Running. A body in motion. A mechanism of terrestrial locomotion with a type of gait that allows one to become aerial, albeit for a fraction of a second, with energy stores derived from springy tendons and elastic muscles. The world’s most accessible sport with the most expensive shoes, lots of health benefits, and just as many injuries if not done right. We all love it and we all practice it in some way, shape, or form. Some of us are naturally good at it, and some of us are perpetual learners trying to improve. We all started somewhere and, at one point or another, welcomed advice from those more experienced around us. Let’s hear the Steeps’ version of the running tips given to beginner runners, from the most serious to the tongue-in-cheek. Enjoy!

After filling a hydration bladder, flip it over and draw any remaining air out by using the hose, until all the air is gone, and only water left in the bladder. That way, you don’t get the sloshing sound while running.


Don’t run in cotton clothing. It has many shortcomings. Instead, run in lightweight performance fabric, usually 100% polyester. It’s lighter than cotton, dries quicker, and doesn’t chafe.


It’s ok to get your new shoes dirty.


It’s ok to walk and take breaks on road or trail.


No matter your ability or experience always start a race with the front pack. Even if you don’t podium, you’ll be in the promo photo for next year. A picture is worth a 1000 DNFs! 😉


Take the time to swing by Charm City Run [our local running store and a Friend of FSRC] and meet with their knowledgeable staff for shoe advice. Getting the right pair of running shoes for the road or trails is essential for happy feet!


Don’t forget to pack beer for when you are done with your trail run.


Never make race decisions on an empty stomach or a hill.


Race Tips:

1. Visualize. Have you tried visualizing toeing the starting line? How about crossing the finish line? Try it! Imagine yourself running, strong and efficient, imagine crossing that finish line with a big smile on your face. Stand in front of the mirror and practice that smile! 
2. Have clear and realistic expectations. What expectations have you set for yourself? Have you been meeting them during training? If not, adjust and move on.
3. Control the controllable. Can you control the weather? No. Can you control your feelings and reaction towards rainy/cold/hot weather? Yes. Don’t worry about the things that might/can/will go wrong. Worry about how you will react and have a plan on how to cheer yourself up and/or adjust appropriately and look at the bright side. Always look at the bright side. Don’t let yourself slide into the rabbit hole of worry and doom. 
4. Trust your training. You trained hard and you stayed consistent, and now it’s time to reap the fruits of your labor. You have practiced this so many times during your training. You may have run a few races as tune-ups. This is just another race. You’ve got this. Can’t get over the stress? 
5. Disassociation always works. Imagine yourself in training. What did you look like at the beginning, during, and at the end of one of your strongest training runs? Remember that feeling. Put the same smile on your face. It’s just another training run. Yes, lying tricks your brain. Be cunning. 
5. Mantras and positive self-talk. Do you have a favorite mantra or a saying that speaks to you and gives you a mental boost? Write it down. Write it with a Sharpie on your forearm or on the back of your hand. You’ve got this! You can do hard things! Talking to yourself in third person also helps. Oksana is strong! Oksana is fast! Oksana can do hard things! Oksana will have fun today, no matter what! 🙂 

Runners crossing the finish line of a marathon.

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