I started running about 10 years ago. It started as a hobby and a way for me to try to lose weight (even though I wasn’t big, I wanted to have a better shaped body), I didn’t go to any club or join any gym, I just started running on my own. After a while, running became a huge part of my life. I was running more and more and started participating in races around Austin, TX, but realized that I needed some help in the running arena because I knew I wasn’t training the best way I could.

After many painful races, I learned some basic lessons that I wish I had known when I started:

  1. Having the right tennis shoes is really important, especially for beginning runners. It’s best to go to a local running shoe store to get fit into the right shoes for your skill level and body. The wrong shoes won’t provide enough support and will kill your back and knees.
  2. Using the right clothes is also incredibly important and will let your body breathe better and make you feel lighter.
  3. I always like to run alone, but some people find it beneficial to run with a partner. If you don’t like to do things alone, find someone who motivates you to run with you.
  4. Don’t overrun, even if you feel like you can. You might be able to run 20 miles that day, but the next day you’ll be in pain. Pace yourself, and use common sense. If you’re a beginner, don’t try to run over a couple of miles for the first couple runs, or you will wear yourself out or even hurt yourself.
  5. STAY HYDRATED. Even if you don’t think you’re thirsty, your body is losing water and you need to recuperate that water.
  6. Keep yourself cool: Run in the shade; use a hat; run in the morning or late afternoon. Avoid running between 11am and 4pm, which will wear you out quicker (plus you run the risk of getting burned which can cause skin cancer).
  7. Eat right. You need the right food to fuel your body- despite popular belief this does not mean loading up on pasta. Visit the diet page to learn about the proper way to eat.
  8. Proper sleep: Visit the Sleep page for information on how to rest well
  9. Time yourself, keep a record of your progress.

If I had known these things 10 years ago when I started running, I would be a lot better off right now. Take my advice, learn from my mistakes, and take care of yourself.

-Carlos Capistran