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What To Know Before You Start Running

Women share what they wish they knew in their beginning running days.

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Before You Start Running

“Since I started running as a way to get better at field hockey and lacrosse, I had no ideas or guidance about training. I wish I had known about all the different ways to run, and I really wish I had had running role models who looked more like me.” —Mirna Valerio, ultrarunner, Fat Girl Running blogger

“I wish someone would have told me that one race does not define you. It’s very easy to see a race—this thing you’ve trained for and worked toward—as a be-all, end-all event, and feel as if you have to perform well or you’re a failure, you’re not good enough. But there are so many races, and there’s no point in rushing or putting pressure on yourself, especially when it comes to that first race. You only get one first race, so make sure you enjoy it!” —Tina Muir, elite runner and Running for Real podcast host

“Talent is overrated. The kids who won easily and were labeled ‘talented’ when we were young weren’t the ones who went furthest in the sport. I wish I had known that my passion and work ethic were my superpowers that would take me to the Olympic final and a European medal. I was always yearning to be called talented, and in retrospect I just wish I hadn’t lost mental and emotional energy doubting myself waiting for someone else’s approval. One thing we all get to enjoy and love about running is that you can own your own improvement and effort you put in, regardless of what other people think.” —Róisín McGettigan-Dumas, elite runner, co-author of Believe I Am Training Journals

“I wish I knew how important it was to practice nutrition! I tested out gels for the first time during my first marathon because I hit the wall and thought it would help me get through it, but then I found myself running to the portapotty.” —Heather Laptalo, ultrarunner and Backcountry ambassador

“It’s never easy to get started. No matter how motivated a person you are, no matter how many people you have inspiring you, running is really hard. When it hasn’t been part of your lifestyle, adding it in is very challenging. Be patient with the process. It takes four to eight weeks for your body to adapt and feel more comfortable doing the running thing. Be patient those four to eight weeks, and establish a routine. It’s really easy to talk yourself out of a run when it’s not super fun. If you stick with it, it can become a lot more fun and enjoyable.” —Neely Spence Gracey, elite runner and coach at Get Running and Runcoach


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