TIPS FOR A FIRST-TIME RUNNER
(FROM A FIRST-TIME RUNNER)
Running can seem incredibly daunting for a first-timer. The pressure of distance and pace can make anyone not want to start at all; even technique and how you look while running can be intimidating. With a seemingly easy exercise, there can be so many thoughts and hesitations involved. If you are new to running and just want to get started but don’t know how, here are some simple yet effective tips to help you take your first steps!
(1) START EASY
Don’t expect to be able to run 5km first go; this is something to build towards. Start with a short distance, and don’t feel pressured to run the whole time. Aim to run 200m and then walk 100m; a good way to track this is to use light posts or trees as markers. Set your eyes on your target and reach that, then take a rest walking, then start again to reach the next target. Eventually, you will be able to shorten your walking time to keep a steady jog.
(2) DON’T THINK ABOUT PACE
If you try to run too fast too quickly, you will burn out and not make your full distance. Keep a steady pace, and then later, you can build up speed.
(3) FOLLOW A TRAINING PLAN
Having a set plan/program will help you stay on track and motivated. It will be more efficient in your use of running/workout time. It’s also like a to-do list, satisfying to tick off after completing each run/workout. I always find knowing when it will be over helps me get through it!
(4) RUN IN A GROUP
Running and training with a friend can help with motivation and accountability; they are someone to lean on when you need that extra push. Having a run buddy keeps it fun! There are also many running clubs and groups around that always love to welcome new members.
Find a good playlist to keep you company and upbeat while you run. Time goes faster with a good song.
Make sure you are eating enough nutritious food. Food is fuel for your body, and it is important to keep energy levels high; otherwise, workouts will feel harder.
(7) MAKE SURE YOU USE THE RIGHT GEAR
As with any activity, having the right gear will help. Not every sneaker is designed for running; it is important you are wearing shoes with the right support and cushioning for you. Your feet and joints will thank you later! Also, it is important to invest in good quality leggings, running socks, crop tops, and long-sleeve tops (cold days and early mornings). This will keep you comfortable and avoid rubbing. Most importantly, enjoy, have fun, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself! It’s a long but rewarding process!
WHAT IS THE BEST RUNNING SHOE FOR ME?
So, you have signed up for the event and maybe even started some training? If you haven’t already, it’s time to start thinking about your footwear – shoes might be the single most important tool in helping you cross the finish line (and as comfortably as possible!) Looking at a page of shoes online can be overwhelming; there are so many types of support, cushioning, foams, and plates (not to mention colors!) We have compiled a list of a few key things to consider when choosing your next pair of shoes:
SUPPORT V. NEUTRAL
Mizuno makes shoes that sit on a spectrum from Neutral on one end to Supportive on the other, so which one is right for you? Some people like support shoes, some people need the additional support under their arch because they roll in, and others might roll out and need a more neutral shoe. For those that wear orthotics, a neutral shoe is often best to provide a good platform for their orthotic to work with. To know which category of shoe is best suited to your foot type, we recommend seeing a Podiatrist or Physio for a gait assessment, or you can head into a specialty running store for an analysis.
CUSHY / SOFT V. RESPONSIVE / FIRMER
Again, the feeling you want underfoot often comes down to preference; some like a softer foam that gives them the sense of ‘floating’, whereas others like to feel the road and have a more ‘propulsive’ ride. Mizuno makes shoes that offer these different sensations so that you achieve the level of cushioning that suits your running style.
It can be beneficial to have a couple of pairs in your rotation, a training shoe that provides adequate protection and cushioning for those bigger mileage and longer run days and then a lighter, faster type of shoe for your speed sessions and the race day itself. Whilst two shoes are not essential to see you through both your training and race day, it could be something you consider.
PLATED SHOES – WHAT’S THE HYPE?
Everyone’s talking about plated shoes! They are certainly a topic of conversation amongst runners these days thanks to the rise of ‘super shoes.’ While these shoes are normally favored by the more elite runners, Mizuno shoes have for the last 30-plus years used ‘Wave Plates’ as their signature technology in all of their performance running shoes. For Mizuno, this technology provides both support and cushioning, allowing their shoes to be lighter and more durable.
What’s the research say? Well, today, we are all about the comfort factor – the shoe you feel the most comfortable in is likely to provide you with the best running outcomes. We recommend heading into a store like Fleet Feat or getting in touch with us if you have any questions about fit, function, and form!
Try our shoe finder below to find the best running shoe options for your upcoming run and goals!
TRAINING PLAN BY: CAROLYN BRYCE, A.K.A. @run_with_c
While it may be tempting to push as hard as you can, it is true that slow and steady wins the race. The best way to get to the start line injury free and ready to run is by slowly increasing distance and pace over time so your body has time to adjust and grow stronger through the process.
Luckily our Team Mizuno coaches have created 12-week programs to build you up to race distance slowly and safely, setting you up for a perfect race day.
Just remember, although it may get tough at times, enjoy the process. Running can be fun, and nothing is going to beat that finish line feeling on race day.
Click here for the full 10K training plan.
RUNNING & FUELING TIPS BY: ELIZABETH PEHOTA, A.K.A. @healthy_cheers
As a runner, proper training is key to a successful race! In order to maximize your performance, your nutrition is a vital component of your race day preparation. What you eat and drink before, during, and after the marathon can make or break your performance.
With a wealth of running experience, I’ve tried many different fueling regimes. What works for one person doesn’t always work for another, so it’s essential to find what works best for you!
Fueling strategies can vary based on what you are training for! Here’s what works for me throughout my training, shorter races, and when I compete in a marathon:
FUEL DURING REGULAR RUNNING TRAINING
The most important thing is to eat a balanced diet that provides your body with the nutrients it needs to keep you going. This should include plenty of carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein sources, and healthy fats.
It’s also important that you stay hydrated! Dehydration can impair your performance and make running feel more difficult. Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your runs to stay hydrated.
Additionally, do not skip meals! Skipping meals can cause your blood sugar levels to drop, leading to fatigue and impaired performance. Try to eat regular meals and snacks throughout the day to keep your energy levels stable.
When it comes to shorter distances such as 5K’s or 10K’s, you may not need a snack during the race – but it can vary per person! Here’s what I find works best for me:
2-3 hours before: Eat a good breakfast with carbohydrates
1 hour before: Eat a power snack an hour beforehand to keep your energy levels high.
I find oatmeal with peanut butter, bananas, and protein bars are simple foods that work well in my stomach before races. Play around with different options to find what works best for you!
Marathons are the most complex when it comes to fueling your body because you use nutrients that you have consumed not only the day of the race but also the few days prior.
Before the marathon, it’s important to fuel your body with the right mix of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. A balanced diet will provide you with the energy you need to tackle the 26.2-mile distance!
Days Leading Up to 26.2: Focus on eating complex carbohydrates such as whole grains – such as toast, rice, and quinoa. These foods provide a slow, sustained release of energy. The most important days to “carbo load” are 2-3 days before your race so that you have a plethora of nutrients in your reserves for race day. Leading up to your marathon, avoid simple sugars, which can cause a quick spike in blood sugar followed by a crash. Protein is also essential for muscle recovery and repair! Include lean sources of protein in your meals, such as chicken, fish, and tofu. Healthy fats, such as avocados and nuts, will provide you with additional energy and help your body absorb essential vitamins and minerals.
Hours Leading Up to 26.2: Pick a race day meal that is high in carbohydrates and easy to digest, and eat it 2-3 hours before your race. This will top off your energy stores and prevent stomach issues during the race! Avoid trying any new foods or drinks on race day. It’s best to test out the foods you plan to consume on race day during your longer training runs so you can see how they will work with your body.
During the 26.2: When running a full marathon, it’s important to stay hydrated and refuel your energy stores! They will get depleted running this long of a distance. Aim to drink about 6-8 ounces of water every 20 minutes, and consider grabbing a quick energy gel or piece of fruit at the aid stations. Every runner has different fueling preferences, so if there’s something you prefer to consume while racing, bring it with you on the course! Some of my favorite fuels while running are electrolyte sport jelly beans and bananas.
After the 26.2: Refuel your body with a mix of carbohydrates and protein! This will help your muscles recover and repair. A piece of fruit and a sandwich or a smoothie with protein powder are good options. But if we’re being honest, you just ran a marathon and worked extremely hard! Reward yourself with something that makes you happy!
Whether you’re training for your first 5K or running a full 26.2 miles, proper nutrition before, during, and after a race is crucial to your performance! Focus on a balanced diet with complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats – and find what works best for your body. To compliment your proper fueling, make sure to always stay hydrated to maximize your performance, and don’t forget to nourish your body after crossing the finish line!
WHAT TO EXPECT ON RACE DAY
It has finally come; all your hard work and preparation have led to this day. No doubt there will be some pre-race jitters, but we have a plan in place to help you overcome them so when you hit the starting line, you’re ready to go. After all, remember the most important thing, racing is meant to be fun, so be sure to enjoy yourself and embrace the vibe and the atmosphere on race day.
WHAT TIME TO ARRIVE
We recommend you arrive 45 minutes to 1 hour before your scheduled race start. The reason is it’s important to get there early enough to find a park and to give you time, so you’re not scrambling around stressed trying to figure out where you need to be. You also want to give yourself enough time to stretch, warm up and go to the bathroom (if nature calls). You want to get yourself a good spot at the starting line, too; it can often take several minutes to get through the waves of participants, so the longer you have to wait, the longer the jitters have to kick in.
WARM UP PREPARATION
Ensuring you are warmed up for your run is important to increase blood flow and oxygen to your muscles to help you perform at your best. The ideal pre-race warm-up may be different for each individual, but the last thing you want to do is tire yourself out, so getting that balance right is key. A solid warm-up consists of slow jogging, stretching as well as some small doses of intense movements.
RACE DAY NUTRITION
Elizabeth Pehota recommends consuming an easy-to-digest meal with carbohydrates 2-3 hours before your race.
- Eating something high in carbohydrates before your race will ensure you top off your energy stores; eating something your body is familiar with and enjoys is best for preventing stomach issues during your race.
- Eat a power snack an hour before your race to keep your energy levels high.
- Recommended snacks include oatmeal, peanut butter, bananas, and protein bars, but truly it comes down to what works best with your stomach.
- During the race, aim to drink about 6-8 ounces of water every 20 minutes. Also, consider grabbing an energy gel or piece of fruit at the aid station.
- After your race, you should refuel your body with a mix of carbohydrates and protein, such as fruit and a sandwich, but ultimately reward yourself with something that makes you happy.
Proper nutrition before, during, and after a race is crucial to your performance. Focus on a balanced diet with complex carbohydrates and find what works best for your body. Be sure to always stay hydrated, and don’t forget to nourish your body after your race.
We highly recommend downloading the race map for the event you are competing in well in advance. This will help you get your head around the course you’ll be running, where the key drink stops are, toilets, and first aid. Finding the map is super easy; they can usually be found on the event website and will also be emailed to you in the lead-up to race day.
So you’ve made it to the line! Congratulations, it’s now time to celebrate with all your friends and family on an awesome achievement. There’s no better feeling than crossing that finish line. You’ll receive some cheers behind the rails from some of your closest fans, you’ll get offered some energy bars, a drink, and some fruit to help with recovery, and then you’ll be given a medal to commemorate all your hard work that’s lead you to this moment. Be sure to get a snap showing off your medal and hit a local cafe or bar for a well-earned celebratory drink on your way home.
About Mizuno USA:
Mizuno USA, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mizuno Corporation, one of the world’s largest specialty sporting goods manufacturers. Mizuno USA, Inc. manufactures and distributes golf, baseball, softball, running, volleyball, swimming, and tennis equipment, apparel, and footwear for North America. Mizuno USA, Inc. is based in Peachtree Corners, GA.