From L.A. with Love - our advice to new runners everywhere
I canvassed my Los Angeles running community for their advice to people starting out on their running journey. They obliged exactly how I knew they would - with amazing words of encouragement.
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I sent text messages, I posted on Threads, I sent emails, I sent Instagram DMs. If Strava had their messaging service a month ago, I probably would’ve used that, but I got 102 responses. It was a poetic 101, but Ray from Compton Run Club completed the survey in the nick of time.
There are tips from run club organizers, participants, and friends from across Los Angeles - from Long Beach to Woodland Hills, and from Pasadena to Whittier, and everything in between. We’ve got advice from seasoned marathoners and 100-mile trail specialists to a former Olympic athlete (really!).
Wherever you are in the world, if you’re starting your running journey, these are some tips from some of the absolute best in the running business to help you along your way.
The most common advice? GO SLOW. It’s easy to push yourself too hard when you’re starting out with your new running practice. You might try to re-capture the carefree running of your youth, but your body is different now. Listen to your body and meet yourself where you’re at.
Here’s a tip direct from the organizer of one of the coolest run clubs in Los Angeles? Can you tell Howie’s a writer on the side?
Howie Goldklang - Silver Lake Track Club [IG]
“Find your rhythm, breathe, and experience your surroundings in a whole new way. See sunrise or sunset light flicker across your eyes. Smell the foamy sea or fresh cooking around the streets or dampness of nature on trails as you make your way. Taste the salt from your work and sweat. Start slow and observe everything about you but your pace. ”
Another big piece of advice is to PERSEVERE and make running your new ritual - something you can rely on that becomes second nature as part of your routine.
A big part of Gracee’s mission is to provide a space for women - especially new mothers - to do something great for their body. Here’s her wisdom:
Gracee Weinrieb - Cafe Jam Run Club [IG]
“A new runner will get frustrated, unmotivated, and go through an emotional roller coaster. Remember why you started. DO NOT GIVE UP!”
Another important recurring piece of advice is to ENJOY YOURSELF. You’re much more likely to continue doing something that you like doing! We love it. You can too.
Kate has put together one of the most complete guides to a city’s running in the world. She knows what she’s talking about.
Kate Olson - L.A. Running Connoisseur [IG]
“Join a club, find new places to explore, run to coffee or tacos, get out there with friends. Figure out how to turn running into a habit and hobby you enjoy!”
The fact that 23% of respondents were run club organizers - the heart and soul of this community - says a lot. Finding your COMMUNITY can be key, so let’s go back to the 102nd respondent, who is doing great things to normalize running and walking in a neighborhood of L.A. that is traditionally underserved in terms of wellness and fitness.
Ray Harvey - Compton Run Club [IG]
'“Running is good by yourself but amazing with a community. Find them, and enjoy the journey.”
It can, of course, feel a little overwhelming or intimidating to be in a situation with dozens of new people who you might perceive to be ‘better’ than you, but it’s important to remember that every single runner started where you are now. They certainly remember it, so always ask for HELP. You’ll get plenty.
Ask L.A. native, Dr. Jess Mena - a Doctor of Physical Therapy who has been running marathons since she was 12 years old!
Dr. Jess Mena - Tempo Training Run Club [IG]
“Don’t be afraid to reach out for help or advice! Most of us wish we would have reached out more. As intimidating as it may feel to connect, I promise you, you will be welcomed with open arms and kindly bombarded with help!”
It’s big step to take those first steps. If you’re here and reading this, you’re putting in more work than most. I think it’s incredibly important to acknowledge that.
Top ways to make Running Suck less according to the L.A. running community:
Listen to your body and don’t go too fast
Find a community to run with and talk to
Find your way to enjoy your running practice
Get fitted for the correct shoes
Don’t compare yourself to others
When it gets tough, keep going
Make sure to rest and refuel your body
And make sure you’re following Running Sucks on IG as well!
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