Diary of a Running Chick: Learning to Run 3 Miles!

It’s actually pretty easy to get yourself outside and running. As long as you prepare yourself and keep your expectations reasonable, learning to run 3 miles will take you no time kids! I’m a running chick and this is my diary.


Three miles is a very achievable goal when first starting to run. Your primary goal to start, running for at least thirty minutes, usually equals three miles for the average runner. Why thirty minutes? Because its slightly more time than we require for a cardio workout, and you have to go longer to get stronger. It’s technically a ten minute mile pace, which isn’t fast at all. A lot of runners run much faster than that, and if you’re transitioning from running inside to running outside, then you definitely ran faster on the treadmill. But outdoor running is harder and your pace isn’t what’s most important. Let that go.

You need to switch your mindset when you start running outside and picking a consistently achievable goal is crucial. That’s why I set my goal at three miles when I began to run outdoors. I’d been running closer to five miles on the treadmill, but at most I did a 2.0 incline which is basically flat. Running outside meant a constantly changing elevation that was much, much steeper. My area of Los Angeles is loaded with hills. No matter your outdoor terrain, when you first start to run outside, those three miles will feel harder than five miles on the treadmill. Both mentally and physically its more challenging, so give yourself the liberty to walk. Even though I didn’t want to, it was crucial to my growth as a runner. Taking a walk break is no big deal. That was my big shift in my mindset.

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Inside on the treadmill I’d never have slowed down to walk, except for my brief warm up and cool down. Outside is different. Going the distance is important, but how you get there is not. Especially if you’re a less experienced runner, walking is imperative. Run that first mile at whatever pace you can, then walk until you catch your breath. Don’t baby yourself, but make sure to catch your breath. If it only takes a minute or two, great! If you walk for the entire second mile, great! Just make sure you run your final mile fully, or at least those last five minutes. Stop with a half mile to go and walk if necessary, all so you can run through your personal finish line.


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Really push yourself during the last five minutes of your run. Lengthen your stride and push your pace to finish with everything you have. Then walk it off and smile. I once had a track coach say to me that if I was able to sprint at the end of the race, then I hadn’t given it my all earlier. That’s simply wrong and does not apply to your daily run. I would up my pace throughout my races and you should do the same while running. Take a moment to warm up as needed, then push yourself faster as the run progresses, remembering to walk if you need. Then finish strong. Making sure to run faster at the very end is great training for an overall faster pace.

Be realistic with how frequently you run outside and make sure you get in thirty minutes. You will definitely be more sore than when running inside, so set your goals accordingly. If you set a goal of running three days a week outside for thirty minutes and three miles, stick to it. Then in a few weeks you can add in more days and by your second month, you’ll be upping your mileage as well!

In no time your starting mileage of three miles will be a distant memory, but boy will it lay a great foundation for you. Master the three-mile run, because you can’t run outside without a solid foundation. Now get those shoes on!

Comment below and let me know how you mastered your first three-mile run. Woo!



Mandi Mellen is Lead Editor, Staff Writer, and Featured Vlogger at BuzzChomp. She’s an actress, writer, and producer. Get lost in her youtube comedy channel PillowTalk TV. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or Instagram



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