What is a Newbie?

I’m currently training with a friend of mine, who jokes that she’s recently been referred to as a “newbie.” She’s been running her whole life, and she’s very good at it, so she’s hardly a newbie in my book. But how, exactly, does one classify a newbie?

Is it someone who’s only run a few races, and maybe only for charity/fun and not competitively? Maybe someone who runs slower than a certain pace? Could it be someone who hasn’t completed a marathon? (C’mon, that’s silly; marathons are hardly an indication of running expertise.)

So I asked myself, what is a newbie? And I was stumped. I can tell you how I felt when I joined a running group in Toronto, back when I was a “newbie” …

Oh. My. Gosh. All of the people in this group have run long-distance races. Who in their right mind runs 26 miles! Freaks!
I am totally wearing the wrong clothing. This old T-shirt doesn’t say the words “dry” or “fit” anywhere.
What the heck is a split? How does one know their splits?
And what’s the conversion between a mile and a kilometer? UGH.

What’s my pace? It’s the speed I go before I can’t talk anymore. I have no idea what that is.
I don’t have a watch. WHY didn’t I wear a watch?!?
I hope I can keep up; everyone looks so fast. 

The good news is that every running group has newbies. Every race has someone who’s running their first [insert distance].  I can’t tell you how long it takes to go from newbie to bona fide runner, but I can tell you this: it doesn’t matter how many races you’ve run, the distance you’ve covered, or the speed you move. You are a runner if you show up and believe in yourself.

It’s not about expertise, but about experience. I think that’s why people ask me for advice; I’ve experienced a lot of running scenarios, but I’m not necessarily an expert in anything. Just stay the course, and when you show up at a race more nervous about your goal than your running attire, you are probably no longer a running newbie.  — Amie


3 thoughts on “What is a Newbie?

  1. Slam dunkin like Shaquille O’Neal, if he wrote informative articles.


  2. If you’re reading this, you’re all set, parrden!


  3. Every group does have newbies, and I think running groups are very welcoming to these newbies. I hope that anyone reading this post who is thinking of joining a local running club will do so.
    Clubs have people who will run at your pace and someone who will help you out and answer your questions. Most clubs will let you try them out before you join, so go and give one a try!


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