Running for Beginners

10 Ways To Get Yourself Off The Couch And Onto The Track

Seriously though, if I can do it, so can you.


People who know me know one thing to be absolutely true: I am not in any way athletic. Sure, I was involved with cheerleading and dance for most of my life, but when it came to "real sports" I was severely behind the curve. I was always the first person to be "knocked out" in Knockout and the last person to be picked for any team in P.E.

So when I made the decision to run a 5K for the first time this fall, I found it hard to tell people because I figured they wouldn't believe me.

I didn't think I could finish the race, especially with only a few weeks of running under my belt. However, I finished in a time that I'm pretty proud of (that will remain confidential—anyone who can actually run would be ashamed of this time). Now, I'm training for a 10K in six months. I never thought I would ever reach a point that would want to run, much less that I could run more than one mile at a time, but I did it and so can you with these tips I used to get started.

1. Find a fitness buddy!

F is for Friends Spongebob Squarepants F GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY Giphy

The problem I've most often faced in my personal fitness career is that I'm usually the only person holding myself accountable. Therefore, when I don't want to work out, I just don't—I can't find any harm in going against what I want to do. I've started running with a friend though, and we're working toward a goal together. I don't want to let her down, so her presence is holding me accountable for staying in shape. I make an effort to run two to three times per week and she does the same so we can enjoy this fitness journey together, even if we aren't always at the gym at the same time.

2. Splurge for a Fitbit or other fitness tracker. 

Some sort of fitness tracker is an excellent tool to track not only each individual workout, but also your progress as a whole. With other useful features as well, many trackers are more like smartwatches today. Plus, putting down a serious amount of money ($100+) will help encourage you to run if getting in shape or improving your athletic ability isn't enough.

3. Sign up for a race. 

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In addition to having to put money down, signing up for a race creates a deadline for you. You can then make a plan for how you're going to reach your goal by the time the event arrives. This method will encourage you to get running frequently and to continue to challenge yourself as you get comfortable running.

4. Tell people that you've started running.


Peer pressure can be a magical tool. If other people know that you've started running and have a goal in mind, they will expect you to reach that goal. I've found that their expectations influence me more than I'd like to admit, but I mean, it's getting the job done.

5. Make a killer playlist. 

Girl Running

There's nothing like some Beyonce, Imagine Dragons, or even "Hamilton" to get you moving. Anything that pumps you up will do the trick! I only allow myself to listen to my workout playlist while I'm running. So, if I want to get pumped, I first have to pump myself up on the track.

6. Schedule your run(s) into your week.

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If you don't like to work out, you're not going to start by just saying, "Oh, I want to start running this week. I'll go when I get time." No, that doesn't work. You have to make it a non-negotiable part of your schedule. That way, nothing will conflict with workout time, and that sweaty time becomes a priority.

7. Reward yourself when and only when you've completed the run. 

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At the coffee shop in my dorm, they make these really good smoothies. I honestly can't get enough of them. I like to reward myself after a run with one of those and another treat or two that I want throughout the day. If you're going to do this, it's important to not reward yourself before your workout. The treats must come after, so you have a reason to run.

8. Track your progress visually. 

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Personally, it really helps me out to make some sort of visual tracker so I can see my progress. I like to used a piece of paper that I can color in. Plus, if you hang it on your wall somewhere, you have to look at it every day which will motivate you even more.

9. Find a route you like.


Whether it's a path around your neighborhood, a track that's easy to run on, or even a certain treadmill in the gym, find somewhere you like to run. Trust me, it will make the whole experience much more pleasant.

10. Invest in a good pair of running shoes.

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I have yet to purchase a pair of shoes that are actually good for running, and let me tell you, my knees are feeling it. Having the right shoes to run in is the difference between succeeding and injuring yourself. Plus, who doesn't love a new, comfy pair of shoes?

Making the first step toward fitness goals is easy. It's the second part that'll trip you up. Commitment is key!

Popular Right Now

8 Female Fitness YouTubers you Should Know

If you want to gain strength AND look and feel amazing, follow these powerful females!

Ladies! How many times have you heard that women who lift weights are "too bulky" or "masculine" or "look like a man?" Well.... that's false. If you don't believe me, check out these fitness YouTubers who will tell you themselves!

1) Robin Gallant

Though originally from Canada, Gallant is taking over the world one day at a time. Her videos are filled with content that is not only informative and super helpful but also completely backed by science and research so you have no choice BUT to believe her every word.

Instagram: @robingallantt

Youtube: Robin Gallant

2) Amanda Bucci

Originally a bikini competitor who recently switched over to powerlifting, Bucci shares with her viewers all the ups and downs of competition life: bulking, dieting, effective training tips, and so much more.

Instagram: @amandabuccifit

YouTube: Amanda Bucci

3) Emily Duncan

More commonly known as Em Dunc, Duncan is a young college student who loves the sport of bodybuilding. As a kinesiology major, she uploads videos that are valuable to both new and experienced lifters by discussing topics such as biomechanics, recovery tips, and more.

Instagram: @em_dunc

YouTube: Em Dunc

4) Heidi Somers

Known as buffbunny in the fitness industry, Heidi is a goofy, charming girl from San Antonio, Texas. She posts videos that include full workout routines, meal prep ideas, and fun vlogs.

Instagram: @buffbunny

YouTube: Heidi Somers

5) Megan Gallagher

Gallagher is famously known as megsquats in the industry. She is a strong powerlifter whose videos are filled with her awesome lifts and effective techniques to improve your own strength.

Instagram: @megsquats

YouTube: megsquats

6) Emily Hayden

Emily Hayden is constantly posting motivational videos on her channel. She is all about dedication to the sport and improving you. Through her videos, you will instantly feel motivated to go to the gym and kill your workout.

Instagram: @emilyhaydenfitness

YouTube: Emily Hayden

7) Whitney Simmons

Whitney Simmons, who refers to herself as "Whit," is easily one of the most relatable girls on YouTube. In her videos, she often takes you through her intense workouts, gives details on how to perform each exercise and the number of sets and reps to complete so that you can easily follow along with her!

Instagram: @whitneyysimmons

YouTube: Whitney Simmons

8) Chelsea Karabin

ChelseaLifts is a girl who not only insanely strong but also really cool and chill. Her videos show you all about the world of powerlifting and teach you how to be the strongest you can be.

Instagram: @chelsealifts

YouTube: ChelseaLifts

Cover Image Credit: Google

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If You Take Fitness Advice From Instagram, You're Probably Doing It Wrong

Living a healthy lifestyle really isn't that complicated.


I lost 90 pounds during my freshman year of high school. Over the years, I've gotten many questions about how I accomplished such a feat and what my secret is. The truth is, I did what any doctor would tell you to do when you ask for weight loss advice. I ate healthy foods, I counted my caloric intake and I worked out regularly doing exercise that I enjoyed.

This seems so simple, but in today's complex society of Instagram fitness gurus and "experts" telling you that the secret to weight loss is wrapping your stomach in a wrap, it's difficult to know who is genuinely trying to give you good advice and who just wants to sell you something. I've fallen prey to these people too, so I know how difficult it is to decipher between sound advice and a sales pitch.

So as you embark on your health and fitness journey, remember that the end goal of any workout regimen or diet plan is to be healthy and increase the longevity of your life. It's about seeing your grandchildren graduate high school and go on to succeed in life while swinging on a porch with your husband or wife of 50 years, all because you took care of yourself instead of eating fast food and drinking every weekend of your 20s. It isn't to have slimmer thighs or a bigger butt, though those are nice benefits. What these people won't tell you is that if you simply eat healthy, exercise regularly and take overall better care of your body, you will see results without having to buy some stupid weight loss tea or crazy diet plan.

Believe me, the journey to being a better and healthier you is worth the consistent effort and work it will take to get there.

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