The 8 Best Tips for Beginner Runners

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Running is a great way to stay in shape or even lose weight if you wish, but a lot of people just don’t know where to start. I have been distance running for eight years, and while not the fastest person ever, I do have some words of wisdom to share for beginners. Check out my eight very best tips below.


1.) Start slow: One of the reasons people think running is such a daunting task is they feel the pressure to run a marathon–like tomorrow. First of all, that would be crazy, and second of all, you may never run a marathon, and that’s totally fine! Starting out slow will give your body a chance to adjust and help you avoid burnout. I don’t suggest running every day to start (or ever really!) Try once or twice a week and see how you feel. The last thing you want is to get injured, so a gradual go is best!

2.) Go for distance first, then speed: I am a huge fan of the Jeff Galloway run walk run program, as well as the Couch to 5k program. Both will get you going but in a safe way. So many people think they aren’t truly a “runner” if you aren’t running the whole time, and that is simply just not true. Starting out with a run/walk is not only safer for your body, but will enable you to go further distances and build up your confidence.


3.) Get some gear: When I first started running, I ran in cotton t-shirts and socks, which was not a pretty site in the hot and humid south. I chafed, got blisters, and was generally a miserable person to be around until I discovered the magic of running gear that fit well and helped wick sweat away from my body. Game changer! If you are comfy (and think you look awesome, too) you are more likely to stick with it! Here are a couple of my current favorites: Mizuno shorts , Mizuno top, Mizuno socks.


4.) Plan for before and after: Keep in mind that as a runner, there is more to it than just the run itself (say what?) you need to plan for your before and after, meaning what are you fueling your body with before you run, during, and after. I always eat before I run, but I give my body time to digest. I personally prefer these protein bars or a banana and peanut butter (depending on the distance I’m running I may eat more). If I’m running over five miles I always carry hydration, and typically fuel like a GU as well. Also, you will need to warm up properly before you run, cool down after your run, and stretch/foam roll.

5.) Hydrate: I already mentioned hydrating before a run, but also make sure you are drinking enough before and after your run. Especially if you live in a hot or dry climate, if you are dehydrated you won’t be able to run as far or as fast. I personally get headaches when I’m dehydrated, which isn’t fun when running. If you need to carry water on a run, consider a hydration belt or handheld water bottle.

6.) Find an accountability partner/group: Fun fact: I actually started this blog when I wanted to train for my first half marathon. I wanted an accountability journal of sorts, and knew if I started blogging and people saw it, then I would HAVE to follow through. (Psssst. If you want to start a blog too, I have a free email course that can get you started!) Anyway, look around locally for a running group to join, or ask a friend to hold you accountable at work.


7.) get fitted for proper shoes: When I first started running, I wanted to wear whatever shoes I thought looked the prettiest on the shelf in the store. I knew nothing about my gait, what size I should get or the specific needs of my feet. I am much wiser now and know there are certain brands that just don’t work well for me. Currently I am loving Mizuno, and more specifically the new Wave Rider 21. They have a premium sock liner, a re-designed mesh upper, and a softer heel counter than previous versions. I hate tight fitting middles and toe boxes, and I feel like I have plenty of room in these shoes. They are breathable and great for the neutral runner. (If you don’t know if you are a neutral runner or not, I highly recommend going to a local running shoe store and getting a gait analysis). These are my new favorites, not to mention they come in several cute colors!

8.) Don’t quit! It’s tempting to give up when you are tired, sore, and not seeing progress as quickly as you would like. This is where a lot of people will give up and say they hated running or that it was too hard. What’s sad is if they would have held on just a bit longer they probably would have been happy with their results. We live in such an instant society everyone wants things to happen RIGHT NOW but becoming a runner takes time. I can attest to the fact that it may not always be fun, it is however, totally worth it, so don’t give up just because you are one of the beginner runners!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Mizuno. The opinions and text are all mine.

New Mizuno Wave Sky

Disclosure: This post about the new Wave Sky is sponsored by Mizuno through Fitfluential. All opinions are my own.

If you have been reading my blog lately, you know I have been struggling with a quad/knee injury that sidelined me for around 8-9 weeks. Not running was no fun, but I knew I needed to be extra careful when I did come back to the sport. When I was asked to try out the new Mizuno Wave Sky, I was pumped as the timing was when I was coming back from my injury, and I couldn’t help but think maybe some new shoes would help my knee to not hurt.

wave sky

Well, I was absolutely right. Not only has my knee not hurt running in these new shoes, but I feel like I am running on a springboard. There is just something about running in new shoes that makes me run taller and faster. However, after five runs in the Wave Sky, that feeling has not gone away with the cloudwave technology in these shoes.

wave sky

This is a neutral shoe, but it has plenty of cushioning, and as someone who prefers a wider toe box, I am happy to same my toes have not gone numb like that have in other shoes. I also really like the new thicker premium sock liner for a better, more comfortable fit.

Wave sky

This shoe comes in three great combos for the women, and you can check them out here. I have a feeling I will wear these out really quickly and will need a new pair, I’m digging the pink and want to get those next time!

QOTD: What do you look for in a new shoe? Have you tried Mizuno running shoes before? What is your favorite color combo on the new wave sky?

Mizuno Wave Rider 20

I am pretty picky about my running shoes (as any runner should be) and I can be pretty hesitant to try something new. I have worn shoes from Mizuno before but it had been awhile. However, I had heard so many great things about the new Mizuno Wave Rider 20, that I was dying to try them out!


My shoes came in a beautiful box wrapped in platinum paper. As soon as I unfolded the tissue and saw the gorgeous coloring, I legit let out an audible “oooooo!” even though I was the only one in the house. Well, besides the dog, and she obviously doesn’t wear shoes. (But she did however think I was unwrapping food).


I immediately laced up and went out for a quick run. Smooth and bouncy would be two words that immediately came to mind. These shoes have a could wave technology that allows for a comfortable ride. It has more cushion in the heel than wave riders of the past, but it didn’t feel bulky at all.


These shoes also have really great mesh that provide breathability and movement. The wave rider 20 is a neutral shoe, and it is 33% more durable and responsive than previous models (wow!) They come in narrow and wide which I think is great, since people don’t all have the same shaped foot! I personally don’t like when my toes feel cramped, but they felt great in these shoes. I have gotten lots of compliments, and am enjoying getting in some miles in my new shoes.

For more information, photos, and colors (cute ones!) check out the wave rider 20’s on Mizuno’s site and give them a try!

QOTD: When buying a running shoe, what do you look for as the most important feature?

This post was sponsored by Mizuno, however all opinions are my own.

Mizuno Wave Rider 18 Review

This post is sponsored by Mizuno and Fitfluential, however all opinions are my own.

I am pretty picky about my running shoes. I have tried a lot of different brands and models, but only a few actually “stick” with me long term. Mizuno is one of very few brands I have bought multiple pair of shoes from because they do ok with my oh so picky feet. I was really excited to try the new Wave Rider 18’s, and went for a walk the first day I got them.

mizuno wave rider

The colors are really cool, and not something you typically see.The official colors are Black/Silver/Florida Keys (Who else loves really unique color names?)

The shoe weights 7.8 oz with a 12 mm drop and provides a stable ride for an everyday running shoe. It is a neutral shoe, which means it can work for a wide range of runners. The Wave Rider 18 has a good blend of guidance and flexibility.


Typically when a shoe has a bit of guidance and support, they are really heavy and clunky, but that’s not the case here. The Wave technology is really responsive and has just enough cushion for logging some serious miles.

This shoe retails for a reasonable $119.99, and comes in men’s and women’s styles.


I found the Wave Rider 18 to be true to size. I have high arches and require a large toebox, so I did find the front area a bit more snug than other models, but it would be fine for most people (I have morton’s neuroma so need the extra wiggle room”).

If you would like more information be sure to visit Mizuno’s website, or follow along with #WaveRider18

QOTD: Do you run in a neutral or stability shoe? What do you look for in a running shoe? Are colors important?

Running Shoe Woes


Oy. Back to square one. I seem to have a slight issue finding shoes to run in. No, I am not here asking for what kind I should run in, I know everyone has a unique foot and should be fitted at a running store, and I have done this twice. I seem to be a special case because of my foot injury and it is driving me batty not being able to figure this out!

I started out 2012 in Newtons.


I LOVE these shoes. I had no issues in them, ran a half marathon PR in them, and they were super comfortable. But then, in June, I started to have foot pain which I went to the doctor for. At the time I didn’t consider the shoe itself as being the problem, and thought it was just me. However, my doctor told me I did need a more supportive shoe since I have a very high arch and pronate badly. It just so happened that Mizuno had sent me a free pair of shoes, and I used their awesome website to help me figure out which shoe was for me.  I ended up with the Wave Inspire which was hopefully going to help.


I ran a few shorter distances in them, and really liked them until i got up to 8-10 miles, and I started experiencing hip pain. I have heard some people say these shoes may have TOO much support wich could be causing this pain. So, just as a test, I ran a long run in my old Newtons and had no hip pain…but my foot hurt, bad. Of course that’s when it hit me that these shoes were obviously contributing to my foot pain, but my Mizuno’s were making my hips hurt. So for race day I had to decide, hip pain or foot pain.

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I went with the hip pain because the foot pain is so much more of an unknown, and I didn’t want to “upset” it, while I know the hip pain is just tightness associated with my IT bands. As I mentioned in my race recap, I DID end up with a bit of foot pain during my race, and slight hip pain (but not too bad, however I was on Tylenol) and I thought I was in the clear.

Then, I took my shoes off. I decided not to take a picture because it was gross. Both socks were soaked with blood. Ew. I took them off and found the source, both of my 4th toes were very bloody, on both feet. Well, I guess that means I won’t be wearing my Mizuno’s on long runs anymore. Sad. Luckily, I brought my Altra’s with me on the trip, and wore those around in the parks and had no pain. See, with Morton’s Neuroma, it’s better to wear shoes that let your toes spread out, and Altras have an awesome wide toe box.


Me and hubby in our Altra’s in Disneyland

My “issue’ with Altra is three fold. (The meaning of the box is three fold—FRIENDS anyone? 1.) They give me blisters on my heel 2.) They are a zero drop shoe, which I am not used to wearing, and don’t know if I will be ready to race in them in a month. I ran three miles in them the other day and my shins and calves were on fire. 3.) I don’t know if the zero drop gives my arch enough support.

I thought about wearing my custom orthotics inside my Altra’s to see if that helps but have yet to try it out, I may do that today. I would really really love to find a shoe that works for me and my crazy body!

QOTD: Have you ever had a problem finding the right running shoe, or any workout shoe?

*Please keep in mind I love all three of these shoe brands and am not knocking their shoes, they work wonders for a LOT of people, and encourage you to get fitted and don’t shy away from these brands!

Brilliant Run


Good morning! Catching up from the weekend?

Friday Favorites: Ancient Grains  <——- Giveaway!

RWS Features #35

Weekly Recap

I have been reading all over the internet about the Mizuno mezamashii run project. So I so stoked when I found out I would be getting a new and shiny pair of running shoes in the mail! In case you aren’t familiar you should go check out the Mizuno website.

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Mezamashii means “brilliant” or “eye opening”  and is Mizuno’s genius way of marketing their shoes. Instead of spending millions of dollars on advertising, why not put running shoes in our hands and let us do the work.

I was sent the invitation to join, and I immediately went to the website, filled in my special code, an was brought to a page where I answered some deep and thorough questions about my feet, gate, stride, etc. to be sure I got the right pair of shoes for me. I was excited about this because I was going to buy new (more supportive) shoes anyway to see if it helped my feet, so it was perfect timing!

I ended up getting the Wave Inspire’s, and although I haven’t run in them yet, I have walked around in them and am loving them! I think the stability is just what I need. Also, I love brightly colored shoes, these babies were right up my alley.

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Be sure to go to the website and sign up for your change to win your own shoes and receive special offers from Mizuno.


Be sure to enter my Cascadian Farm giveaway!

QOTD: What does a brilliant run mean to you? Have one lately?