Running lessons to live and run by

Karla Bruning shares the running lessons she has learned over the course of 50 races. Photo: Phil Hospod

NEW YORK, October 19, 2012 — The Staten Island Half-Marathon on October 7, 2012 was my 50th race. In my transformation from loather to lover of running, I have learned many a lesson over the course of those 50 races. Some I learned the hard way and others were pleasant surprises. Some are obvious, but not necessarily if you’re a new runner. Some are humorous and some are serious. But all of them are worth heeding. Here they are in no particular order. Enjoy and please share some of your running lessons in the comments below.

1)   Make goals

2)   Don’t be afraid to adjust your goals

3)   But also don’t be afraid to go for them

4)   Go out slow — slower than you think you need to

5)   When all else fails, have fun

6)   Run for fun

7)   Run in costume

8)   Run with friends

9)   Run with family

10) Join a team

11) Try a tri

12) Be thankful that you can run

13) Always bring your running shoes on vacation. When you don’t, run anyway.

14) When you’re heartbroken, go for a run. When you’re happy, go for a run.

15) Give a running streak a try

16) Knowing better is one thing. Doing better is another.

17) Run in the rain on a hot day. Stay in bed on a cold one.

18) Cheer on runners at a race you’re not doing

19) Acknowledge that training actually works

20) Run tune-up races before your big event

21) Run hills, even if you hate them

22) Read a book about running, whether it’s fiction, memoir, humor or how-to

23) Bad runs, like bad things, happen to good people. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again.

24) Smile for the camera

25) Run for charity at least once

26) Train with music, but don’t be afraid to leave it at home on race day

27) Don’t try new food on race morning. Also don’t drink a milkshake before a speed workout.

28) Don’t go for a personal best in your first Disney race

29) Don’t wear cotton socks

30) Don’t bother wondering, “What If?”

31) Listen to people who know better than you

 Karla Bruning is host of On The Run, New York Road Runner’s weekly lifestyle web show about running. She has completed four marathons, two triathlons and trains with the New York Harriers. Follow Karla’s “Notes From a Running Nerd” at, Facebook and Twitter@KBruning.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Karla Bruning

Karla Bruning is the host of On The Run, a TV and web show from New York Road Runners. Her work has appeared in Newsweek, American Athlete Magazine,,, The Philadelphia Inquirer, San Francisco Chronicle, Orlando Sentinel, and two dozen other outlets including ESPN2, Universal Sports and ABC in New York. She and her work have also received mentions from The New York Times, Runner's World, Fox Sports, Canadian Running, The Baltimore Sun, and PBS among others. She also covered the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver for The Washington Times.


A former Newsweek reporter, Karla has won a Fulbright scholarship for American journalists and reporting grants from the Scripps Howard, Carnegie and Knight Foundations. Karla holds degrees from Amherst College and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.


When not pounding the pavement as a reporter, Karla is pounding the pavement as a runner. She has completed seven marathons, four triathlons, trains with the New York Harriers and is a member of New York Road Runners. She is a writer, editor, and on-camera reporter dedicated to covering the sport of running from a runner’s perspective. Find Karla on, Twitter@KBruning, Facebook and Google+.

Contact Karla Bruning


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