10 Tips To Beginner Runners From Elite Runners

A few weeks back, I had the pleasure of joining 9 wonderful athletes in Phuket for the Laguna Phuket International Marathon. The group, composed of Run 1500 winners, were sent by 7-Eleven to represent the country. Never have I been in the company of a more humble and more talented group before. It was an experience getting to know them and their stories of perseverance and eventual successes.


The 7-Eleven Run 1500 delegates at the Phuket Marathon; Photo Credit: Laguna Phuket Marathon Facebook page

This is how I set a new life goal: to run a marathon. If you’re anything like me, however, you wouldn’t even have experience with a 3K fun run. Seems like I’m going to need all the help I can get! Here are advice from the Run 1500 elite runners:


10. Take a chance, you might like it 

The thought of running a marathon– the whole 42 kilometers, seems like such a daunting and arduous task for those who have not even tried fun runs. But, as is in everything in this world, you have to give the thing a chance to figure out if you like it. You never know until you try! This is what 21 year old Mark Oximar from Polytechnic University advises most people who are interested in running. His gamble certainly paid off as he placed 3rd overall in this year’s Phuket International Marathon.


9. Make sure you’re fit

Cristabel Martes is a 35 year old runner and coach from Benguet. She started running since she was in 3rd year college and has since then placed in countless marathons including the Phuket Marathon where she came in 1st place in the Women’s 21k category. She tells us that before anything else, before endeavouring to start running, one should get checked and cleared by a doctor. She says that in everything, before any physical activity or training program, make sure you’re in shape


Cristabel Martes crossing the finish line at the Phuket Marathon


8. Have the right equipment

Cristabel also reminds us to use proper shoes as the wrong ones may cause injuries. She advises that beginner runners undergo ‘gait analysis tests’ to figure out what type is suited for their particular running style. These tests are available for free in a lot of running stores.


7. Take it slow: Patience is key

The 22 year old Gregg Osorio from UST has been running since he was in 2nd year high school. He eventually dreams of competing in the Olympics and he seems to be well on his way. This year, he placed at the 21k men’s age category at the Laguna Phuket International Marathon. Gregg reminds those interested in running, however, to start with the basics and to train hard. There are no shortcuts, just gradual improvement.

Cristabel emphazises this: Before doing a full marathon, start with small events. For running, you can start with walking program, then incorporate jog/run as you progress.


6. Space out your runs, be sure you get rest

The Philippine Army’s Elmer Sabal won 2nd place for the 21k male’s category at the Phuket International Marathon. The 33 year old also coaches in Milo and he cautions would be runners to space out their runs. He tells us that a common mistake by new runners would be joining back to back runs which can cause injuries that can lead to the end of your running career. To make sure you are in tip top shape, he reminds runners to make sure there are intervals between races, even if that would mean limiting the ones that you join.