Running 101 {Everything you need to know to get Started}

Ok guys, let’s make this easy to read and understand. So many people have asked us this question, “I am really new to running, like I want to start next week, what do you suggest I do?”

Wow… that is a loaded question and we are not professionals or anything but here is my best shot at putting my suggestions into one not-so consist response!

In this post I will cover the following topics:

  • SETTING A ROUTINE & SCHEDULE 

  • The Deal with RUNNING WATCHES

  • IS THERE A RUNNING PHILOSOPHY TO FOLLOW?

  • HELPFUL RESOURCES/ BOOKS / INSPO ?

  • RUNNING FORM?

  • SHOES?

  • OUR SUGGESTED GEAR 


SETTING A ROUTINE & SCHEDULE

Setting up a running routine is extremely important- it will help you build a strong base, be consistent, avoid over-training and is just fun and motivating. There are a few different ways you can go about it, depending on your existing level or fitness and experience with running, I recommend every other day for the first 2 weeks if you are new to running, but of course this depends on you. The amount of time and distance you run each day also varies, and to get my full scoop on my tips for setting up something that works for you, watch my Running 101 Setting up a Routine Video here:


RUNNING WATCHES: 

The next thing you can think about is getting yourself a watch to monitor your heart rate as you run, and to track your runs via GPS. I do think it is REALLY HELPFUL to have a watch that has Heart Rate Monitoring AND GPS Tracking!! The idea behind this all is covered in my video on the topic here:

This is a super basic gps + Heart rate monitor watch, it was actually my first one and worked well for all the basics of trail running while I was just getting started. It has a chest heart rate monitor which is apparently still more accurate than the new wrist ones! (these are affiliate links, we get a small percentage of click sales :) )

My first watch

This one looks like a decent first watch that will also cover all your bases.

This is the exact watch Gwen and I have, except I have white and Gwen has black.. The green is cheapest! haha

The basic black one!


IS THERE A RUNNING PHILOSOPHY TO FOLLOW?

Without going into the history of how we came to follow the “going-easy” training method we follow we will just give you the details.

We train slow- that is that the bulk of the miles we run each week/month are ran at a pace that feels and is “easy” for us individually; which of course also means we run at different paces because Gwen’s easy is faster than my easy.

We had read many books and seen many professional runners using this method to run/train and so we figured there must be something to it, and besides it sounds less painful and more exciting than suffering on the track doing speed work all the time.

The method we are referring to is known as many different titles, some call it “Heart Rate Training” , some call it 80-20 training, and then it has also been detailed precisely in “The Maffetone Method / 180 formula”. 

The Basic idea is that you run 80% of your miles at a pace that is under your aerobic threshold - in your aerobic zone (which is usually at or under 150 Bpm heart rate) - regardless of what pace that is for you on that day, you follow your heart-rate. The idea is that it builds up your aerobic base without running the risk of doing too much hard running and getting injured- and it even makes you faster!

We then found out about the Maffetone Method and saw that it gives a more logical explanation for how this all works to our benefit and how to calculate exactly what heart rate you should be running at, and how to gauge weather or not it is in fact helping you improve your running.


HELPFUL RESOURCES/ BOOKS / INSPO ?

We started by reading the book Born To Run, which firstly got us inspired to run long-distances in the wilderness and have fun doing it, and not necessarily run for pace or speed. This was a very good first step in our process and I suggest to all you who are interested in starting to run, or those new to running to read it!

YouTube: 

There are some really cool running YouTube channels out there that can give some guidance, inspiration and more. One of our favorite channels for training advice, workouts, etc.

The Ginger Runner:

For all your shoe and gear review needs along with really cool weekly interviews with pro runners, Ethan has you covered. This channel is amazing and the community around it is great:


Also Mile Long Legs is a fantastic gear review channel for ladies, by Kim - Ethan’s wife!

 


Sage Canaday’s Vo2MaxProductions :

Sage has really fun videos on training tips, form, technical stuff and nutrition.. and he is Plant-Based! :)

Kilian Jornet is the king of ultra-running

If you don't know of this guy.. you must learn! He is the king of ultra-running and adventure. His YouTube channel is pretty funny and always epic:

 

Salomon Running:

 

Books on Running:

The book that got both Gewn and I to fall in love with ultra-running, trail running and running in general (before we had ever ran an ultra) was Born To Run, this book is a classic! It is a fun read, very inspiring and informative and it set the stage for all things magical about running. I think it is a MUST READ.

Affiliate link here!

Great one by world legend ultra-runner and plant-based runner Scott Jurek


RUNNING FORM?

 

We highly suggest you run with a forefoot strike and avoid at all cost landing on your heel when you run… but this is much easier said than done. Most of us have been walking/running in shoes that are really built up in the heel and allow us to land on our heel without pain. However when you take your shoes off and attempt to run barefoot (which is how our bodies were designed to run) you will quickly find out how the running form that our body was designed for.. which is we land on our forefoot kinda under the ball of our foot. This is because it would really hurt if we land on our heel, so naturally you will land on your toes/ball of your foot, and when you do this your leg and knee joints take less of the stress because your arch and entire foot absorbs the stress like our bodies designed to. 

However it is recommended to not change your running form overnight, instead it is wise to slowly adjust and ease into it. 

My suggestions on how to go about transitioning to a forefoot strike are covered in my video here: (not online yet)

A really good place to get the basics is in Altra-Running’s videos on this, they only take about 8 minutes to watch them all and you will quickly understand the do’s and do nots. 


SHOES? 

Well like I mentioned above, shoes and form are really linked together and the shoes you should wear will depend on your running form. But to start just get a pair of shoes that are comfortable to run in and start, don’t wait to get started. Once you have put in a few weeks and understand more about your form, your body and what you like and do not like about your current shoes, you should start to think about what you want next.

Watch my video here on my thoughts on shoes, as this topic is extremely controversial in the running world!

We love Altra Running Shoes for their wide toe box and zero drop, but they do take time to transition into also.


GEAR?

There are a million pieces of gear and gadgets you can get for running, but there are only a few that are pretty darn necessary.. and most all can be left out, as we had nothing really for the first year or so! 

For ALL QUESTIONS about Gear, Shoes and all things you MUST watch The Ginger Runner’s (or Mile Long Leg’s for the ladies) review of it before you buy it.. chances are he/she has a review of it and it will help you make that choice.

 

For the shorter distance runs, especially in the heat, handheld water bottles are really nice! To be honest I really hate running with one, but to me it beats being dehydrated in hot climates like Florida, and it also beats wearing a pack in those hot sweaty places. Most fit your hand nicely and even have zipper pouches to stash keys, gels, etc.

 

My favorite piece of running gear other than my shoes and watch, is my vest or pack. I have been running in the Salomon Sense Pro 12L vest/pack for over a year now and love it. I have tried on and have heard amazing things about the Nathan Vapor Howe vest, and I think it will be my next one because of how soft the material is- making it nice to wear right over a sports bra.

I want this one!

This is the one I have, in XS

These types of packs are considered vests because they fit like a vest rather than a pack, and the items that you can squeeze into it are tight against your body.. which is essential. I do not think that packs/vests are necessary however for short distance running and shorter races (shorter than 50k/ 30 miles I like to just carry a handheld). 

The good thing about vests is that you can bring it on your daily runs if you are the type that just likes to have things just in case, and you can use it for longer races and adventures.

Watch my video here on vests/packs:

FOOD

Finally food… this is a very personal topic and I will cover it in a video soon.. We have tried SO MANY things and have finally settled on Skout Backcountry Bars and Gels for our fuel of choice, because of the high quality ingredients- made from Organic Dates and Pumpkin seeds.

 

The Skout Bars we are always eating on runs!