A blog by runners. For runners.

Commonly asked questions asked by beginner runners (no, you’re not alone!)

Find answers to FAQs from beginner runnersFind answers to frequently asked questions by beginner runners below. Don’t see your question? Asked us in the comments or Tweet at us and we’ll get back to you with an answer!

I tried running, but I get tired and have to stop after a few minutes. How does anyone run for miles without taking breaks?
No one starts out being able to run for miles at a time without stopping. We all felt this way in the beginning – running is a tough workout! But it gets easier with training.

Start with a run/ walk approach, and keep the pace of your running intervals slow – resist the urge to sprint. Run slowly for as long as you can, then walk, run when you’re able to again, walk when you need to, and continue. Eventually you’ll be able to run further and take fewer walk breaks, and – yes – run for miles without stopping!

Since I’m just a beginner, I can run in any type of athletic-looking shoes I want, right?
Wrong! Running in running-specific shoes that fit your foot’s needs is a must. If your wear improper footwear, you’ll increase your risk of injuries, like blisters, shin splints, and foot or ankle problems. Get professionally fitted at a running specialty store – most cities have at least one running- or triathlon- specific store.

Running is so boring. It seems like it would be more enjoyable if I had someone to run with. How do I find a running buddy?
Our running group finder can help you find a running club in your area. Running stores and gyms often offer group runs, too. Also check meetup.com or search for your town’s name plus the word “running” on Facebook to see if any groups pop up. And ask around – check with friends, family members, or coworkers to see if they know any runners. Chances are some of them run and someone may offer to run with you, or they may hook you up with a running buddy in your area.

A race looks like a lot of fun, but I’m really slow and take walk breaks. Am I allowed to run a race if I don’t actually run the whole thing?
Of course! Many seasoned runners – from 5K-ers to ultramarathoners – regularly use a run/ walk method when they train and race. Even some competitive runners walk through fluid stations during long distance events. If you’re concerned about being too slow, though, check the race’s pacing guidelines. Some require runners to maintain a certain pace (for instance, a 15-minute mile) or finish the race within a cutoff time. Check the race’s website for this information.

How do I find races?
We have a running event calendar that’s searchable by city. It will pull up upcoming events around your city. Active.com, runningintheusa.com, and local running stores’, and running club’s websites are also great resources for finding races.

Written by Jen Matz.