5 Things About Running that Bewilder Beginners


Meg has written 31 posts on Salty Running.

I'm a married, step-mother, the 4th of 5 kids. I'm livin' the dream as a manager in retail, putting that English degree to great use. Oh, and I'm sarcastic.

Friday 5My recent setback has me realizing just how much running improved my mental state and energy levels.  I don’t know that I love running just yet, but I certainly know I need it. Still, sometimes I think, “Whoa!  What have I gotten myself into with joining a running blog?”

As a newbie to the sport, I’m still trying to get to running for 10 consecutive minutes and I’m blogging on the same site with hardcore running chicks!  How does that happen? And as a beginner it’s natural to feel a little lost among all this jargon and mileage, so here are my Top 5 reasons to ask: “What’chu talkin’ ’bout, Salties?”

1. Ultrarunning.  

What’s an ultrarunner? Sounds like a great name for a band… img via www.gameguru.in

Really!?  This is an actual thing that people actually do?  When I started my beginner running program, I was still trying to wrap my head around the idea of people WANTING to run 26.2 miles–heck, 13.1 was intimidating to me.  Then, I get involved with this blog and find out people actually train to run 100 miles!!!  YIKES!  All you ultrarunners out there, I think you are amazing in your level of strength and commitment, but maybe a bit crazy, too!


2.  Injuries. 

Before I started running I was never aware of Active Release Technique and just slightly aware of Plantar Fasciitis.  Reading all the injury posts and seeing Pepper’s very sexy boot, I am once again impressed by the strength and commitment of women who run.   From what I read about it all, the pain must be wicked.  It makes me bit scared of what I may be getting myself into!


3. Fashion/Gear.

There are so many gadgets and gizmos! It’s a little overwhelming! img via LYNRunners.blogspot.com

I have some Old Navy running shorts & tank tops, some mesh Reebok shorts I bought at a close-out store, sport bras from Target, a pile of t-shirts, and some Adidas ankle socks.  My shoes are blue & white Nike+, but I couldn’t give you more information about them unless I go get them out of the closet.  I got the shoes because they have the little thingy that transmits to my iPod to keep track of things I don’t know how to track.  The rest of the Salties are experienced runners who know about and prefer all different styles and brands.  I don’t see myself wearing boy shorts or bunz since I don’t even wear my hardly-used-swimsuit without swim shorts.  Maybe there are shoes better suited to my feet and my running style, but right now, I don’t know what to look for.


4. Minimalist Running.

 I didn’t know what Minimalist Running was.  If you would have asked me what it was, I would have said that it was a classification for people who run the least.  Before I started my beginner program, I would have called myself a minimalist runner because a ran the minimum amount…not running at all.

So, this isn’t what is meant by “Minimalist Runner?” Image from shuchitavatsalsworld.blogspot.com

Then I find out that people run in sandals or even in bare feet. HUH?  Okay, I knew about barefoot runners from seeing segments during the summer Olympics about marathoners from various countries.  In my ignorance, I figured running without shoes had more to do with where one fell on the economic ladder.  I think at my current weight I need more support for my feet to survive a run!


5. Terminology.

Yes, pegged jeans for that perfect taper. img via shopping.aol.com

  I confess!  There is a term that, even though I’ve read what it means and I think I understand it, I still turn into a 12 year old boy when I read/hear it.  Fartlek. (AHHHH!!!)  I’m sorry!  All that comes to mind is “fart” and “lick” and all the things my brothers would probably say about that!

Then there is “taper.”  If I’m not thinking about candles, 1980’s fashion comes to mind.  I remember my acid washed or stone washed jeans that HAD to be tight at the ankle.  I now have another definition for taper thanks to this blog.


I’m sure I’ll learn more about all this stuff eventually, but for now color me mystified!  I’ll be happy just to get back on my feet and out the door!

Anything bewilder you about this crazy sport?

4 Responses to “5 Things About Running that Bewilder Beginners”

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  1. Barb says:

    I’ll admit, I had to look up “tapering,” since it wasn’t explained here and I hadn’t actually heard the term before (though I practice it prior to big races). When training for my first half marathon, I ended up using the basic concept of the Fartlek technique, though again at the time I didn’t know that’s what I was doing, I had come up with the general idea on my own – probably remnants from my years in high school track – then realized that it was an actual training technique (more complicated, though).

    But it is intimidating when you first get into the running world, for most seasoned runners it’s not as simple as throwing on shoes and running out the door! It helps to do a little research on training techniques and styles and plans when you’re starting out, find something that works for you.

    For you first half marathoners, I highly recommend this training schedule: http://running.about.com/od/racetraining/a/basichalf.htm. I’ve used it for 3 years now, and it works wonderfully for me!

    Definitions of topics in this article:

  2. Mint says:

    Great post Nutmeg! This is exactly why you are a Salty! There are lots of people just like you who are just getting started running or joining in on the conversations about the fine details of the sport. It is a good reminder to those of us who talk about it all the time to make sure we explain things a little better (I call myself guilty on the taper post without defining what a taper is!). Oh, and I hear you on Fartlek – it always makes me laugh too.

  3. misszippy says:

    Fun post! I guess when you’ve been at it forever and a day, you take these terms for granted. But before you know it, you will too.

    A minimalist runner

  4. Salty Salty says:

    I love this post too! It’s really funny to see what it all looks like from the outside. When you’ve been swimming in this fishbowl for so long everything in it seems completely obvious and ordinary, but when you hear about it from a different vantage point much of it sounds completely insane!

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