How To Start Running: A Guide To Running For Beginners

Are you starting to walk, jog, or run because you are looking to take control of your health?  Are you intimidated by other runners or worried you are too slow to be a runner? During this live interview with Healthy Runner coach Catrina Aniballi, Duane and Cat answer some common questions and provide 5 tips for runners to get started today!


In this Healthy Runner Podcast episode, Cat covers the equipment you need to start including running shoes, clothing, or gear as well as what is the most important thing you need to get started right away!

You will learn running training, mindset, and practical tips to help get you start to run today as a beginner!  Cat brings a passion and fire during this episode that will be sure to motivate you to start running no matter how out of shape you feel you are right now.

I hope you enjoy the episode and thank you for listening!


Click the video below to watch the LIVE interview with Cat within the Healthy Runner Facebook Group


You can also listen to the audio version of the Q&A I had with Catrina Aniballi on the Healthy Runner Podcast…now available on your favorite podcast app!



Here is what other runners are saying about the podcast



In this episode you will hear Cat Aniballi’s 5 Tips To Start Running that can serve as your guide to start running right now!




What type of equipment do I need to start running?


Cat talks about not needing to worry about fancy running gear or clothing.  You don’t need a Garmin or an Apple watch but what you do need is a pair of good running sneakers!  It is not the brand of sneaker or a specific shoe that is the best but the proper shoe for your body that is important.  If you want to find out how to get the proper shoe to start running today, check out this previous blog and podcast episode from the running shoe experts at Woodbridge Running Company.



CLICK HERE to read and listen to all of Matt Santillo’s running shoe tips!


Besides running shoes, the other absolute necessity you need to start running today is sunscreen!  This is something most runners forget but is absolutely essential especially for the tops of your ears, scalp, nose, back of your neck, and shoulders!




What is the most important thing to get started?


Cat says to find your reason for running or your goal.  Whether it is to get out on the road once or twice a week just for fresh air, try your first 5K, run 1/2 mile without stopping, beat your sibling in a street race .  If you don’t really have a goal, you may not stick with it but I want to emphasize your goal doesn’t have to be a race!!!


I like to focus on the healthy aspect of running especially for the heart, and explain that weight loss is a benefit but shouldn’t be your main goal.  If it is your main goal then once you lose the weight what will happen to your running?  Will you lose the desire to keep moving forward and continue the heart health benefits because you hit your goal?   In my treadmill class that I teach at the YMCA, I always focus on the heart healthy rather than weight loss.


Once you have a goal or your “why” what is next?


Once your goal is found, JUST DO IT!  Don’t worry if you are as slow as molasses.  Catrina shares her personal running journey on the podcast episode and funny stories.  She is a big advocate of just starting to walk/ run and get out there!


What if I am not fast or don’t consider myself a runner?


Your goal is just that…your goal! Don’t compare yourself to other runners.  Listen to your body and don’t try to do more than you safely can just because someone else is going faster.  Cat’s favorite saying in her classes is…”What is the biggest source of injury in the gym???  Ego!


In order to run for the long run (pun intended) and make it a lifestyle change to stay healthy and embrace the journey you need to train smart with proper progression!  In fact Cat spoke about the 5th principle of our SPARK BLUEPRINT to how to run healthy without getting injured!  CLICK HERE to read and listen how you can start training today smart with proper progression!


How I felt when Coach Cat talked about ego and training!


What else do I need to stay consistent with running?


Find someone who can hold you accountable but also support you.  This could be your spouse or best friend.  Doesn’t need to be a runner although if you can find someone who is encouraging, that’s helpful.  Cat is happy to have you reach out to her and connect with her on social media for her to be your own personal cheerleader!



How To Start Running


If an accountability partner is not possible then you need a systematic habit sticking method to prevent you from falling back to your old habits. CLICK THIS LINK to learn about the practical guide on how to start running and practical ways to make a running habit stick. The system is inspired by the book Atomic Habit by James Clear and this article is a great read for beginner runners!


What can experienced runners do to support their new beginner runner friends?


The most important thing you can do as an experienced runner is smile, nod, or wave  at other runners who you can see are not as fast as you.  It really does go a long way!  I will never forget when an elite runner took the time to say hi every week to me when I was just starting out running.  Any new runner thinks to themselves “wow, they are acknowledging me!, they aren’t looking down at me”.  This has been something that has been noticed within the running community and can be improved upon in order to support and build others up so we all rise together as runners!  There are a lot of supportive and great people but it only takes that one to kill your confidence.


Here is another resource that may be helpful for you starting out as a runner that I came across.  CLICK THIS LINK to read the article.



In this podcast and Facebook Live episode, Cat Aniballi shared some actionable tips that will help beginner runners start running today! Let’s recap what we covered:

1. Running shoes and sunscreen is the only equipment you need to start running

2. The most important thing to start running is your personal goal or “your why”

3. The next step is to take action and “just do it”

4. It is o.k. to be slow!  That is expected when you start out!

5. Find an accountability partner


I personally want to thank Cat for her time and the fire she brought on the podcast episode helping to motivate all of us who may be intimidated by other runners or intimidated to start running.


Thank you (the reader) for taking the time to read and I hope you enjoy the podcast episode!


Stay active, stay healthy, and just keep running!


Stay safe,


– Duane


Duane Scotti, PT, DPT, PhD, OCS



Connect with Cat Aniballi:

Email: healthyrunnercoach@yahoo.com

Facebook: @cataniballi

Instragram: @hookoffthejab 


Are you ready to take action and get the accountability you deserve to unlock your greatest potential as a runner? 


Get stronger, run faster, and become a lifelong injury free runner with our 16 week 1-on-1 Healthy Runner Coaching Program.  Get the support, structure, and accountability from experts in the health and running industry.  Personalized easy to follow plans tailored to your unique needs and busy life.

Just head to  https://learn.sparkhealthyrunner.com/coaching to learn more!




WAIT… check this out before you go!

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⚡️ SPARK Physical Therapy and the Healthy Runner Podcast  Helping Active Adults Be Able To Run Without Aches and Pains So You Can Feel Good About Yourself Again…

[Even If You Don’t Think You Are A Runner]

If you are a runner and frustrated with your nagging aches and pains and have been told to stop running, we can help you.


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“I don’t have enough words to express my gratitude towards Duane Scotti and the Spark Healthy Runner program. When I started working with Duane, I had been dealing with chronic shin splints/posterior tibialis tendinitis for almost a year.

I had worked with multiple other coaches and physical therapists with little success and was at the point of almost giving up on my love for running. Duane is so kind, thoughtful and knowledgeable as both a physical therapist and running coach. Our first virtual meeting lasted two hours because he was so meticulous in his assessment. His strength and running program is progressive and created so that you can continue to build strength and mileage as you heal. His strength program is unique, effective, and fun.

Additionally, his warm-up routine is awesome and includes drills that over time have made me a more efficient runner. His training platform is easy to use, and he is always readily available to chat when problems or questions arise.

Over four months of working with Duane, I have built back to five days a week of running and am almost back up to my pre-injury weekly mileage and long run distance. Whenever I have flare ups or setbacks, Duane reassures me and makes necessary adjustments so that I can continue to progress in my running journey. I have had so much success with him so far that I have signed on for four more months so that he can help me to continue getting stronger as I train for the Dopey challenge in Disney World.

If you are struggling with a running injury and are feeling hopeless, you have to reach out to Duane Scotti. Of course, you will have to put in a lot of hard work, but with Duane by your side, you will be able to achieve your goals and more. Thank you Spark Healthy Runner for bringing the spark back to my running!”

Dipti Pandya

You can teach an old dog new tricks!!!  I have never considered myself a runner and I knew I needed to be smart about it because I am no spring chicken. Spark preached getting strong and healthy to be injury free and they practice what they preach.  I am soooo glad I made the investment in me!  I finished my half marathon last weekend and couldn’t be any happier!  The program fed me all the steps I needed to essentially learn how to run long distance, build strength, nutrition help, a forum of other runners and probably most important was the 1:1 coaching.  I had no idea how to tackle training for a 1/2 marathon and this program broke all of it down, had it individualized for me and we tweaked as we went to make sure I was staying healthy and strong.  I had so many questions the week prior to my race and Coach Cat was always there for me and answering all the questions and issues I had-and believe me there were a lot!  The biggest benefit I think I got was the strength. I am strong and fit. But most important was what I gained emotionally.  I built confidence and strength I didn’t know I had, even at my age.  Honestly could not have done this without Spark Healthy Runners!

Gina J.

My Healthy Runner journey started after I had battled bilateral achilles pain for a few months and was frustrated how it affected my running. As soon as I talked to Duane I knew I had made the right decision. His positivity, enthusiasm and genuine care are infectious. The training plan that was tailored to me included specific exercises to rehab my injury and I was so excited that I didn’t have to stop running. It took patience to only run slow for a few weeks but I trusted the process and it got me me to where I am now: running pain free. We made adjustments to the plan throughout whenever needed having someone in your corner that is always there with guidance and support throughout the process was invaluable.

I just ran my second half marathon, both with Duane’s coaching, and PR’d by over 9 minutes! I got all choked up in the last mile when I realized that I felt strong and could still kick it up a notch.

I’m so thankful for the Healthy Runner program, community and the entire coaching team for all the support!

Katja L.

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