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A Professional Runner’s Guide to Running

January 28, 2022

A Professional Runner’s Guide to Running

As a 12-time marathoner and one-time Ironman, you’d probably assume I love running - most of the time, you would be right. But even after years of running, there are some days that I still have to force myself to get out and pound the pavement. I have, however, found some things along the way that help me experience running as an escape and a way to reconnect my mind and body. So with that, here are a few things that help me find my stride. 

Don't give yourself the option.

Starting is key. It might be raining or cold, and it is ok to think about how much running in it might suck. You can think about the suck while getting your layers on and tying your shoes. But once you are all dressed and laced up, thinking time is over. Get out there and start moving. Rarely, if ever, have I regretted starting a run.

You are not like most people. 

Once you get going, it is easy to keep going, even if the weather's crappy. Sometimes you pass other people running in the same crappy weather, and you connect with a quick nod as you pass by each other. Use the crappy weather as motivation. Most people don’t go out in the stuff. Prove to yourself that you are not like most people.

 Set your feet up for success.

Everyone operates on a different budget, but there is one thing no runner should skimp on: shoes. Buy the best you can afford on your budget and spare no expense on them. Go to a local running store and get fitted for proper shoes. If you insist on buying online, some websites will allow you to submit a video of yourself running on a treadmill, from which they can perform a gait analysis. Pronation type (overpronation, neutral, or supination), arch type, and foot width will help determine what shoe is right for you. Once you have the right shoe, monitor how much mileage and breakdown occur on them. Shoes can be expensive, but running on worn-out shoes or shoes that aren't right for your gait will lead to injuries. 

 Running is a mental game. 

It takes effort to push yourself to start a run, continue the run, and finish the run.  This effort pays dividends in other areas of your life, like mood, physique improvement, and immune system boost, to name a few. Ease the mental effort by providing entertainment during the run, like listening to music or a podcast. If you find this true, invest in a good set of wireless earbuds. Aside from a good pair of shoes, wireless earbuds are a topic pick for me. Regarding equipment, shoes, and earbuds are pretty easy to come by.

 Fuel up and rest often.

Finally, let's talk about rest and nutrition. If you are just starting your running habit, you need to ease into it and take rest days or easy days between running longer running days. Rest allows your body time to heal and recover after exertion. Not resting enough will lead to overuse injuries, which can sometimes take months to heal. In addition to rest, diet is a key factor in successfully building a running routine. Generally, the good news here is you can eat more calories than before you were running. This isn’t to say go wild on junk food. Remember to eat a balanced diet.  


With the right routine, gear, and mindset, running can be a lifelong hobby and a pretty accessible and affordable way to stay fit. Running doesn’t require a fancy gym membership or a huge investment in equipment. The benefits of running extend far beyond fitness and as mentioned above can improve mental well-being and boost the immune system. Finding people to run with can expand your social circle and make your daily run seem much shorter. If you want to start a running routine but don’t know where to start, check out another blog post, “How to Start Running for Beginners."


For more information, talk to one of our Fitness Experts and get customized advice on how to start a running habit.