Three Of the Best and Worst Pieces of Running Advice I Ever Got

When someone asks how long I have been running, I always say that I have been running since I was 30, but that’s not quite true.

I was 30 when running “stuck” for me.

There were a few brief, unsuccessful attempts at running before I was finally, at age 30, able to persist.

Meditations in MotionThis is how old I am: when I first began running there were no sports bras. We women just wore our “street bras” to run in.

That really wasn’t a problem for me. No one would ever call me well-endowed (except maybe for those few glorious times when I was nursing and actually had some cleavage).

Anyhoo…I mention this as an example of how far we have come since the early days of the sport when women were not allowed to run the Boston Marathon and we all wore cotton T-shirts.

And who can forget seeing those shockingly short running shorts paired with knee-high running socks worn by male runners back in the day?

Meditations in MotionThe advice given to runners has changed a lot in the intervening years.

  • Run all the miles.” / “QualityΒ  versus quantity.
  • Eat all the carbs.” / “Add some protein and healthy fats to your diet.
  • Don’t drink too much during a run. Your belly will slosh” / “Consume 3 ounces of fluid every 10 minutes.

In that spirit, I would like to share with you three pieces of the worst and best running advice I have ever seen.

Meditations in MotionFirst, the worst.

  1. Running will ruin your knees. Actually, repetitive weight-bearing motions like running are good for your joints. They help build and strengthen the bones, promote weight loss, which reduces the chances of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, and release synovial fluid, which reduces inflammation and lubricates the joint.
  2. Run through the pain. Running through pain severe enough to cause you to alter your gait or pain that gets worse as the run progresses is a bad idea. Listen to your body. Running may cause little aches and it is not always easy but it should not be painful.
  3. You’re too old to run. Ummm…no. Just no. Running helps lower blood pressure, build muscle, decrease stress levels, lower cholesterol and blood sugar, and, maybe most importantly, increases blood flow to the brain, which improves brain function as we get older.

Meditations in MotionNow the best.

  1. If it’s not fun, it’s not worth doing. Unless you are getting paid for running (and if you are a professional runner, why are you reading this post?), it’s supposed to be fun. That doesn’t mean that running isn’t sometimes challenging, that you can’t push yourself or try to get better. But if what you are doing is really not enjoyable, make a change. It’s supposed to be fun.
  2. You only regret the runs you don’t do. If you are a runner, there will be times that you don’t want to put on your running shoes and get out the door. It will be dark or raining or you will not have had a good night’s sleep or you will be stressed or depressed or anxious. Do it. Begin putting one foot in front of the other over and over and over again until you find your rhythm and the corners of your mouth begin to turn up and you remember why you fell in love with running in the first place. You will feel better after a run. Every. Single. Time.
  3. If you can’t decide whether or not to go to the bathroom one more time before heading out for your run, do it! Enough said.

And, one more piece of inspiration before we say goodbye, the one that always causes a lump in my throat:

“There will come a day when I can no longer run. Today is not that day.”


You can find the places I link up here.

Please click on the following link to read more funny or inspirational one-liners. One-Liner Wednesday.

Meditations in Motion









  1. Very heartening! As you know, I eschew running unless something dreadful is chasing me, but I do work out regularly and stay physically active in between. Everything you say about running can be applied to all worthwhile exercise. When in doubt, just keep moving, sez I πŸ™‚

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  2. Interesting advice. I appreciate how it has changed over the years. I’ve never had the desire to run, but I live on a street where it is the thing so I quietly cheer people on as they go past the house. I figure cheering is never going to go out of style.

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  3. Good advice. Although on my runs, there’s always secluded, wooded park land close by and 8 months of the year it’s dotted with port-a-potties, so I don’t worry about the bathroom one too much.

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  4. I do not run (walking and biking is my thing), but I would certainly take the bathroom advice if I did. The “ruin your knees” advice made me chuckle as my mom would always tell my brother this as he both runs and bikes avidly. He’s in better shape than I am, even being older. Good advice!

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  5. Great advice. If I can’t be outside running/walking I’m fit to be tied. I have cut my regime back to a a lot of walking these days. I’m getting too old to keep tripping and smashing my face on the pavement! 😦

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  6. These are golden, especially the “one last stop at the potty” before running. If my brain processes even a fleeting thought of a bathroom (or porta potty), and I’m about to head out…I gotta detour to a facility LOL Otherwise, I will think of nothing else and be in serious danger of an accident…

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  7. I didn’t know that about the joints! Ya learn something new every day! I did ballet for 5 hours a day, then they replaced my hip joint with a restrictive artificial hip so due to the engineering, I couldn’t turn my knees out properly. I haven’t found any type of exercise to replace the ballet and frankly I was worried about knee damage. I may start now that I know.

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  8. I’ve never done any running or jogging and I read all your pointers Laurie and the one that amazed me was that your bones will be strengthened and no knee damage … where did I get in my head that pounding the pavement, and that each strike would damage your knees, or heels, the small bones in your feet? I don’t know why I thought that and the idea that you lower your blood pressure and cholesterol and improve your brain is a great incentive. You made me want to start running. My knees are not so good from all the sitting – that is why I began walking in the Fall of 2011 – suddenly I could not kneel down and walking multiple times up/down the basement stairs left my knees feeling wobbly – all the walking still has not helped to be honest, even though I love walking. I may just consider running after I retire. Now, I could not walk, take photos, do my daily shtick and still have time to run … however down the road, I could do it after returning home from walking. I will seriously consider it.

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    • The small bones in your feet may get damaged from running, Linda. I have heard of several runners who have had stress fractures of the small bones in their feet. I think walking is just as good for exercise as running. It just takes longer to travel the same number of miles and I am impatient! πŸ™‚

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  9. I love this post! When I was in my early 30’s I decided to STOP working out just as an experiment to see what would happen. Within a few weeks I was full of aches and pains that I never had before and I was just so tired and honestly, I felt so old. So I hit up the gym and all of these problems went away. Running came into my life a few years later and I’ve never looked back.

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    • Thank you. So glad you enjoyed the post. When I first began running when I was 30, I couldn’t believe how strong and energized it made me feel. I’ve never looked back either.


  10. …when I was in the nursery business I had a customer, Norm Frank. He had a lawn maintenance business, Marathon Lawn Service. I once asked him how he trained and he said that he ran a marathon each week and his training diet was potato chips and Coke. Iran until he was in his 80s.

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  11. Laurie, what are you trying to do to us with that last quote? (Gulp.) Seriously, this is great. I’m going to try running outside tomorrow … time to see if pushing myself to go faster and to go uphill on the treadmill has made any difference yet. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • Haha! I read that quote on signs along the course from my favorite race of the year. It always chokes me up! Maybe that’s because of my age. Good luck with running outside. I want a report on how it went! πŸ™‚


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