What Are You Doing To Help New Runners?

Posted by Filed Under: Running Blogs

Photo Credit: Mike Baird's Flickr Photostream

Photo Credit: Mike Baird's Flickr Photostream

There are some moments that really make blogging worth it. I just now had such a moment.

Katie from ‘Must Run’ excitedly reported on how she’s gone from one to fourty minutes of continuous running in just the last three months. How did Katie get to this wonderful point in her running career? By following the little table I made as part of my Top 10 Questions Asked by Beginner Runners post!

Thank you Katie for reminding me why I began blogging – to help newbie runners. What are you doing to help newbies learn how to start running?

Do you know of another newbie runner success story? Please let me know in the comments so I can get the word out!

About Mark Iocchelli

Also known as the "Running Blogfather", I'm a 40-something marathoner who has beaten stress fractures and terrible shin splints. Now I'm running double the mileage with no pain - and I'm getting faster. I love to talk about running form and Arthur Lydiard. I also enjoy taking photographs, have a beautiful (and very patient!) wife, and am the proud father of two crazy kids. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments about the site.

  1. Blaine Moore on June 19th at 11:51 am

    I provide a weekly group training session at a local running shoe store along w/a training guide for the week with workouts at different levels of fitness, and there are 3 other days during the week that people can get together to run from the group.

    That, and I do the whole blogging and email newsletter thing too. 😀
    .-= Blaine Moore´s last blog ..2009 Weekly Back Cove Race Series » Week 6 =-.

  2. Mark Iocchelli on June 19th at 12:00 pm

    @ Blaine: Nice!

  3. Susan Carter Morgan on June 19th at 3:05 pm

    Hey Mark,
    Your post popped up in my reader, and I had to respond. YOU got this runner started 5 years ago, and I wanted you to know she is still running:)
    I often think back to Complete Running when there were, what, 40 of us? And how that group and members who joined after motivated and inspired me. My last half was two years ago, but I did run a 5K race over Memorial Day weekend. Thanks for all you did and do to help new runners! You’re the best!!

  4. Brian Peabody on June 20th at 10:41 am

    Though the question was “what do I do for new runners?”, it omits the fact that working with newbies seems to give back to me every bit as much as I give them! I serve as a mentor for the local track club’s programs that take new and returning runners through running their first 10K or half-marathon. Part of that work is immediately visible in the weekly or twice-weekly runs with the novices, and part of it is not: researching routes, printing up maps, putting out traffic cones and water stations. I’ve drafted friends and family into helping staff races. I send encouraging emails and IMs to those I mentor.

    The payoff comes in sharing my addiction with people eager to share that experience (and sparing my non-running friends the details they have no interest in.) Researching some of the questions that newbies ask have in turn made me a better runner — or at least a better informed one.

  5. Ms.V on June 20th at 12:17 pm

    On my weblog, you’ll see the story of Sophia, a 14 year old, 5’2″, 230 pound teen that I started with Couch to 5K this week. She is on Day 2, and she is over the moon. We do day 3 tomorrow.

    She helps me, as much as I help her.

    Fleet feet in Stockton rocked it. I brought her in there, and the manager (who I really like), took time out of his managing stuff in the back, to come out and personally work with her. He was fantastic.

    Ms. V.

  6. Jon (was) in Michigan on June 21st at 12:22 pm

    I’m pacing my running buddy in her first marathon.
    .-= Jon (was) in Michigan´s last blog ..My wee little Irish race =-.

  7. Dawn - Pink Chick on June 21st at 6:07 pm

    I’ve taught “Learn to Run” and “5k” clinics. As well I do motivation talks for other running clinics and I’m currently pacing a group of newbies. I remember what it was like when I got back into running as an adult so I give back as much as I can be it motivating others or volunteering at a race.

  8. fitness entertainment on June 29th at 3:16 pm

    I’m a new runner and I’ve had a running friend kind of “guide” me along the way! Of course I can’t keep up on the distance but I’m getting there, I’ve started bringing other new runners with me and it really helps to grow together!

  9. on July 14th at 5:59 am

    I’ve started up a website where I hope to encourage people to get out and run. Im a passionate runner and a average guy just learning about things like interval training and nutrition etc. I’ve been taking people I know who have never run before out and getting them up to 10k and some have even competed. Im just learning myself (about a 1+ years in) and Im hoping to take people on the journey with me.

    Running is such a social sport and where I live I think its seriously neglected and people are more interested in hitting the gym, taking protein supplements unfortunately. Its motivated me to document as I learn in hope others will join in or spread my enthusiasm. I’d welcome anybodys advice if there are any tips they can offer me in my training or if there are topics they would like to suggest?

    This is not a shameless plug by the way, Im a regular reader at and I learn quite a bit from this site. Its helped sort out some breathing issues recently and really find its suited toward people like me unlike some other sites where articles are influenced by product placement.

    Theres my 5c, i just hope I can help and encourage runners new or old and make some friends along the way =D

    Thanks, 6amrunner
    .-=´s last blog ..Dublin Race Series 2009 =-.

  10. Laura on July 30th at 5:02 am

    A friend of mine used to smoke and came down with pneumonia (she quite nearly died). She was able to recover, but reported to me that no one at the hospital told her to quit smoking. On her own she started a walk-to-run program and has gotten up to 4.5 miles. I check on her weekly and ask about her running. I applaud her efforts and achievements when many of her family members don’t understand how important they are. We just talk running a lot and I think it helps her to keep going. She’s an inspiration to me.
    .-= Laura´s last blog ..The Art of Planning: The Beginning of the Countdown! =-.

  11. on August 11th at 3:42 am

    What Are You Doing To Help New Runners?…

    Here are som inspiring stories about people helping new runners out. The article just got one story but read the comments and you will see many more….

  12. julia on August 12th at 4:52 am

    just started running 10 weeks ago,need all the help i can get!!!! love this
    .-= julia´s last blog .. =-.

  13. Janice @ Mom On The Run on October 15th at 6:15 pm

    I coached a 10K and a 1/2 marathon clinic at my former place of employment. Seeing how excited they were at discovering what their bodies could do was inspiring – I forgot what that felt like.
    .-= Janice @ Mom On The Run´s last blog ..How To Use Social Networking to Boost Your Reputation =-.

  14. Branden @ FaithFitnessFinance on October 20th at 10:29 am

    That’s awesome! I’m the head coach for cross country and track and field at the high school where I teach. It often feels like all I do is work with new runners. The benefits are awesome! Sure, some don’t have the motivation or drive to get over the initial slump, but many are able to go from never having run before to running 40+ miles per week in just 2 or 3 months!
    .-= Branden @ FaithFitnessFinance´s last blog ..Back and Biceps =-.

  15. mugs on December 17th at 8:10 am

    I need all the help I can get
    .-= mugs´s last blog ..Wake Up With Me =-.

  16. Brian Ouellette on January 2nd at 8:14 pm

    In 2010, we’re recreating how we educate new runner’s (and existing ones) on the need to carry ID “everytime” you leave the house & continuing to provide runner’s a tool in the Shoewallet that provides an easy way to do so (Free ID card included). To all the runner’s out there…Suggestions on spreading the word here?

    Why is this important? The CDC, National Center of Health Statistics, reports that over 1,000,000 people a year, in the US alone, enter the ER either unconscious or are otherwise unable to provide any information, such as:

    -Who they are
    -Who to contact
    -Allergies, medications
    -Medical conditions

    These are significant stats the impact runners ( Make sense? So to answer the question, what are we doing to help new runners (an existing); it’s our goal to drop that 1,000,000 number down to 0. Suggestions on working with us to do this? Shoot us a note. Thanks! Brian Ouellette/Founder

    PS You can see CNN’s Fitness Safety feature on us here,

  17. Jason on January 25th at 10:49 pm

    Ok so I need some help/advice. I am not a runner at all so what ever you can help me with would be great. I have to be able to run 1.5 miles within 14mins. Probably sounds easy to everyone but I get out of breath and my shins start to hurt, is there a way (smart way) to train my body?

    Thank you.

  18. Wendy on March 12th at 12:10 am

    I find just going out with newbie runners (like my hubby) motivates them enough. Hubby doesn’t want to join a club until he can run 5 miles without looking like he is going to die, but he doesn’t want to run by himself either.

    So I take him out, and try not to look as though I’m not trying too hard – he’s got to 3.5 miles so far, which is great seeing as he couldn’t get to the end of the street at xmas!!
    .-= Wendy´s last undefined ..Response cached until Sat 13 @ 6:41 GMT (Refreshes in 23.56 Hours) =-.

  19. Alex on March 16th at 3:37 am

    You ask what I’m doing for new runners. Well I organise several sessions which cover all abilities. For the complete newbies I have sessions in which I try to put the emphasis on “fun”. This way they don’t seem to notice just how far they run or the amount of effort they put in.

    And boy do they improve. I’ve found though to prove this to most of them I need to make some measurements of their activities when they begin and then at regular intervals. This always surprises them.

    So what does this do for me? I gain a great deal of satisfaction when I see the enthusiasm and also the self confidence grow.
    .-= Alex´s last undefined ..If you register your site for free at =-.

  20. Aaron Bates on April 2nd at 7:07 am

    My wife has been a tough one to inspire to run. Some people are literally embarrassed by the way they perform on day 1. If they’re not pros after day 1 they want to stop.

    D. Bates

  21. Healthy Eating Recipe on April 8th at 10:16 am

    I find that having a nice reward after a run like a healthy breakfast spread can motivate my friends to run. My friends treat running as an invitation to breakfast.
    .-= Healthy Eating Recipe´s last blog ..Quick Lemony Couscous =-.

  22. Scott on April 8th at 8:43 pm

    It’s amazing how far I’ve come along. As a newbie who wanted to lose weight, I started running a short hill in a secluded area of my subdivision…then graduated to my half mile block. I found that when I pushed myself a little, stamina came naturally and now suddenly I can do the two mile block around my neighborhood! Best part is…I feel incredible all day and have lost upwards of 30 pounds. The key for me has been, be humble and start slowly. The rest will fall into place and you will succeed!

  23. slorunnermom on April 9th at 6:11 am

    I remember so greatly how hard beginning running was for me. I blog about it all the time to try to help encourage other people who want to run but think they won’t be “fast” enough. Speed is irrelevant to me. We all cross the same finish line. One of my closest friends wanted to run a half-marathon but was scared as she didn’t think she could even run a 5k. In December she started training with me and now she is ready for her first half-marathon on May 1st. Being with her on her journey has been one of the best experiences in my life.

  24. hannah on April 13th at 5:00 am

    I’m a fan of running… wow, I just love this site. I enjoyed browsing through your website, and I’ll be checking this regularly..
    Keep it up! 🙂
    Omaha heating

  25. Motorcycle Parts on June 17th at 12:32 pm

    Running is a great sport that can be a lifetime activity and help strenghen the health and lives of people who participate. Encourage someone to start up or offer to go running with them and give them pointers along the way.

  26. Runners Passion on June 21st at 1:04 pm

    I recently started my new blog Runners Passion to try to help new and more experienced runners make progress towards there running goals. I’m hoping for it to be a site where new runners can find information for beginners but also the experienced runners may find motivation to help them along the way as well.
    .-= Runners Passion´s last blog ..Running Balance =-.

  27. Paloma on July 1st at 12:22 pm

    Its very important to support new runners. I was very lucky to have a great team of running friends who supported me and my growth when I started to run regularly. Having support is vital in keeping your motivation and focus up!

  28. search jobs on July 2nd at 5:56 am

    I was very encouraged to find this site. I wanted to thank you for this special read. I definitely savored every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.
    .-= search jobs´s last blog ..Charles Schwab – Austin- TX – Software Application Engineer =-.

  29. Online zaslužek on July 11th at 9:51 am

    I love this blog, always something new …
    .-= Online zaslužek´s last blog ..Prva objava =-.

  30. George on July 15th at 6:10 pm

    Hi, great to see so many people choosing to lead healthy life styles. I am a novice runner with little to none running experience, but I try. I woke up one mornig last October, bearly being able to breathe, Taking 2 different puffers to combat a severe case of bronchitis. My lifestyle choices caught up with me and I looked at myself in the mirror and realized it was time for change. I have since quit smoking, lost 28lbs and have been running for 6 months. To anyone that reads this, there is hope for change, believe it and achieve it.

  31. Joanna Sayers on July 25th at 6:48 am

    I’m really impressed with your site – great content and lots of things to inspire. I did Triathlon training a while ago (well, a lifetime ago pre marriage and kids) and then did nothing for over 10 years. I took up running and can now proudly say I’m a Marathon Runner!!! I still feel like a newbie though! I hope that what I talk about on my blog helps to inspire people too.

    All the best,

  32. alexander on August 1st at 5:52 am

    Thanks for the nice tips you show us here. I would like to run about one hour. and this will surely help me …

  33. zbsports on August 5th at 7:02 pm

    I remember my first time in running world…my friend encourage me and boost my spirit to join this sports…and she is definitely a great trainer…:D

  34. R U Cereal? on August 18th at 6:34 pm

    I always hated running, really, really hated it. But about 6 years ago I found some friends who would run after a lift session at the gym. The first few times I went with them, I thought I was going to just die, puke, or both. But it got easier. I worked up to an easy 6 miles, then 8, 10, but something terrible happened – I ran out of running buddies! I slowly let it go. Fast forward 6 years – a knee surgery, a child, and just a week ago I finished my first triathlon. During my tri, I remembered how much I loved running so I signed up for a 13.1 mi this fall and I can’t wait to get back in shape!!!

  35. Gilly on September 20th at 8:15 pm

    I have a blog where I have lots of information on learning to run and motivation.
    I love writing and finding out great information to keep beginners and runners running forever!
    .-= Gilly ´s last blog ..Beginner Runner Trained for a Marathon =-.