Beginning Runner Guide

By Andrew Peddy


The first thing I would suggest for someone who wants to get into running is a good pair of running shoes. Without the right type of shoe, people may increase the risk of running injuries, whether it is injures to the feet, ankles, or knees. Something else to keep in mind is that most good running shoes need to be replaced between 300-400 miles of running. Around this time, I can feel the support fading, and start to get more aches and pains.

I always suggest going to a running store that specializes in finding the right shoe for you. I also suggest not to have a brand in mind but to pick the brand that feels best on your feet. The shoe one runner prefers or the brand one person prefers might not fit best for another runner.

I have listed three nearby stores below that I know will look at arch and the way you step when you run to make suggestions for you. They will typically bring out the right shoe from each brand for you to try. It is also helpful to bring an old pair of running shoes so they can look at the pattern on the soles to see where your foot lands when you run. Once I find a shoe that works well for me I will stick with that same shoe when I replace my previous pair.

367 S Andy Griffith Pkwy
Mt Airy, NC 27030
Phone: (336) 755-2032

RunAbout Sports
1470 South Main St. Ste. 100
Blacksburg, VA 24060
Phone: (540) 552-9339

Fleet Feet – Winston-Salem
278 Harvey St.
Winston-Salem, NC 27103
Phone: (336) 722-8477

Fleet Feet – Roanoke, VA
4347 Franklin Rd
Roanoke, VA 24018
Phone: (540) 777-1166

Online Ordering Recommendation

Picking Up the Pace

The second thing I think is important for runners is not increasing their mileage too quickly or changing their pace too quickly. There is a rule that even very experienced runners stick to, which is the 10% rule. It is suggested to only increase weekly mileage by 10%. So if you run 10 miles one week, run 11 miles the next week. If you run 30 miles one week, run 33 miles the next week. It can cause injuries to increase mileage too quickly, such as going from 15 miles a week to 30 miles a week, or 6 miles a week to 15 miles a week.

For beginning runners, it is important to note that the first month of running is when you’re most vulnerable for injures. During the first month there is an increase of stress on the bones, and the bones begin to weaken. This is the time when stress fractures and shin splints are more likely to occur. After a month the bones begin to strengthen and the risk of these injuries reduces.

Another good way to reduce the risk of running injuries is consistency with running schedule. I once read that even three days without running reduces endurance. I would also suggest to listening to your body if you feel like you have an injury and cutting back/resting when needed. Muscle soreness can be expected but injuries need to be treated cautiously.

Couch to 5K

There is a program called the Couch to 5K program which is supposed to help runners begin slowly and prevent injury.

Running Form

Running form is another thing to note that can help prevent injury. Good posture, a strong core, and stable shoulders can help with running. Below is an educational video about running form.


The last information I want to provide is that most runners use dynamic stretches before their run and static stretches after the run. Dynamic stretches are meant to warm up the muscle and include movement.

A Runner's Guide to Warming Up - Runner's World