New Year’s Resolution: Tips for a Novice Runner

January 5, 2015 6:55am

Photo via running evolution

Okay, okay. New Year’s Resolutions have become quite a stigma these last few years and they’re not for everybody. But with a new year comes new goals, and if you’re like of more than a million Americans, fitness is at the top of your list.

Lucky for us, Green Lake has 2.8 miles of paved pathway in our backyard. To brush up on our running knowledge, we sat down with Running Evolution Founder Beth Baker to pick her brain for everyday tips for novice runners. Beth will be hosting her “Couch to 5K” class series (four weeks of training, $155) at Green Lake, starting January 13. You can learn more about that here. 

SG: How do you recommend people get started?
BB: The best way to get started for the novice runner, is to just start off walking 30 minutes, at a brisk pace. After a few times you can start slowly  jogging, add in walking breaks when you get winded, but then, look for a spot to start jogging at again. But keep the pace slow. Its almost impossible to increase speed and distance at the same time.

SG: What are some common mistakes novice runners make? 
BB: The most common mistake that new runners make is to start off way to fast. You body isn’t ready for fast right off the bat. You have to get it warmed up and the best way it to go really really slow at the beginning. Another mistake is they overdress. You want to dress 20 degrees cooler than it really is.

SG: How long should you allow your body to recover?  Should you run everyday?
BB: If you are new to running,  I like the every other day method. 20-30 minutes on active days and something else on the other days, such as yoga, biking or just straight up resting.

SG: Any advice for running laps at Green Lake?
BB: I love Green Lake. It’s 2.8 miles and full of beauty and great people watching, which helps when you are huffing and puffing. A great thing for new runners is run/walk the trash cans that are all around the lake. I also tell people to break up the lake in 3 sections, run to one of the 3 big structures, Bath House Theatre, Boat House and Community Center and take a stretch break and then head to the next. Also, make sure you are seen with lights or reflective clothing on these shorter days. And keep your jogging self on the lake side of the path, so those speedy cyclist can get around too.

SG: Tell me about your Couch to 5K program. 
BB: I hated running when I first started in my late 20’s. I hated that my head took control and my heart raced. After one year of being stubborn and getting out there, I did my first 5K and haven’t stopped since. I researched why that happens to people and how to get over it. I offer an accessible and social platform to start running. I love seeing the change in people. We don’t run fast, we jog and get it done and build on what we have.
For more information on Running Evolution or Beth’s “Couch to 5K” classes, visit