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.

ASICS GEL-Electro33 Review

I was contacted my ASICS recently to try out their new GEL-Electro33 shoes. Since my feet are way swollen and I can barely fit into any of my other running shoes comfortably, I thought it was a great opportunity to give it a shot since ASICS shoes typically have more room for my foot in the forefoot/toebox area anyway.

asics gelelectro

The first thing I noticed about these shoes were the three fun colors you can choose from. Of course, there are more important things when choosing a running shoe than colors, but it didn’t hurt that I was drawn to these so much! The purple and yellow immediately reminded me of LSU colors (go Tigers!) so I knew I had to get them.



This shoe is one of the first lightweight, flexible shoes with pronation support, along with several new features to improve your running experience.

Anatomically correct deep flex grooves have been aligned to the joints of the foot. This innovative construction enables the shoe to recognize, adapt, and respond to the athlete’s exact load and positional change from first impact to toe-off.

ASICS lightest midsole compound has been reengineered to reduce weight while providing enhanced cushioning and exceptional durability. The use of seamless materials reduces the potential for irritation and friction caused by traditional stitches and seams.


My thoughts:

This shoe is definitely lighter than the ASICS I am used to wearing, but it still offers stability and support that I need as a pronator. It did take me a couple of runs to figure out how to best tie the laces to fit my specific foot (at first they were too loose and my heel slipped causing rubbing, but I figured it out and also changed my socks).

I always shy away from more minimal shoes because I need arch and forefoot support, but this shoe gave me that without being clunky, which is a huge plus! I felt light on my feet in them without sacrificing comfort. If you are a pronator who likes support but are nervous about trying a more natural feeling shoe, I think this option is a great “stepping stone” to see how you transition into a lighter shoe. I recommend it!

Be sure to follow ASICS on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for updates on new products. Also, be sure to check out their full line of running shoes in amazing colors and designs!

QOTD: Do you need support and are afraid to try a lighter shoe? Do you pronate?

Disclosure: ASICS sent me this product to test and review, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Saucony Virrata Review

I have an obsession with shoes. Not your typical high heels and boots obsession (although those are nice too!) I’m talking running shoes. You should see all the pairs I own right now. It’s almost embarrassing. The thing about it though, is I am also PICKY about my shoes. I may own a lot of pairs, but most of them end up being cross training shoes. There are only a few I will actually RUN in. From the moment I put on my new Virrata’s from Saucony, I knew these were going to be “running shoes.” I was actually out of town when they came in mail. My husband texted me a photo of them and I instantly told him to put them in his suitcase and bring them with him! (He was meeting me a couple days later).



The Virrata is Saucony’s lightest and most flexible training shoe. This shoe is super light (6 ounces!) Amazingly flexible,  but also cushioned to protect you from the road.  This shoe has a 0mm heel drop, and is very breathable and quick drying.

So all of that stuff is of course great to know (and important!) But let’s talk about these cool colors. I LOVE brightly colored running shoes. Who says you have to look boring when you are running? I would definitely call these shoes a “touch of sass” to add to your running gear.


I have not been running in zero drop shoes, so I wanted to make sure I safety transitioned. I started out just walking around in them, and then took them on a two mile run. Not going to lie, my calves were very sore after and during the run, but it got much better with each run. Now I can run three miles in them with no tightness or soreness.


Something I really love about these shoes is how I can “feel the road” underneath me when I am running, while still having some cushion. I have very high arches and I overpronate, so I never wanted to go into barefoot running, so the virrata is the perfect mix of flexibility and cushion for this girl. My feet feel so light and like I really am flying, it’s a great speed shoe for sure.


I haven’t taken them on anything longer than 3 miles yet, but I am hoping to build up my mileage in them, but I can definitely attest to the fact that they are an amazing short distance shoe! If you are looking for something with a 0mm drop but don’t want to go totally minimalist, this is the shoe for you.

Be sure to follow the hashtags #Virrata and #FindYourStrong on Twitter to hear more about these shoes.


Disclosure: I was provided this product for review from Fitfluential and Saucony. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

QOTD: Have you ever run in zero drop shoes? What are your thoughts on such a light flexible shoe?

Shoe Woes Update: Pink Power


Y’all, I am so excited. My new ASICS came in Tuesday and I was able to take them out for a spin on Wednesday. It was just a quick three miles, but that’s ok. Thanks for all your help with my shoe woes one and two posts.  Check out how it went in the vlog below, then scroll down to see my sweet new shoes. I am in love!

Don’t forget you can subscribe to my YouTube Channel!

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Aren’t they obnoxiously bright? Love them!

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Talk about #SweatPink! I wore lots of pink on my run to match my new shoes. Hey, I’m “running with sass” for a reason!

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Here is the full running outfit I wore:

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QOTD: If you could design a pair of running shoes what colors would they be?

Shoe Woes Update and Childhood Sports Ramblings


Thank you to everyone who gave advice and sympathy yesterday on my blog post. Today I decided to vlog with a follow up, as well as chat about playing childhood sports and ask YOU a question at the end. (Cute puppy makes an appearance too. She’s very very sneaky!)

Hope that helps further explain my running shoe situation and what I plan to do/try next!

QOTD: Did you play sports as a child, and if so do you still participate in those or have you moved on to a different fitness activity?

Want to win a $1,000 spa finder giftcard? Check out this post to enter!

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?

Friday Favorites: Newtons


Since I was cursed with a stress fracture in my foot back in November, I have been doing a lot of research of running shoes. I knew I had poor form due to scoliosis and rotated hips, and that I was a heel striker. I am also fairly confident that these variables had something to do with my stress fracture (on top of running three half marathons in 22 days.).

I knew a good bit about Newtons since Running Skirts sells them, but I did some more digging and decided these were exactly what I needed to slowly train myself to run properly. Under doctors orders, I was to gradually add back my mileage, so the timing was perfect since you are supposed to gradually add mileage in the Newtons because of the low heel drop.


Huh? Ok, let me back up. Regular running shoes have a cushioned heel. When you run, your calf cannot fully extend in them. they push you forward then you arch your back (typically) to compensate. Newtons have a much much lower drop so it is more comparable to barefoot running, but with the sole of a regular shoe. They also have lugs on the forefoot that stick out further than the rest of the shoe that practically force you to run more on your forefoot.


Because my calves can now fully extend, I have been experiencing some (normal) soreness but it has gotten better. I have run 4.5 miles as my longest run in my Newtons and will up the mileage each week until I feel comfortable racing in them. So far, I really like them and while I have to concentrate to run properly, I can already tell a difference in my form. I don’t feel as if I have to put as much effort into each stride to get the same result (pace).


You can purchase Newton’s through the Running Skirts store. They have racing, stability, and trail shoes in a variety of colors and styles. Be sure to get on Running Skirts mailing list so you can be alerted when new arrivals come in and when sales are going on!


QOTD: If you could design your own running shoe, what colors would it be?

*Enter my Ultra Immune giveaway!