Getting Back Into Running: Your Questions Answered 👟

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A few days ago, I had many of you submit questions for me about my journey back into running. I get a lot of questions every time I post my runs on Instagram, so I thought this would be a great place to address them. If you’re in a running rut or thinking about running for the first time, I want to motivate you with a giveaway! Keep reading to find out what it is.💜

What made you want to start running again?

After running my first half marathon, I told myself I was never going to run again. I was in so much pain that I was traumatized. Before that, I used to love running as a way to stay fit and help me de-stress. When I had a hard time focusing, I’d take a timeout to run, which seemed to help me relax my mind. When I shifted the reason why I was running, I started not to love it as much. It was more of something “I had to do,” and I was always nervous about racing.

I had been wanting to get back into running for a while now, but it was that fear of being too out of shape or being faced with an injury again that stood in my way. I decided to come up with a game plan that helped me slowly get back into running at a comfortable pace.

Now, I finally feel like I’m back to running for the fun of it again, and I honestly have been enjoying every run. Most importantly, I was ready to start running again. I’ve never been good at pushing myself to do things I don’t want to do.

Are you on any running diet?

I’m not. I do, however, eat a higher carb breakfast on the days I’m going to run, and follow-up my run with a high protein/natural sugar snack to replenish my body. I do focus on the timing of my eating before I run to make sure everything is digested and it won’t cause any cramping or discomfort. Other than that, I eat a pretty normal diet aside from being gluten & dairy-free.

Do you ever get side cramps? What helps?

One out of three runs, I’ll experience the painful side stitch. I started to pay attention to what I ate and how I was stretching on the days I had experienced the stitches. I noticed that if I didn’t let my food digest for at least an hour, or If I didn’t take the time to stretch well enough before a run, the chances were that I was going to experience a side stitch. They usually happen about five minutes into the run, so I’ll walk for about one minute, and then run, and then walk, and then run until the cramps goes away. If it’s still painful and doesn’t go away, I’ll usually put my run off until the next day, or push it to later that evening. Adding as much dynamic stretching as I can before taking off has helped me tremendously!

How to get my pace up more? I’m at a 12 min mile currently.

I think the more you run, the faster your body will get naturally over time. I used to push my pace beyond my comfort level, and that never worked in my favor. To me, running should be enjoyable, and your body knows what pace it should be running at. If you try to increase your speed too soon, you can set yourself up for an injury. Chatting with a running coach can help you come up with a game plan to increase speed if that’s something you’re working towards. For me, things like strength training, hill training, and stretching contribute to my pace-goals overtime. Once in a while, I’ll try to run at a super fast speed for one minute, slow it down, speed up again, slow it down, and even though it makes me tired, it does help with my pace. I usually do it on the last mile once I feel like my body is nice and warmed up.

Have you ever hated running? If so, how did you grow to love it enough to stick with it?

Yes. The first time I ever hated running when I was backing middle school. They made us run around the track for a fundraiser, and each time we ran a lap, we received a dollar amount from our sponsors. I’ll never forget how much I hated that fundraiser. The second time I learned that I hated running was when I was in high school. I was extremely out of shape, and running the required test-mile made me feel sick. I ran it as fast as I could because I was embarrassed and self-conscious about anyone thinking I was too overweight to do it. I remember missing my next class because I was so sick after running it. All of that made me never want to run again. Even back when I lost a lot of my weight in college, it was purely from walking.

Way back when I was living in Atlanta, around age 23, I joined a gym that had one of the most amazing communities. I got super involved in the classes for the first time and even worked with my trainer for a good six months. I had never been more fit in my life at that point. During one of my training sessions, I was told to stay on the treadmill and run/walk for one hour. We were doing a water weight test to see how much I was retaining. I was running at a 9 min mile pace, and after thirty minutes went by, I realized that I had successfully run over three miles for the first time in my life. Whenever I had hated running, it was because I was out of shape or had an injury. I never gave running a chance, and from the outside, I thought people were just naturally good at it. I didn’t realize that it’s something you have to work at before it becomes something you genuinely love.

Some people love running to race, and some people love running as an outlet from their everyday challenges. I’ve learned that racing is not for me but running for my mental health and as a way to stay in shape is what I love to run for. Getting back into it was going to be hard, but now that I’m at a point where it’s comfortable, I love it again.

How do you find your music? It’s the only thing that keeps me going, a good song!

I agree with you! I refuse to run without music, and it’s what helps me enjoy the run to the fullest. When I see people running together while having conversations, I’m not like…how? & no thanks! I usually make a playlist before I leave the house to get me excited about the run. I’ll search through Spotify or Apple radio for new music. Right now, I have Ariana Grande’s, thank u next album on repeat. That whole album puts me in a “mood” while running. Music also plays a big roll in my heart rate and energy levels. I like to add a mixture of slow and fast songs to help control my pace.

Have you lost any weight while running?

I struggle with high-cortisol levels in my body. For the past two years, I haven’t lost one pound. Even though I don’t have a scale, I do check in at the doctors to make sure I’m not gaining a ton of weight over time. I didn’t want running to be something that was only being used as a way to “lose weight,” but I wanted it to be there for me to stay in shape and help me mentally. I don’t think “being in shape” looks the same for everyone. Even though I’m not ripping with muscles in my arms or have a six pack of abs, I still feel very athletic and very in shape right now. If I wanted to lose weight, I’d focus more on cleaning up my diet, but I’m pretty comfortable in my body at the moment. I have days where my disorder will creep back in and tell me “you’re too fat” or “to search for the next best diet,” but that usually ends within two minutes after I give myself some tough love. The important thing about recovery is that you get to learn how to destroy those awful thoughts that creep up now and then. So, no, I have most likely not lost any weight while running, but goodness have I gained strength and confidence.

Do you plan on running daily or every other day?

Right now, I run every other day. If I feel like running back to back days or taking a couple of days off, I’ll do so. But, sticking to the every other day schedule has worked best for me. It keeps me consistent and motivated. When it comes to my mileage, I check in with myself at mile three to see if I’m up for a couple more. Running intuitively has kept me injury-free so far.

On days you run, do you still do some walking? Do you stretch before or after?

Because I have two active dogs, I have to walk 2-3 miles on the days I do not run, and the days I do run. I do a lot of my deep stretching after I finish running since my muscles are warmed up. I try my hardest to do 15-20 minutes of strength training on the days I’m not running, but I could be better about it. I also play tennis several days a week, which I like to do on my off-days.

How many miles are you averaging per week?

Right now, I’m running about 12-15 miles per week. I run every other day anywhere from 3-5 miles. I plan to increase to 15-20 miles by next month.

How do you motivate yourself knowing the first couple of runs will probably suck?

Taking it super slow helped me get past the “it’s gonna suck” mindset. I knew the first runs were going to be tough, but they were going to be quick. I added 0.1 miles onto each run to gradually get rid of that mindset. Even when I wanted to keep running, I made sure to stop. After the first couple of weeks, adding the milage made me feel so proud, and it quit being so hard. Doing it gradually helped me trust the process, and actually, see progress being made. If you can keep getting yourself out there for a short run, you’ll eventually realize that starting is the hardest part.

Did you focus on distance or pace first

At first, I was all about running a certain distance at a certain pace. It took me a while, but I realized that pace would come naturally and to only focus on running for a certain amount of time/distance. I’m now running slower than ever, but my runs feel better than ever. I can run a longer distance, for a longer amount of time, and I never get winded like I used to. I have turned off the audio cues to allow myself to run intuitively. Right now, I’m working on being able to run for one hour, no matter how fast or how many miles that takes me.

Do you run the entire time or break to walk?

I run the entire time. If I feel like I’m getting tired, or won’t be able to run any longer, I’ll round up the mile and run until it hits that solid number. Sometimes, I’ll stop for a quick ten seconds to stretch out my groin or shoulder, but I’m right back to it after that.

What is the biggest challenge you face while running now?

PERIOD CRAMPS. Struggling with endometriosis makes it even worse. The last thing I want to do when I’m in pain is to go out for a run, but I have noticed that exercise does help with the cramping. If the pain is too bad, I’ll save the run for the next day, but that is my biggest struggle right now.  I also carry a lot of water weight when I’m on my period so I feel so sluggish. Okkkk & the heat. The summer heat and humidity in the south is rough.

How did you get past the mental block with running?

I get a mental block with running just about every time I have to go do it. It’s not that I don’t want to do it, it’s that I fear what this run could bring. Because I’ve dealt this runner’s knee, Achilles tendonitis, groin sprains, and other injuries, I fear that this could be the run that I start feeling those things again. I sometimes fear that I’ll let myself down and only be able to run half of what I set out for. When I get those thoughts, I have to remind myself that I’m doing this for enjoyment. After the first five minutes of my run, I lose all of that mental-block and anxiety that comes with starting. The endorphins start to kick in, and I feel more proud than nervous. If you can push through that mental block, you’ll feel so good once you’re done. The way I feel after a run is why I get out there to do it. The rest of my day feels relaxed, and my thoughts are more transparent.

I get so self-conscious & frustrated because I know what fitness level I used to be, & now I’m so unfit.

I feel you. I think that’s what kept me from going back into running for so long. I once could run ten miles, but then could barely run one. It was so discouraging. Remember that before you were ever at a higher fitness level, you were also at ground zero. It takes time and determination to work yourself back up. The cool thing is that you already know you’re capable of doing it. You have to come up with a goal plan to get yourself back to the level you wish to be on. That self-consciousness will go away after you start crushing goals and working your way back up. When you look back on how you’re feeling right now, you’re going to be so proud of yourself. It’s all worth it in the end.

Who do you like to follow for running inspiration?

Following people who inspire you is one of my favorite things about Instagram. Most of the time, the people without a billion followers are the ones that inspire me most. I love following @dietitiangoesrunning for running inspiration. She’s a mom, a dietitian, and is an incredible runner! Every time I see her running posts, it makes me want to get out there and run. She’s also a running coach! I just downloaded her recipe e-book, and I’ll be making her brownies later this afternoon. And not to be biased or anything, but she’s from my hometown, so that makes me like her even more. Apparently, it runs in the family though, because her sister @banannarunning is just as inspiring! I also love following @elizabeth_healthy_life because she’s the sweetest, most down to earth, hard working person I know! She shares her struggles and strengths, and I love every single one of her posts. She runs for a very special reason, and I think you all will just love her. A quick few others I love to follow are @luluruns315, @runtothefinish, and most of my real-life friends. Watching Caitlin run consecutive races in Disney while battling lymphedema in her leg was one of the biggest things that inspired me just to start again. She crushes her races and overcomes the obstacles, and that motivates me to do the same. It’s important to find people that inspire you to be better.

How do you motivate yourself on days you don’t feel like running?

If I do not feel like running, which has only happened a couple of times, I won’t do it. I’ll just put it off until the next day. What has helped me stick to running on the days when I’m not up for it is that I “try.” I put on my running shoes, make a playlist, and tell myself that I can stop anytime I want. I have found on the days where I have no expectations, and I just “try” to run, those end up being my best days. I hit my first 4, and 5 mile runs on the days when I didn’t want to be out there doing it.

What are your favorite things to eat before a run and favorite things to eat after a run?

Before a run, I love my protein oats for breakfast. After a run, I love a date stuffed with peanut butter. Peanut butter and banana are also my favorite post or pre-workout snack.

Will you be racing?

I have no plans of racing at all right now. If I race, it’ll be a last-minute decision and nothing I train for. I may do some 5k’s because those are super fun, and usually for a good cause.
asics running shoes running training fun exercise summer fitness four miles jog slower pace simply taralynn fitness healthy burn
I think the best thing about running is finding a pair of shoes that fits you best! I want to help motivate you to start running, or to continue running by giving away a brand new pair of running shoes! The winner will receive a $100 gift card to Asics (because those are the shoes I love most!) All you have to do is answer the questions below in the comment section for a chance to win! 💜

Questions for you!

  1. What keeps you from running?
  2. Are there any questions you’d like me to answer?
  3. Should I run a 5k with one of my readers?



  • Heather

    How is your dog doing and his poor paw that got burnt? So sad!


    Reply to Heather
  • Hayden Slaughter

    I love running and I try to do it a few times a week but I tend to talk myself out of it. I am not sure. Maybe because I too used to be able to run longer distances and I got out of the habit and now its harder to get back into it.

    And YES!! Run a 5k with one of us!! Alabama has a ton of fun ones. (Yes…I know everyone hates Alabama right now sadly.)

    My biggest question for you is not running related, its more workout in general. What kind of strength training do you do?

    Reply to Hayden Slaughter
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I totally get that. I have days where I can start getting in my head and talking myself out of it. That’s why I just do the whole “try” thing, and it usually works out. That’s why running is just as mental as it is physical.

      I might have to come down for a race but maybe fall when it’s not too hot! 😉

      I do a lot of random videos on YouTube that take me about 15-20 minutes. I have weights and other equipment at home that help make it easier!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Abby

    I just had a baby so I’m having a hard time finding time to run, especially knowing my body isn’t what it used to be.

    Can you give any suggestions on how to slowly start running again, like after an injury?

    I think it’d be awesome to run a 5k with you. And motivating!

    Reply to Abby
    • Taralynn McNitt

      You should be proud because having a baby is 10x harder, more rewarding, and more incredible than running! You’ll get back to where you used to be overtime. Enjoy the moment! 💜

      I think just start with long walks until you’re ready to turn them into light jogs. Maybe take the stroller out for a one minute jog, 2-minute walk, 1-minute jog, two-minute walk for about thirty minutes. Soon those minute jogs will turn into two, three, and so on!


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Brandy H.

    1) Back pain and a bad knee. So frustrating! But I have slowly started adding it back in. Fingers crossed it goes well!
    2) Nope! But if any come up I will ask!
    3) Yes! I would love to read about that!

    Reply to Brandy H.
  • Jenna

    1. I’m not a morning runner and it’s hot after work where I live! It can be tough to stay motivated if I have to use the treadmill.
    2. What do you typically do for strength training?
    3. Yes!

    Reply to Jenna
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Totally get it!

      I usually do a 20-minute youtube video in the living room, or just spend time doing a quick circuit! I have weights, kettlebells, and other workout equipment at home to make it easier.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Tarin

    1. I have a full-time job & 4 kids (2 of which homeschool) so finding the time is difficult. Plus the heat in the South is terrible; even in the afternoons/evenings.
    2. Where do you run?
    3. Yes.

    Reply to Tarin
  • Grace

    What keeps you from running? Fear of becoming injured over and over again, currently injured right now
    Are there any questions you’d like me to answer? Nope!
    Should I run a 5k with one of my readers? Yes absolutely!

    Reply to Grace
  • Emily

    In relation to going faster – I found the stronger my upper body got – strength training with my arms and back – resulted in my running speed increasing significantly! It’s counter intuitive but it was a stark change for me! 🙂

    Reply to Emily
  • Leila

    1) I am afraid of running because I am slow and I don’t want people to judge me! Also because I am very clearly not a “runner.” My body type just isn’t that. However, I am trying to let go of labels!
    2) I get paranoid while running that I will feel light headed/not feel well or get too thirsty/dehydrated! How do you deal with that?
    3) YES run a 5k with a reader!! 🙂

    Reply to Leila
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Lettttt go of labels and let go of the judgment of others. I promise you, you’re the only one judging you! People are way too concerned with themselves. If anything, people are proud when they see others running and you’ll be inspiring others!

      I just make sure that I’m properly fueled, and you’ll learn what works/doesn’t work along the way! Keep water close by, and work on small goals before going far enough to get dehydrated. Drink lots of water the night before a run!


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Courtney

    Lol I was forced to join a track team when I was six years old .I was good, and won a ton of triatholons. Now I hate running because I was forced to do it.

    Reply to Courtney
  • Madison

    Love this! I’m so happy you got back into running FOR YOU. I feel like people so often lose sight of why they started running in the first place and get too caught up in the numbers!

    I had a similar journey. I quit running for a while then recently got back into it for the enjoyment. I’ve now decided to do a half ironman (eeeek) so I’m training a bit now, but focused on how I feel and not my time!

    Reply to Madison
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Yes! absolutely, Madison!

      ahhhhh! You go girl. Hope you share that journey with me! I know it’ll motivate me 😃 But yet, stay intuitive with your body. You got this!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Nikki Alden

    Do you use a specific app on your phone to track your miles/time/pace? Any good recs on an app you’ve used and loved?

    Reply to Nikki Alden
  • Kristen

    🙁 I’m still anxiously waiting for the weight loss blog. I’m in such a self-hating weight rut.

    Reply to Kristen
  • Katie

    What keeps you from running? Mostly hot weather. I moved to the south from Wisconsin and it’s been tough adjusting to that.
    Are there any questions you’d like me to answer? How do you deal with the humidity and heat in the South?? I live in Austin and I feel like it keeps me from getting out there. I know it’s probably mostly mental but I’d love to hear your input 🙂
    Should I run a 5k with one of my readers? Sure, that would be fun to read about!

    Reply to Katie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Ahhhh that heat. I try my best to run early morning and drink a ton of water! I leave water behind a bush on the sidewalk to sip during my laps. I also just try to embrace it the best I can. lol, It’s honestly tough!


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Milena

    Hi Taralynn!

    I would like to ask you for advice. I´ve never run in my life and this is the main reason keeping me from it. The fear.

    Yesterday I had doctor´s appointment and it made me think. I don´t do any regular sport and he told me I should consider at least one regular activity. I am not sure if running is for me, I am not neither a gym person. I already tried and I felt like I was forcing myself and never enjoyed it. So I was thinking about zumba. Do you think one/two hours of zumba per week are enough to keep myself well or I should try something different at the same time

    ? My weight is good, I don´t wanna loose pounds or anything. I just wanna feel better with my body. Until last year I was taking dancing classes, I used to dance at least twice per week. Now I do nothing and I see how it affects me, especially my mood. I feel tired all the time, I have no energy. That´s why I am thinking about zumba because it´s close to dancing.

    If I decide to give a try to running, how should I start? My friend advised me to do 1 minute running+1 minute walking and then increasing the minutes. What do you think? Do you have any advice for a real beginner? Someone who never run in her life.

    I will really appreciate your advice. I know there are plenty activities, it doesn´t have to be running. But still I thought you would be the perfect person to ask 🙂



    Reply to Milena
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Milena!

      Running is not for everyone, so I 100% understand. I used to do Zumba on the Wii back in the day and it was one of the most fun things I’ve ever done! Even the Zumba classes had me laughing the whole time and I was so out of breath during it. If that’s what you want to do to stay active, that sounds like a blast! It’s a great way to boost your mood as well. On the days you’re not doing Zumba, maybe create a great playlist/podcast and head out for a long walk. That’s another way to stay active but also in a relaxing way.

      Your friend is so right! That’s how I did it until I could run one mile. And then I did my 5k training plan. I think if you want to stick with it, find a running buddy that will do the one minute on and one minute off running with you! It’s better to have the motivation!

      I can’t wait to hear about your progress in whatever you choose to do! xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Cecilia

    1. What keeps you from running?
    Something that keeps me from running is that I feel like my natural pace is much slower than some of my friends, and while I try hard to increase speed, I haven’t had much luck. I get burned out before I make significant progress. I have run a bunch of half marathons, one marathon, and I’m about to start training for my second marathon, so I know I shouldn’t be self conscious – all those things are accomplishments in themselves, but it is hard to tune out the negative thoughts sometimes. 😔 luckily, I have a fantastically supportive fiancé who says he is going to train with me. I’m sure that will help build me up a bit and give me motivation to run!

    2. Are there any questions you’d like me to answer?
    How do you deal with negative comments that your receive on here/social media/etc. and still find motivation to do your own thing with exercise and health? What keeps you from getting discouraged- whether that is running or anything else in life?

    3. Should I run a 5k with one of my readers?
    Yeah! If you ever find yourself in Chicago, I’d be down! There are tons of races here, especially in the warm months.

    Reply to Cecilia
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Cecilia!

      In the post, I shared all about “pace.” It’s important to stop comparing your times to your friends. Listen to your body and run at a pace that’s comfortable. Pace doesn’t matter at all! I wish I would have slowed down in the beginning and stopped stressing about my times. Running is so much more enjoyable when I’m not gasping for air.

      I love that your fiance is training with you! What a fun way to spend time together.

      I’ve been doing this for way too long, and I use negative comments as fuel for my success in life. I also think when people take the time to comment negatively, they are truly hurting or dealing with something personal in their own lives. I have no idea who the people are that leave negative comments, so it doesn’t affect me at all. They aren’t my friends or family, so none of their words have meaning to me. And to be honest 98% of the people are extremely kind to me and I love this community I’ve built online. 💜 If I let the opinions of others dictate my direction, then I’ll be going in circles for the rest of my life, which won’t get me very far.

      A summer 5k in Chicago sounds like blast!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Sandra

    What keeps you from running? I can’t get past my mental block, I know I enjoy running when doing it but my mind always derails me.
    Are there any questions you’d like me to answer? What are your favorite running shorts and running pants? I feel good workout clothing helps.
    Should I run a 5k with one of my readers? I think that it could help some of your readers get on track or maybe help them be more motivated to run.

    Reply to Sandra
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Totally understand that.
      I always wear my Asics running leggings. I can’t do shorts yet! I did buy the body glide, so I’ll try that out tomorrow with shorts! I pretty much cycle through the same leggings every week.
      I’ll definitely look into it!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jill C

    1. I feel bad leaving my dog at home (I know…excuses, excuses)
    2. Are you still doing weight training or any of your circuits?
    3. yes!

    Reply to Jill C
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I totally get that! I try to walk my dogs before or after my run so I don’t feel as bad lol

      I try to do 15-20 minutes of strength training with my weights (circuit style) in the living room twice a week.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Rosita

    1.) Honestly, sweating lol. The hotter it gets, the earlier I begin to sweat in a run and get overheated. So then I convince myself it’s okay to wait for the perfect temperature and humidity, and that’s just running snobbery 😆.
    2.) Do you have a favorite place from anywhere that you have lived or traveled to that you like to run? Or maybe a place that you haven’t yet been to?
    3.) Absolutely. Or even take it up a notch and we can all do a virtual run with you one day!

    Reply to Rosita
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hahahaha! I get it lol I always look at sweating as a way to get rid of all the toxins! 😉

      Hmmmmmm I loved running in Charleston! That was my favorite 8-mile run early morning around the city.

      That’d be fun! 😉

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Emily

    I love running! But I tore my achilles tendon a few years ago and after surgery running has never really been the same.
    I don’t feel any pain during my runs but the next day is KILLER!

    Question: What types of strength training do you do to help your runs/strength?

    And yes you totally should! it would be a fun/great opportunity and something sporadic! 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!!

    Reply to Emily
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Emily!

      Ouch! I had Achilles tendonitis about five years ago, and it was the worst! I’m sure ice is your best friend after runs.

      I do mostly the strength training circuits in my living room. I’ll watch a YouTube video and do about twenty minutes twice a week. I’m not as great about it because I play tennis and volleyball on my off days. I need to be more consistent with strength training.

      Definitely looking into it!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Susie

    Thank you so much for this! I started a healthy diet just a couple weeks ago and would love to start running – but I was just sooooo scared to do it. Your post gives me a lot of confidence to give it a try! ❤️

    Reply to Susie
  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Ahh, so inspiring! Thanks for answering all the questions. I wish I could join one of those 5k runs you organise if I lived in the area! ❤️✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Reply to Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
  • Jessica

    What keeps me from running is that I have a very active job (I work at Trader Joe’s and according to my FitBit I walk an average of 6 miles on the job a day) so when I get home I just want to sit down.
    Why do you think doing races makes you nervous? They have always been a huge motivator for me.
    Yes, a 5k with your readers would be amazing!

    Reply to Jessica
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Girl, I don’t blame you.

      Races make me get in this mindset that I have to run a certain pace or I have to train at a certain schedule in order to be able to do the race. I really just love running to run, and not necessarily running to race. I also get nervous about the injuries when it comes to pushing myself for a race because of my last one. I actually get nervous before running my own neighborhood for the same reason, and it goes away quickly.

      Now, a 5k race I could do! Those are fun 😉

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Carrie

    Please run a 5k in Nashville!

    Reply to Carrie
  • Mara Ross

    1. I work night shift and find I lack motivation after working 12 hr shifts! Also, I do not enjoy treadmill running and running in the heat is no fun in my opinion!
    2. Do you plan to run another half marathon?
    3. Yes!

    Reply to Mara Ross
  • Sara

    1. I already have a pretty full gym schedule with classes, so time.
    2. What kind of shoes do you wear to run?
    3. Yes

    Reply to Sara
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I wear Asics GEL-Quantum 90! They are my absolute favorite because I have a wider foot and cannot do any of the arches. Learned that one the hard way!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Mandy

    1. I never feel like I’m enough! I’m always worried I’ll fail. I’m breaking through this mind barrier and will be running my first half marathon this summer!
    2. I love all your pots and I always love to hear about your runs and recipes most! So keep em’ coming!
    3. Yes, I think that would be awesome. I live in Alaska and wouldn’t be able to run with you but I’m sure there are plenty of local fans who would enjoy running with you. ❤️

    Reply to Mandy
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Mandy!

      I have felt that so many times, actually feel like that before most runs! I’m so proud of you for making a new goal and getting past that block!

      Thanks so much ♥️

      HEY, I’LL COME TO ALASKA!! it’s on my bucket list 😆

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Brittany M.

    Back in October, I found out that I had some major lumbar and cervical spine problems. I was told no exercise or lifting for two months by several doctors… there was a lot involved but long story short, the first few times I tried when I was in the clear were terrible! But I am now making a goal of 30 minutes of exercise or running one mile daily every day and I have stuck with that every since the middle of March.
    I enjoyed reading all the answers and i think you covered a lot!
    I think it would be awesome for you to run a 5K with a reader that represents a special charity or supports a cause that is important to that reader and/or you!

    Reply to Brittany M.
  • Alicia

    1. My shins! I’ve started running at my gym (Orangetheory) and began to have a lot of shin pain. I was running intervals at a pace that was way too fast. So, to keep myself from being discouraged, I walk when I need to and run at a much slower pace. Also, compression sleeves have helped a lot!
    2. Would you ever run with your dogs?
    3. I think your readers would be very excited for a run meet-up!

    Reply to Alicia
    • Taralynn McNitt

      My dogs love their walks but think it’s playtime when it comes to running. I also don’t want to push my dogs to run with me because I don’t know if that’s something they even want to do. Plus, I love love love my walks with them 😃

      Yes so fun!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Haley

    This is one of my favorite posts of yours so far. You just convinced me to get out and run!

    Reply to Haley
  • Rebecca Slongo

    1. I struggle with shin problems! I have always had issues with getting shin splints easily, and have recently just gotten over a shin stress fracture. Every time I try to up my mileage too fast (which I push for when I’m feeling good), I end up with such horrible pain in my shins!
    2. Any secret tips you have on avoiding shin splints 🙂
    3. Yes! That would be so much fun

    Reply to Rebecca Slongo
  • Elissa

    1. I also struggle from severe and often times debilitating cramps when I run. Most of the time it’s the week before my period. Sometimes it’s so bad it makes me throw up. But on any other occasion the thought of how I know it’s really going to suck in every way possible is what keeps me from running. I so desperately want to be a runner, though!

    2. How did you motivate yourself to keep running? And balance it with everyday life?

    3. Yes! Let’s run it together! I need something to work towards, haha

    Thanks for your insight on this!! 🙂

    Reply to Elissa
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks so much, Elissa!

      Cramping is the worst. Sorry, you get it so bad! 😞 I think the best way to get over the “it’s going to suck” is just by starting small and gradually working your way up. I promise it’ll suck way less that way.

      I am honestly fortunate enough to have a schedule that allows me to balance it with my everyday life. The hardest part some days are just getting off the couch and doing it. But knowing how I feel after a run is what gets me out there each time.

      What city do you live in! I’m going to have to start planning these 5k’s soon! 😂

      Good luck with your journey. I know you can do this!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kat

    1. It’s actually funny that you posted this today! I literally just went to your website to see your training plans for a 5k. The main thing that kept me from running was dealing with a new schedule and stress. I started nursing school last year and I don’t deal with stress in the healthiest ways so I’ve gained 20lbs. I want to get healthy for myself and be a good role model in healthcare.
    2. I get side stitch as well so when I start running, I’ll definitely keep your tips in mind.
    3. I think it would be awesome if you ran with one of your readers!

    Reply to Kat
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Kat!

      To be honest, running has helped me with stress so much! It’s one of the best outlets and a great place to escape for a while! 💜

      Those side stitches are annnnnoying! But since I’ve been stretching and letting my food digest, they’ve been way better!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Samantha

    1–I get distracted so easily and find I can’t push myself past the first mental block. I run for about 10 minutes and then I’m ready to give up
    2–Do you ever deal with shin splints? If so, how do you stretch them out/continue with your run?
    3–You should! It would be a great way to connect over things you love!

    Reply to Samantha
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Do you run outside or inside on a treadmill? I get that way inside. Maybe find a really good podcast/music to distract you!

      I used to get bad shin splints, but keeping my IT band lose with stretches has REALLY helped and changing up shoes! You should try getting professional fitted for a running shoe and doing some YouTube videos for shin splints stretches! They are amazing.

      Yes! agree!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kate Fahlen

    What keeps you from running? Myself! I’ve always told myself that I needed to be thin before going running. Then, a few years ago, I started running and eventually I was able to run 3 miles without stopping. That was probably the most proud that I was of myself but I am so afraid to try starting again.
    Are there any questions you’d like me to answer? Do you have a walk to run plan that you can share? I’ve seen one on the blog before but can’t seem to find it 🙂
    Should I run a 5k with one of my readers? YES! Me!! 🙂

    Reply to Kate Fahlen
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Kate!

      It’s crazy we make ourselves believe we have to be a “certain look” in order to run! That’s never the case.

      This is the post where I explained years ago how I was able to work up to a mile!


      that’d be so fun!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • ALee

    1. My unfit body, but I am just getting I into it building up more each day. I love the energy it provides.
    2.No but I love your blog keep it coming!
    3. Yes

    Reply to ALee
  • Kelsey Maynard

    1.) I have never been a runner but always have wanted to be. I’m just terrified of not being good enough because I’m a perfectionist.

    2.) How do you find motivation? I can always talk myself out of anything. The night before I’ll be like I’m going to do. Tomorrow is my day. And then tomorrow comes and I’m like meh.

    3.) YES!!!!

    Reply to Kelsey Maynard
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Kelsey!

      I feel like so many have that same thought! If it’s something you want to do, just start small! You can perfect it along the way 😊

      Things like writing a plan, or telling someone I’m going to do something or getting a new pair of running shoes, making a playlist, and things like that motivate me. I also LOVE seeing progress, and that motivates me even more! And when you don’t feel like doing something, you just have to talk yourself into “trying.” It’s like when our parents told us as kids “just try a bite and if you don’t like it, you don’t have to eat it.” Same with running!


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Mayra G

    1. The weather is my biggest running obstacle. I will run in hot hot weather no problem, for me it’s the cold. I live in Oregon so it rains a lot and a little rain is ok but I will not run in the cold.
    2. I wanted to ask about shoe actually! Thanks for the advice!
    3. And 5ks are awesome, a meet up with local reader(s) would be a great way to get people motivated.

    Reply to Mayra G
  • Ashley

    Loved reading this post! I was under the impression running came easy to you so it’s encouraging to hear that you had to work towards it too!

    1.Finding the time/if I’m being honest…getting sweaty and having to wash my hair 🤦🏻‍♀️
    2. On your long runs do you bring a water bottle with you or any energy boosting snacks?
    3. YES! Create a group that we can signup under and i’d come run!!

    Reply to Ashley
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Ashley!

      Absolutely not! It’s a work in progress.

      Hahaha 100% agree.

      I will hide a water bottle behind a bush and drink ice cold water when I need it! My runs aren’t long enough where I have to have a snack, but water for sure!

      I may do one soon!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Hannah McCain

    1. I’m currently running but ran a 10k in April so I took a little break after that. I’m struggling to pick it back up because it’s hard for me to not be able to run what I was running at the beginning of April!
    2. I know this is a matter of opinion, but do you think some people just aren’t runners? My mom constantly tells me she’s not “a runner” and I’m trying to convince her anyone can be!
    3. Yes I think you should! It would be such a fun way to meet the people who you inspire!

    Reply to Hannah McCain
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Hannah!

      It’s good that you gave your body a rest, but just remember where you were before you started that race! You can easily build yourself back up, and you should if it’s something you’re passionate about. Oh, and congrats on your 10k! That is awesome.

      I think that’s true to an extent. I think that some people’s bodies are prone to injuries, or may be born with something that effects running. But I believe that if you genuinely want to be a runner, you can be. I think people say they aren’t runners because they’ve never had a plan and stuck to it. It takes a lot of dedication to build yourself up to running comfortably. It’s hard for anyone starting out, and that’s why some people come to the conclusion that they are not meant to run. Maybe you can come up with a small running plan with her if that’s something she’d be interested in!

      Awww! Would be so fun!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kelsie

    What keeps you from running?
    Honestly, fear that I will let myself down. I live exactly one mile from a bike trail that is another two miles from a beautiful metro park. The first quarter mile is slightly uphill and if I struggle with that, I will get extremely down on myself- on the verge of tears- and turn around and walk home. As of late, I have been really inspired by Courtney Dauwalter and her ability to run 200+ miles at a time so I have been pushing myself to get out there, take it easy, and go far. I am also trying to get into shape for the police academy so any resistance I may feel towards running, I remember that being in shape might literally save my life or someone else’s life one day.

    Are there any questions you’d like me to answer?
    Do you play any mind games/use your imagination when you run? I, too, listen to music–but if I pretend I’m racing for something then I tend to go at a better pace.

    Should I run a 5k with one of my readers?
    Of course! What better way to connect to your followers! That would be a really fun post to read:)

    Reply to Kelsie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Kelsie!

      I get that every time I lace up my tennis shoes. After the first couple of minutes, it goes away! If you know it’s that uphill that brings you anxiety or struggle, don’t do it. Maybe walk past it and start your run after. I always love starting my run on a flat spot or downhill. It’s crazy how some people can run 200 miles! Incredible, and I’m sure she’s worked extremely hard for it! It just goes to show that you can do anything you set your mind to. Congrats on taking the steps towards the police academy!

      I just try to remind myself to slow down, enjoy the moment, and relax. I think about what I’m going to do for work the rest of the day, projects I wanna tackles places I want to travel, and let my creative mind run. When I run, I often reflect on the times when I could barely run for five seconds without getting tired. I just get so proud!

      Yes! I’d love to do that!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Alaina

    Oh boy! I’d love to get some running shoes as my current sneakers are causing my bunions to hurt!

    What keeps you from running?
    The time devoted to do it! I have two young children that take up a lot of my free time!

    Are there any questions you’d like me to answer?
    I’ve read on your blog that you run even when it’s rained. How does your run vary during different weather conditions and is it harder to run in the rain?

    Should I run a 5k with one of my readers?
    Only if you want to!

    Thanks for answering the questions above! Great content!

    Reply to Alaina
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Alaina!

      Shoes are everything!!

      Not sure if you can, but maybe doing a family walk, or stroller jog to get them in on the running fun!

      I’ve had some of my best runs in the rain. It feels so refreshing! I actually prefer it.


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Beverly

    Just started back running but usually what keeps me is just pure laziness. I used to blame it on my busy schedule but I could have made time for just a short run every day or every other day. Then it was the cold weather and now the hot weather but your blog seriously inspires me to push through the mental block and get it done. I never regret a run so I don’t know why I don’t do it more.

    What were the signs of your runners knee?? I’m so scared of injury but then I’m also the type that will just ignore it when I shouldn’t.

    A 5k for a good cause would be awesome! I’m sure if you researched a cause and organized a run, you’d have a ton of participants!

    Reply to Beverly
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I think it’s easy to blame things on time! I do it a lot. I’ll be like “I don’t have time to run because X” but then find myself watching an hour of a show. It’s really about priorities and what you want to put first. Excuses are way to easy sometimes. If you can push past the mental block, the hardest part of the run is complete. And to be honest, so many people have those same thoughts. You’re definitely not alone on that one!

      PAIN. And the worst thing to do is run on it. I haven’t had runners knee since it crept in during the half marathon. I didn’t even have it while training for the half. Come up with a schedule that’ll help you avoid runners knee or injuries. Taking things slowly, incorporating a good diet, strength training, walking, stretching, and proper running shoes!

      That would be awesome and I am going to look into it!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kaylin

    It’s been intriguing to watch your running journey a few times because I have been following your blog for a long time. It really stuck with me when you mentioned recently that you are not a fast runner and that is just fine and you know it is better for your health. I appreciate you mentioning that! I have never been a runner myself because i just enjoy other forms of exercise but I love walking and hiking.

    Reply to Kaylin
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Kaylin!

      I wish I would have realized that a long time ago! Can I run fast? Absolutely. Should I? Absolutely not. My body loves a good 10:50 pace, and that’s what I need to allow my body to have. It’s crazy how we think we need to be fast runners in order to enjoy running. That’s not the case at all.

      Hiking & walking will always be my loves as well! It’s just as great for you mentally and physically.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • marcie

    I love to run but have no one to run with, so I definitely would love to do a blogger meetup 5K, that would be awesome! Would love to hear more about your running plans and wardrobe choices!

    Reply to marcie
  • Jordan Ottmann

    1. I feel like I am too heavy to run. I want to so badly, I can feel it in my bones. But I think about my excess 60lbs and cringe at having to carry that around.
    2. More on intuitive running! I think that this is something that I would like to do, I just don’t really know where to start.
    3. YES! That would be so fun! You can make it a whole little event with coffee time after the run! 🙂

    Reply to Jordan Ottmann
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Jordan!

      Have you thought about doing power walks/light jogs until you feel comfortable enough to run? Power walking is just as beneficial and even better on the joints! If running is something you want to do, I know you can do it!

      Ohhhh you had me at coffee! xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Colleen Norsworthy

    First off. I just want to tell you that you motivate so much in all aspects of my life. I’ve been following you for a couple of years and you always keep me going. I’m not a runner. My husband says I can totally do it, but I always have stomach pain, gluten allergy. How much water do you usually drink while running? I think you should totally do a 5k with a reader. How fun! Thanks for posting every week. It always gives me something to look forward to.

    Reply to Colleen Norsworthy
    • Taralynn McNitt


      Thank you so much! ♥️ That means a lot.

      When it comes to stomach pains, it’s important to keep track of when you’re eating before a run, what you’re eating, and try to eliminate things that cause discomfort. I only sip water while running if I absolutely have to.

      Thanks for stopping by to read, your husband is right, you can do it!


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Nina

    Hi Taralynn! Thanks for sharing all of your tips and tricks about running! I’m trying to get back into it, but I’m having a huge mental block.

    1.) What keeps you from running?
    In the past, I used to run as a way to de-stress and get myself back on track whenever I was having a bad day. Since then, it’s been years since I’ve ran and grad school at UGA has made it harder for me to get back into it. Now, I’m just too afraid of getting back into running because I’ve gained 15-20 lbs and I’m afraid of failing and not meeting any goals I might set. I also find myself constantly making excuses (like “not having enough time in the day” or “it’s too hot or cold outside” etc.). However, I know that running again will help me manage my grad school stress and anxiety. I just need to get past this mental block!

    2.) Are there any questions you’d like me to answer?
    Yes – Are there any running/diet apps you could recommend? Do you keep a journal? Do you set alarms/reminders to motivate you to stay on a running schedule?

    3.) Should I run a 5k with one of my readers?
    Yes! I think you should! You could motivate the person if things get tough or chat the whole time to get your minds off of running! (:

    Reply to Nina
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Nina!

      Those mental blocks are a pain! It sounds like that you already know you can do it, it’s going to be beneficial for stress, but it’s just getting yourself out there. Grab a piece of paper, right down a running schedule, make the first few runs short, and get out there! You’re going to feel so proud of yourself during this process. I’d start out by running 10-minutes for a couple of weeks. You just have to keep telling yourself, “it’s ten minutes of your life.” You deserve it!

      I use Runkeeper for all of my runs! 💜

      I think it could be so fun!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jen D

    1. I always make excuses about time and I think the huge hump I have to get over to feel like I’m not or did dying everytime I go 😂
    2. You answered my question in this post!!
    3. That would be cool, you could do a meet up with your readers!

    Reply to Jen D
  • Laura

    1. I’m currently pregnant with my second babe so morning sickness keeps me from running as of late.

    2. Do you use a fitness watch or app to track runs? If so, which ones?

    3. Yes! I just wish I lived closer to be the one to run with you! 🤣

    Reply to Laura
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Awww! 💕 Congrats on that second baby! You should follow luluruns! The one I linked in the top. She’s currently pregnant with her second! She’s great and could probably give you a ton of advice.

      I always use runkeeper and sometimes my apple watch when I’m not in my neighborhood.

      xo xo xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Haley

    What keeps you from running?
    Myself! I “run” weekly but get stuck in a rut when it comes time to increase miles. I feel like I can’t do so I just stop when I know I ran a comfortable distance. I want to run further but mentally it’s so challenging!

    Are there any questions you’d like me to answer?
    Fav post run smoothie!!!! (Maybe you have answered already and I didn’t see it 🙈

    Should I run a 5k with one of my readers?
    Yes!!! Run the I love the 90s 5k in Nashville in September 😜😜😜

    Reply to Haley
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Haley!

      I know it’s hard to push past that comfort zone of the same mileage. Honestly, just getting out there and running is something to be proud of. It doesn’t matter how far you go! If you’re wanting to go further, just add 0.1 to each run! It’ll add up gradually.

      Smoothie: 1 scoop vanilla plant-based protein powder, 1 cup of water (or almond milk), half frozen banana, ice cubes, and 1 tbsp of almond butter! Yum! 😋

      Ohhhhhhhh that’s definitely something I could do!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Alena

    What keeps me from running is pure laziness!! I always want to and simply tell myself “tomorrow”. I enjoy running though so I have to stick to it.
    You answered all of my questions! The hardest part is getting out there and doing it.
    If I could run a 5k with you I totally would! You’re an inspiration to me 💕

    Reply to Alena
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Alena!

      You should make a plan with a friend to run. Sometimes that’s the best way to push past the lazy rut. It forces you to just get out there and do it! 😊

      Looks like I’ll be planning some 5ks soon!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Bethany

    1. I run a lot! I initially found your blog from your half marathon training plan a few years ago! Things that usually keep me from running are my work schedule or if I’m really tired.
    2. What is your favorite time of day to run?
    3. Yes! 5ks are so fun!

    Reply to Bethany
    • Taralynn McNitt

      That is so awesome! 💜
      Because it’s so hot here right now and I still need my morning time to wake up, I usually get out to run by 11 am! I am going to start waking up at 6 am and running by 7:30 am next week! The summer heat is going to KILL! lol


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Stacie

    1. I am recovering from a fractured tibia so no running for me – I’m honestly just happy to be walking. But I know when I start running again it’ll be like starting from scratch.
    2. No!
    3. Yes you should coordinate a 5k with your local readers!

    Reply to Stacie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I love walking just as much! ❤️

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Emily

        1. I run because I feel confident and celebrate my body and what it can do. It’s a healthy way for me to de-stress and feel good about myself 🙂

        2. How do you deal with dry mouth and negative thoughts while running?

        3. Yes, you should! If I were local I would totally join!! None of my friends or family run, but it would be awesome to have that community and support.

        Reply to Emily
        • Taralynn McNitt

          Love that reason!!

          Mints in pocket and I hide a water bottle on the sidewalk in my neighborhood. I pass the water bottle every 1.5 miles and take a quick sip! Those negative thoughts can literally break a run. It’s best to keep staying positive things in your head, creating an uplifting playlist, and simply believing in yourself.

          I may have to do a couple traveling 5ks! Maybe I’ll start planning them for late summer/early fall! xo

          Reply to Taralynn McNitt

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