What I’ve Learned From 2 Years of Running

Tips for those of us who are not natural-born runners

Sarah Begley
4 min readJun 14, 2021


Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash

First things first: I am not a natural-born runner. I never played sports in school, and when we had to do the mile run in fourth grade, I finished second-to-last at a time of about 12 minutes. (My eternal gratitude goes to a girl named Blythe for being 30 seconds slower.)

But I wasn’t entirely inactive, either. From kindergarten through high school I danced, and after college I pinged around between different fitness regimens. Nothing really took until two years ago, when against the odds, I started running.

My reasoning was more financial than physical: I was splitting time between two cities, and I didn’t want to pay for two separate gym memberships. I needed a free workout to do in at least one location. And nothing’s cheaper than running.

Two years later, I’m still not very fast, and I’ve never run more than five miles. But I quickly came to love the sensation and benefits of running, and I’ve learned a few things I think could be helpful for other newbies.

1. Don’t be embarrassed; buy puffy shoes

The most important thing I did was to buy very supportive, stabilizing sneakers. I’ve noticed that my friends who’ve been running for a long time prefer ultra lightweight shoes, and I’m sure that helps with speed, but as as a newbie afraid of injuries, I was looking for cushion.

I’m personally obsessed with my Hoka One One Cliftons. They are clown shoes, big foamy life rafts, and I love them. I’m no expert, but I really believe that these ultra-cushioned shoes are a big part of the reason I haven’t sustained a running injury. In addition to the puffiness, they have a wide base that makes them good for stability, too. The goal is to be easy on your body, not easy on the eyes.

2. Don’t run on consecutive days

Early in my running days, I read some advice that as a beginner runner, you should never run on consecutive days, especially for the first year. I have kept this advice and don’t plan to run on back-to-back days anytime soon. I definitely believe this played a role in injury prevention.



Sarah Begley

Director at Medium working with authors and books. Formerly a staff writer and editor at Time.