How To Start Running Easily (Tips From 5 Inspiring Runners)

by On Feb 5, 2020

No matter where you are, let's start running today.

How To Start Running Easily [Tips From 5 Inspiring Runners)

Are you always procrastinating when to run? Or maybe you are waiting for the best time to start the journey? Starting your running journey does not need any right timing, what you need is a little oomph!

People run for different reason and we are glad to have the opportunity to talk to 10 motivational runners in the running community to understand how they fell in love with running. We are making a two part article series so we don't overwhelm you.

Besides that, they had shared their running techniques and advices, so from there you might get an idea on how to improve your run as well.

We hope you will find their stories inspiring.

How To Start Running For Beginners

Step 1

It is always challenging and difficult in the beginning. Especially to make it as a habit. But here’s the trick: Don’t go all-out, and run for six days in a week if you’ve barely run before.

Sit down, grab your pen, plan a realistic schedule and stick to it. You can start your run with 30 minutes a day, three to five times per week or 10km in 10 days.

Gradually from there, you can build your stamina.

Step 2

As a newbie, it’s crucial to set your running goals on what you want to achieve during the process. Giving a purpose on whether to lose weight, finish that first race, or set a personal best time.

This can make your goals more valuable than running aimlessly. Goals keep you move on through your difficult times in your running journey.

Step 3

Running shoes that is what you need. Make sure you find a perfect pair that makes your feet comfortable and as well as matching up a friction-free pair of shorts, performance socks, and sweat-wicking tops.

Step 4

If you feel pain during your run, do take a break and rest for awhile. It is important to stop to prevent any injuries. When you first explore the running world, do take note of the common injuries in running. Of course, you can avoid these issues by taking some precautions.

First, do not ramp your weekly runs up too quickly. You will get injured easily as your body did not used to the effort before.

Second, do include strength training and stretching. They are the key to achieve strong, pain-free running. Exercises like squats, lunges, glute bridges, and planks are great for strengthening your legs and core. It can help you to form better, run faster and longer during running.

Last but not least, you will need to spend some time in the kitchen. As nutrients it is essential for your body after your run. For example, carbs, protein, fibre, and iron will give you energy, build your muscles, and ensure you to fuel enough.

Step 5

After getting over the difficult times in the beginning. Your routine will start getting easier. Remember to stretch and keep learning throughout your journey.

Do not afraid to seek for help or guidance. Most importantly, enjoy your run in your running journey.

Now let's hear from our runners on how they step out and fall in love with running.

1. Tay Wei Lun, Vince

Bio: 33 year-old Malaysian, Website developer and online marketing consultant

Vince is a simple guy who likes to do video editing and sports. He like outdoor activities because every time after running, it will make him happy and help him to release his stress in a natural way.

Here's How To Start Running In Your Daily Life
Tay Wei Lun

Never give up, nothing is impossible in life.

RS: What inspired you to start running?

Vince: Due to my injury back in the year of 2015, I was told that I can't walk for the rest of my life. At the moment, if I can walk on the ground, it is a simple and happiness for me. Once I recovered, I started to go for hiking and running, because I don't know when I will not be able to walk again.

RS: Since you start running regularly, how do you balance your work and life?

Vince: Actually, running did not interfere with my work and life, I just plan and arrange my time to run. After my run, I feel comfortable and energised during my work.

RS: How do you overcome the hardships when you start to run?

Vince: Your body and your legs will feel sore and extremely uncomfortable at the beginning, but if you persevere, your body will slowly adjust to it and you will become immune to the sore and pain.

Here's How To Start Running In Your Daily Life
Tay Wei Lun

RS: How do you handle the stress and pressure during your training for your first race?

Vince: In my mind, I just want to complete my run within the time set by the organiser, so I will run every day for around 2 to 3km to practice and let my legs get used to it when the race is started.

RS: How long does it take you to train for a race?

Vince: At least two weeks of continuous run everyday.

RS: What is the best advice you had on your running journey?

Vince: Never give up, nothing is impossible and Vince run Vince.

RS: What are the best techniques you had picked up for running?

Vince: Choose the right sport shoes and the pace during running is important. Don't forget to do stretching before running, normally before I go out for a run, I will do stretching at home.

You can follow Boon An on Instagram: @vinceicelun

2. Teo Lian Gek, Cindy

Bio: 39 year-old, Singaporean, Education Officer

Cindy is a mother of 2 kids, age 4 and 9, who is always surrounded by children and teenagers. She teaches Mathematics and Elements of Business Skills in a secondary school. Cindy loves to cook, bake, knit, crochet, doing arts and crafts. She started to get herself active in sports in 2018.

Here's How To Start Running In Your Daily Life
Teo Lian Gek, Cindy

It is always the perseverance that pushes me to complete my races.

RS: What inspired you to start running?

Cindy: I have been always in poor health since born, an asthmatic. Never could I able to do well in the shuttle run during the school NAFA Test every year.

This made me worry that I would not be able to complete the annual school cross country run when I was in Secondary One. Hence, I went to see my family doctor to buy a medical certificate for $10. I was reprimanded by my doctor for taking my asthmatic condition as an excuse.

In the following year (1993), I plucked up the courage to participate in the annual school cross country. Surprisingly, I was able to achieve the 8th position in the lower secondary girls category.

Thereafter, I discovered that I could run long distance and participated in sports meet and cross country. However, with a busy work schedule, I stopped running for almost two decades.

I started running again in 2016, participated in the fun run in the annual school road run, with the aim to motivate my form class to run. It was a tough start as I did not have the stamina to complete a 3km run. I stopped at least twice during the run.

In 2017, I was approached by my colleague to participate in the team relay in our annual school road run. The three other members of the team were fast and strong runners. This made me ponder if I should gear up for some training to pick up running again.

As my girl was only 2 years old then, I decided to put on hold. In 2018, the school started to organise more sports activities for staff and I felt weak when students ran past me during the annual school road run.

As such, I started to pick up more sports in August 2018 to be more active and build up my stamina. Thereafter, I planned my training for running in November, starting from 3km, to 5km to 7km and slowly to 10km with encouragement from friends.

During each run, I realised that perseverance to complete my goal in the distance has to do with my own mindset. It is just like how I always encourage my students not to give up in anything they do, therefore, I reminded myself of my favourite quote “Life Rewards Effort, Not Excuses” and this is a good real-life example to motivate my students not to give up on anything they do.

In addition, I chanced upon various virtual run websites. The collection of medals through these virtual runs become a secondary motivation for me to continue my running routine.

RS: Since you start running, how do you balance your work and life?

Cindy: I pick up other workouts such as Zumba, Piloxing, Fight Do, Resistance Band workout, Yoga on weekdays and go for running only on Saturday mornings. It does not affect my work and life unless I have to report to work on Saturdays.

RS: Do you encounter any obstacles when you start to run?

Cindy: Yes, I started to have blisters in between toes and my knees started to hurt, making me climbing up and down stairs in pain. Friends who are regular runners advised me to get one size bigger for my running shoes to avoid blisters. That resulted me to get two pairs of Of Cloud Running shoes on different occasions at Running Lab with the assistance of the expertise of the sales promoters.

I always love to challenge myself and get back my gold achievement in running during my secondary school days. But the 2.4km Fitness Assessment under IPPT standard was a tough nut to crack. I seek advices from experts at Sengkang Sports Centre Active Health Lab. They recommended me to try Fartlek training. I did twice in short distance when I did not have to achieve my running distance to get my medals and it was tough but in good progress for my running speed.

With more warm up exercises and more stretching after each run suggested by many friends who are runners and my senior who is a coach, the pain in my knees reduced. However, I eventually got myself a knee brace to give my knees better support during running too.

Here's How To Start Running In Your Daily Life
Teo Lian Gek, Cindy

RS: Do you feel stress and pressure during your training for your first race?

Cindy: I did not have any stress and pressure in any run or race. All I did was to have a positive mindset that I am able to complete the 3km/5km/10km without stopping. It is always the perseverance that pushes me to complete the first run/race.

RS: How long does it take you to train for a race?

Cindy: It took me two Fartlek training for me to complete my 2.4km Run in GE Women’s IPPT and achieved the Gold Award. Pacers are very good assistants during any competitive race to me.

RS: What is the best advice you had on your running journey?

Cindy: Good pair of running shoes recommended by experts at Running Lab and a pair of Phiten knee braces recommended by my Resistance Band Workout Instructor.

RS: What are the best techniques you had picked up for running?

Cindy: Stretches that I need to soothe the aching and tightness in my legs and Fartlek training to train for speed in running.

You can follow Cindy on Instagram: @icookibakeueat

3. Mohd Harris Bin Mohd Noor Firdauz Wong

Bio: 27 year-old, Malaysian, Freelance and part time at Checkpoint Spot (Sport Timing Management)

Harris studied Bachelor of Sports Science in Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) and started running since 2011. Harris first trail run was in 2013, and his half marathon was in 2015. Follow up, Harris full marathon and ultra marathon was in 2016 Recreational hiker and climber.

Here's How To Start Running In Your Daily Life
Mohd Harris Bin Mohd Noor Firdauz Wong

Never compete with others, instead fight with your inner self so you could improve.

RS: What inspired you to start running?

Harris: I started running when I participated in a 5km charity run in 2011 in Kuala Lumpur. I was interested in the prize money of that event, but it was not that easy to earn it. Subsequently, I signed up for another 5km and slowly upgrade the distance.

Somehow, it turns out to be part of my life and I don't care about those prize monies anymore. Instead, I would just enjoy the run. But, what inspired me the most to run is my all-time idol, Kilian Jornet, an Ultrarunner from Team Salomon. I found his awesome mountain, trail videos on YouTube very inspiring and from that moment, I fall in love with trail running.

RS: Since you start running, how do you balance your work and life?

Harris: Usually, I will run at night at all over the place because the world is my running course. If I got free time on Thursday night, I will join Naked Spirit Runners session at LHDN, Jalan Duta.

RS: Do you encounter any hardships when you start to run?

Harris: I did encounter some hardships during my early run when I get my first injury, Shin Splint. So, I search some running injury info regarding shin splint. Some of it suggest to change & wear a suitable running shoes. And another issue is my lack of muscle strength. From there, I am slowly learning about running.

Here's How To Start Running In Your Daily Life
Mohd Harris Bin Mohd Noor Firdauz Wong

RS: Are you stressed during your training for your first race?

Harris: I don't have much of stress or pressure in preparation for my first run because I just enjoy in whatever I'm doing at that time. I used to running and listening to music, but I slowly ditch everything & focus on my breathing, strike and pace.

RS: How long does it take you to train for a race?

Harris: I don't have any exact training plan. I have more like an imagery running plan. Most of the time I did a long run. During the weekend, I will spend some time training on trails.

RS: What is the best advice you had on your running journey?

Harris: The advice I listen to the most was "Never rush thing too fast", "Go easy and one day you will reach there eventually." by Yim Heng Fatt, Malaysian Ultra Runner.

"There is no such thing is injury. It's all about your mind.", "If you have a strong mindset, you can run any distance you wanted for." by Sidqi Kamil, Team Captain of Naked Spirit Runners.

My personal advice to myself is never ever competing with others, because we never know what they've gone through in their journey. Fight with your inner self, so you could see which and where to improve.

RS: What are the best techniques you had picked up for running?

  • Go easy at the beginning of the race, then go fast during the second half of the race.
  • If I start to lose some energy or momentum, I tend to draft behind any random runners and slowly regain my rhythm.
  • Always smile and never run with full of stressful thoughts.

You can follow Harris on Instagram: @harrissepet

4. Loke Yun Kit, Dylan

Bio: 22 year-old Malaysian, Student

Dylan is a Christian who loves running (sports in general), music, singing and playing guitar. Dylan is a Psychology undergrad student and loves to spend time helping the street friends (homeless community) around Kuala Lumpur.

Here's How To Start Running In Your Daily Life
Loke Yun Kit, Dylan

Remember to relax during your run, and always end it with a strong one.

RS: What inspires you to start running?

Dylan: I started running at the age of 15 because of my dad who also runs 10, 21 and 42km races as well as my athletics coach in high school, who encouraged me to try long distance running.

I have generally always enjoyed running even at a young age, but never really tried competitive races or running, which started this thrill of running within me aka "runner's high".

RS: Since you start running, how do you balance your work and life?

Dylan: Basically, I have always adjusted my running time to whenever I am free, so I don't really have a preference in training times as long as I am able to run I'll just run (be it early morning, late in the afternoon or even late at night). It may not seem very structured or disciplined, but my view is that it's still better than not running at all.

Here's How To Start Running In Your Daily Life
Loke Yun Kit, Dylan

RS: Do you encounter any hardships when you started running?

Dylan: The main thing I find difficult is to find motivation to run as running. It felt boring and tedious since it's the same continuous motion or cycle of running around in circles (especially in track and field). I initially used music to help me run since it does make it a little less boring.

RS: How do you handle the stress and pressure during your training for your first race?

Dylan: Having friends to train together helps as my first race was in high school so, I always had 1-2 other running buddies who would train together. We encourage and motivate each other to run, especially when we feel tired or need that small push from our coaches. It helps us to understand our goal better.

RS: How long does it take you to train for a race?

Dylan: It kind of depends on the type of race I'm training for. On average, it takes about 1-2 months for me to train for races that are under 10km.

RS: What is the best advice you had on your running journey?

Dylan: Remember to always relax when you run, don't keep looking at the time or worry about it and always finish strong.

RS: What are the best techniques you had picked up for running?

Dylan: Never start too fast and be pressured to try to follow other people's pace. Run as how I did during training and try to beat the timing if it's possible.

You can follow Dylan on Instagram: @dylanloke_

5. Leong Hong Lun

Bio: 34, year-old Malaysian, Senior Software Engineer

Leong Hong Lun aka Dann is from Penang. He is a running enthusiast and he finds running to be a very enjoyable experience as he able to explore the sights and sounds of the city and the landscape where he is in. He had his first taste of running around in 2011 starting as an amateur runner and slowly developing himself into a regular marathoner.

Here's How To Start Running In Your Daily Life
Leong Hong Lun

I want to show to my kids that anything is possible if you have a good discipline and strong determination.

RS: How do you get started in running?

Dann: At the beginning, I just wanted to keep myself healthy and exercise regularly. I used to run around my local community park on weekends. I always feel much more lively and spirited after a good workout. It’s a good stress reliever as well. As I started to settle down and build a family, it triggered me that children will always look up to their parents as an example in life. They follow the footprints that we leave behind. Thus, I set out a target: that I want to complete a marathon.

Was it because of the finisher medal? Or was it the recognition and acknowledgement upon crossing the finishing line? One thing is for sure, I want to show to my kids that anything is possible if you have a good discipline and strong determination. If I can do it, they too can achieve their dreams or anything that they set on their goals. I hope one day, they will look up to me and say “Because of you, Dad, I don’t give up!”. I fancy the idea of being a running dad, just like a normal dad, only much cooler.

The saying “lead by example” starts to materialise when gradually my own parents and relatives join in the fun. My friends and colleagues started to follow me and take part in running events and marathons.

Back then I used to run solo, afterwards, I started to run in a group. We set sights and aims for the upcoming events, and together we go further. All these only reaffirm my passion and interest in running and how positive it can affect others.

By continuously doing the things that I enjoy and love, I wish to inspire and motivate, ignite the flame and awaken the hearts of others.

RS: Since you start running, how do you balance your work and life?

Dann: It’s always a challenge trying to find the balance between family, work and running. Marginalising any of it is not the right thing to do, as all of them are equally important for me.

Thankfully, my family members have been very understanding towards me pursuing this interest. To maintain my fitness level, on alternative weekdays I’ll go to gym classes or a short run after work before going home for dinner.

On Sundays, I wake up at around 5 in the morning for my long runs. I always believe that trophy is earned in the hours that no one is watching. So, while most are still sleeping in the wee hours, I’ll be up running, training and preparing for a marathon.

Hours later when the sun is out, I’ve already covered a good amount of distance to call it a day. Then it’s time for breakfast with my family.

RS: How hard is it for you when you first started running?

Dann: You’ll probably see me doing a 10km run comfortably, but I assure you, running did not come easy for me in the beginning.

My stamina was poor and muscles are weak when I first started out. But I never give up, I keep going. I benchmark myself on a weekly basis. If last week I ran this much in this timing, this week I’m going to run further in the exact timing.

Always try to out beat my last run. There are no shortcuts, only hard work. Train hard and be patient. Dream big, work hard, stay positive and enjoy the journey.

Here's How To Start Running In Your Daily Life
Leong Hong Lun

RS: How do you handle the stress and pressure during your training for your first race?

Dann: In my first marathon, the pressure is humongous. Imagine an amateur runner trying to run a marathon.

With minimal know-how, I read up a lot through online and running magazines. The do’s and don’t’s. What to eat and how to prepare before, during and after the race. What to expect, how much training is needed. What is the most appropriate attire to wear and why. It helps me enormously in reducing my anxiety and staying calm.

On the race day, I reaffirm myself why I’m doing this; it’s for my kids and I’m doing it for them. I tell myself that the first is always going to be the experience. What’s important is crossing the finishing line, the timing can come later.

Fortunately, I completed my first marathon within the qualifying time. It wasn’t my ideal timing, but on at the bright side, there is a huge room for improvement.

Till this day, I still have that running magazine with me, it’s like my baby. Remember, knowledge is power. So it’s important to be well prepared before the race.

RS: How long does it take you to train for a race?

Dann: It doesn’t take too long if you are training and running regularly. Because if you are working out on a consistent basis, basically you are almost prepared. However, for a marathon, it’s a little different story. You’ll need to intensify your training more than usual. You’ll need to run on longer distance every weekend, getting those muscles accustomed to the mileage.

RS: What is the best advice you had on your running journey?

Dann: Definitely it’s strengthening your whole body. On the surface, running is just about using the leg muscles to run. However the truth is, good runners condition their body. It’s essential to mix your training session with upper body and core muscle workouts.

It is beneficial in your marathon. Be mindful of the things you eat, treat your body like a temple. Of course you may pamper yourself with a cheat day by the end of the week, but remember to burn those extra calories the next day.

RS: What are the best techniques you had picked up for running?

Dann: It’s always wise to start slower than your usual pace. Don’t try to outpace a crowd, you’ll risk burning out faster than expected.

Keep a steady pace, try to maintain the heart rate. Remember to breath in and breathe out, slowly. You’re running a marathon, not sprinting. It’s not about how fast you go, but how far you go.

You can follow Dann on Instagram: @runningdann

To Start Running Or Not To?

The miracle isn’t about finishing, but mustering the courage to start. Some people never muster that courage in their lifetime, and we are here to make sure you find that courage to start running no matter how long it takes.

Sign up for your first race today. Don't disappoint yourself.

We have more inspirational runners to share their running stories with you. Stay tuned for the second part of How To Start Running Easily [Tips From 10 Inspiring Runners).

Samantha is an editor at RunSociety. A digital expert with a focus on the research and development of thought provoking and resourceful content, Samantha love Yoga and incorporate running in her weekly workout whenever she can.

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