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5 Running Tips for Beginners (From a Converted Non-Runner)

I’ve shared these 5 running tips for beginners several times in my nutrition talks and with new runners. As a former college athlete (softball player), I was NEVER a runner. And now, I’ve run several half marathons and full marathons.

My husband actually used to be a Division I college cross country and track and field coach for 10+ years, so he’s got a large bucket of knowledge that he has shared with me over the years.

He had to recruit running stars, make training plans, coach them through good and bad training days, and just be their life counselor!

Anyway, I’ve become quite well-versed myself and there’s no time like the present for trying something new, right?!

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When people ask me about running, and how I run so often or so far, it’s hard to compile my thoughts into one answer.

But running does so much for my body other than just enhancing cardiovascular health. I love the boost of endorphins I get and being able to just get lost in my own thoughts.

I wrote about all the things running has taught me, but lets just keep it simple: Running has been a very important and influential part of my life.

I’ve experienced running and pregnancy, postpartum running, running and breastfeeding, and the longest stage: running and motherhood. These beginner running tips for women can help you ease in.

dirt path through grass field

5 Running Tips For Beginners

These running tips for beginners can help you enjoy the process of becoming a runner. Adapt them as you need to!

1. Don’t Do Too Much Too Soon

This may seem obvious, but let the build up happen. If you’ve never run before, don’t start too much too quickly.

Accept that you have to build up a base slowly to prepare your body for something new. Moving too quickly before your body is ready can lead to injury or burn out!

Start with a blend of running and walking. For example, 2 minutes jogging, 4 minutes walking, for a total of 10, then 20, and eventually 30 minutes.

You can keep building! Running with friends or even kids can be a great entryway to running.

Try to focus less on the numbers and enjoy the process!

pregnant mom running with toddler

2. Take Care of Yourself

Yes, running will impart some stress and impact on the body, and it’s important to take measures to stay healthy with proper nutrition.

Make sure you’re getting adequate carbs before and after runs. Here’s some guidance on what to eat before running in the morning.

If you’re a coffee drinker, yes, caffeine before running is ok!

Hydrate – Hydration is important in both the summer and winter hydration too!

Do dynamic and active stretching before as a warm up and save the static stretching for after. You can expect some soreness initially because your body may not be used to this new form of impact.

Try using a foam roller or take an ice bath, but give your body the attention it deserves. Fueling correcting can help minimize inflammation. If you suffer from any symptoms of runners stomach or runners trots, follow these tips to help solve stomach pain after running.

And don’t forget about eating after your run to replenish your glycogen and muscle protein stores. Runner protein needs are likely higher than the normal person, especially once you get more consistent with it.

Here are some of the best foods for recovery after a run.

stretching before a run

3. Set Goals

Start small but set some bigger goals to work towards to help build self efficacy and confidence. Show you what you have already accomplished!

Some examples include:

  • run 10 minutes without stopping
  • finish a 5k
  • run/walk a 10k, half marathon, etc.
  • join a local running group or runner store’s beginner training group

Eventually, you may find that you even want to qualify for Boston!

Come Run with Us, Nike Sign

4. Run in Good Shoes

If you’re serious about wanting to run more, it’s worth it to pay more for a good pair of running shoes! Not crossfit shoes – running joes.

Go to a local running store and have them fit you and match your foot type with the corresponding shoe.

This is my favorite shoe.

Not only will a good pair of shoes last longer, but they will protect your feet so you can continue to run! 

girl running on the C&O Canal

5. Have fun!

There are several motivating apps out there to track your runs and activity, set goals and track progress. I love strava to compete with others around you.

You can get to know so much about yourself through running, and be proud that you started something so great!

daily mile run tracker graphic


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  1. I’ve been wanting to learn how to “enjoy running” for a while now. I really like the couch to 5k app, but it’s been difficult to be consistent b/c of the end of the semester and stuff. I love how running is always accessible and free!

    1. Yess, you can run from pretty much anywhere! During the busy times of grad school, sometimes I could only run twice a week, but even those few runs helped me feel good!

  2. Since I really don’t like running, how long will it take for me to find it do-able if I am willing to suffer thru some short runs?

  3. I remember my very first run 3 years ago, Don’t know what to do and i am lacking of idea how and what to do first. I do not have a GPS on that time and obviously i still don’t have any goal but after how many weeks, months of running finally i’ve learned my posture and run effectively.

  4. Great tips, thanks for sharing these! Perfect for any beginner looking to start off on the right foot! (Pun intended… haha)