I think it is just a mind game for me that I need to get over. But trail running? I will run for hours on trails! Maybe it is the interaction with nature and having something to focus on other than running, but trail running is my absolute favorite activity. It does help with coordination, balance, etc, especially here in Arizona where trail running means mountain running. There are lots of points on the mountains that you are hand-over-knees to get somewhere and I love that!

  • Taya January 11, 2014, 12:24 pm

    The biggest thing I’ve learned is not to treat my body like it’s the Energizer Bunny! I have a tendency to push and push and push…something hurts? Push through it. I thought I was being tough and macho. Like, this is what real athletes do, right? Nope. We are human, and things hurt and we need to rest. I really learned the hard way: after a knee injury in early April, I STILL ran another half marathon…and I haven’t been able to run since. I’m 90% healed now, but I never thought I’d be sidelined for almost 9 months.

  • Ashley @ Saving Money in your Twenties January 11, 2014, 12:27 pm

    Love HRG!! I totally agree with #10- that’s the hardest one for me to remember sometimes. When I take months off from running (like… uhh… right now haha) it’s always so frustrating to start up again and have to build your endurance again! But I’ve gotta just remember that it takes time.

  • Florence January 11, 2014, 1:44 pm

    Thanks for the great tips! I’m very new to running and need all the help I can get!

  • Katie sB January 11, 2014, 2:06 pm

    I want to add: be grateful you CAN run! I used to be a runner but am now disabled by an inflammatory nerve disorder. I wish everyone who can still run would just appreciate the joy of running for it s own sake and not waste time feeling down about PRs or if they ran enough mileage that week.

  • KT January 11, 2014, 3:51 pm

    Those are good tips for newbies! Though I think it’s kind of weird that you reposted that from janae. You’re a runner, too, couldn’t you have written original content? Seems strange to me….

    • Caitlin January 11, 2014, 4:14 pm

      It’s a guest post from Janae to introduce her to new readers! I asked her to share one of her favorite oldies but goodies 🙂

  • Cathy January 12, 2014, 12:37 am

    Love this!!
    I’m still learning how to rest when I’m really aching and that it;s ok not to run/exercise everyday. Sometimes the guilt that I wasn’t exercising really puts a damper on my training.
    No injuries yet! fingers crossed.
    I love doing a power weight lifting class, yoga, and a step exercise class. I’d like to start swimming too!
    I’ve been running for about 5 years. My husband got me started when we first met & I love him for it!

  • Hollie January 12, 2014, 6:53 am

    I remember reading this post and couldn’t agree more with it. Taking a rest day when something really hurts or when something just hurts is so important. One rest day is not going to make or break you but running and creating a serious injury will. Thanks for reposting these reminders!

    As for me I’ve been running a little over 3 years. I’m also training to eventually break 3 hours in the full…but not till the Fall. 🙂

  • The Delicate Place (@misathemeb) January 12, 2014, 10:46 am

    so much truth in the ‘don’t just run’ and the importance of recovery. i used to run 5 or 6x weekly and just felt tired. now i run 2 or 3x a week but make one a tempo, one a hiit and one long run and i am 1. so much faster and 2. not burned out or injured. the body is amazing and once you start listening to it/take care of it, the rewards will start showing 🙂

  • Megan (The Lyons' Share) January 12, 2014, 11:33 am

    I love reading Janae’s blog – she’s so inspirational and cute! I know that I need one day off per week, either a complete rest day or some light stretching/ yoga, or maybe some light elliptical or a walk if I’m feeling like I don’t need much recovery. It is hard to take a day off since I love exercise so much, but it’s so much better than getting injured!

  • Alex @ Kenzie Life January 12, 2014, 12:31 pm

    I’ve been running for a little over a year, but have been taking a little bit of a break over the last two months. Last April I started having a lot of problems with my lungs and breathing during running so I’m trying to get that sorted out. I think the biggest problem I faced was mental: feeling bad and comparing myself to others because I couldn’t run something like a 9 minute mile. Ultimately though, I think loving running is more important than who I can or can’t run faster than (at least for me, a non-racer).

  • Gina January 21, 2014, 9:07 pm

    I wish I knew that if you’re going to run long distances you should watch your iron intake. I ran 2 half marathons and a 10K in one year’s time right off the bat, and ran myself right down into anemia. Thankfully it just took a few months of consistent iron pills to get me back to running normally.

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