How To Start Running During Coronavirus: A Guide To Running For Beginners

Are you starting to walk, jog, or run because your gym is closed or your other hobbies and activities are shut down during COVID-19?  Are you intimidated by other runners or worried you are too slow to be a runner? During this live interview with Catrina Aniballi, Duane and Cat answer some common questions and provide 5 tips for runners to get started today!


In this Healthy Runner Podcast episode, Cat covers the equipment you need to start including running shoes, clothing, or gear as well as what is the most important thing you need to get started right away!

You will learn running training, mindset, and practical tips to help get you start to run today as a beginner!  Cat brings a passion and fire during this episode that will be sure to motivate you to start running no matter how out of shape you feel you are right now.

I hope you enjoy the episode and thank you for listening!


Click the video below to watch the LIVE interview with Cat within the Healthy Runner Facebook Group


You can also listen to the audio version of the Q&A I had with Catrina Aniballi on the Healthy Runner Podcast…now available on your favorite podcast app!



Here is what other runners are saying about the podcast



In this episode you will hear Cat Aniballi’s 5 Tips To Start Running that can serve as your guide to start running right now!




What type of equipment do I need to start running?


Cat talks about not needing to worry about fancy running gear or clothing.  You don’t need a Garmin or an Apple watch but what you do need is a pair of good running sneakers!  It is not the brand of sneaker or a specific shoe that is the best but the proper shoe for your body that is important.  If you want to find out how to get the proper shoe to start running today, check out this previous blog and podcast episode from the running shoe experts at Woodbridge Running Company.



CLICK HERE to read and listen to all of Matt Santillo’s running shoe tips!


Besides running shoes, the other absolute necessity you need to start running today is sunscreen!  This is something most runners forget but is absolutely essential especially for the tops of your ears, scalp, nose, back of your neck, and shoulders!




What is the most important thing to get started?


Cat says to find your reason for running or your goal.  Whether it is to get out on the road once or twice a week just for fresh air, try your first 5K, run 1/2 mile without stopping, beat your sibling in a street race .  If you don’t really have a goal, you may not stick with it but I want to emphasize your goal doesn’t have to be a race!!!


I like to focus on the healthy aspect of running especially for the heart, and explain that weight loss is a benefit but shouldn’t be your main goal.  If it is your main goal then once you lose the weight what will happen to your running?  Will you lose the desire to keep moving forward and continue the heart health benefits because you hit your goal?   In my treadmill class that I teach at the YMCA, I always focus on the heart healthy rather than weight loss.


Once you have a goal or your “why” what is next?


Once your goal is found, JUST DO IT!  Don’t worry if you are as slow as molasses.  Catrina shares her personal running journey on the podcast episode and funny stories.  She is a big advocate of just starting to walk/ run and get out there!


What if I am not fast or don’t consider myself a runner?


Your goal is just that…your goal! Don’t compare yourself to other runners.  Listen to your body and don’t try to do more than you safely can just because someone else is going faster.  Cat’s favorite saying in her classes is…”What is the biggest source of injury in the gym???  Ego!


In order to run for the long run (pun intended) and make it a lifestyle change to stay healthy and embrace the journey you need to train smart with proper progression!  In fact Cat spoke about the 5th principle of our SPARK BLUEPRINT to how to run healthy without getting injured!  CLICK HERE to read and listen how you can start training today smart with proper progression!


How I felt when Catrina talked about ego and training!


What else do I need to stay consistent with running?


Find someone who can hold you accountable but also support you.  This could be your spouse or best friend.  Doesn’t need to be a runner although if you can find someone who is encouraging, that’s helpful.  Cat is happy to have you reach out to her and connect with her on social media for her to be your own personal cheerleader!


I can personally attest to this as Cat helped me stay motivated and so many others who were a part of the SPARK Half Marathon Training Program!  Cat is such a positive person and very passionate about allowing anyone to run no matter your level of fitness or ability.  Check out the Podcast Episode to hear her passion yourself!


How To Start Running


If an accountability partner is not possible then you need a systematic habit sticking method to prevent you from falling back to your old habits. CLICK THIS LINK to learn about the practical guide on how to start running and practical ways to make a running habit stick. The system is inspired by the book Atomic Habit by James Clear and this article is a great read for beginner runners!


What can experienced runners do to support their new beginner runner friends?


The most important thing you can do as an experienced runner is smile, nod, or wave  at other runners who you can see are not as fast as you.  It really does go a long way!  I will never forget when an elite runner took the time to say hi every week to me when I was just starting out running.  Any new runner thinks to themselves “wow, they are acknowledging me!, they aren’t looking down at me”.  This has been something that has been noticed within the running community and can be improved upon in order to support and build others up so we all rise together as runners!  There are a lot of supportive and great people but it only takes that one to kill your confidence.


Here is another resource that may be helpful for you starting out as a runner that I came across.  CLICK THIS LINK to read the article.



In this podcast and Facebook Live episode, Cat Aniballi shared some actionable tips that will help beginner runners start running today! Let’s recap what we covered:

1. Running shoes and sunscreen is the only equipment you need to start running

2. The most important thing to start running is your personal goal or “your why”

3. The next step is to take action and “just do it”

4. It is o.k. to be slow!  That is expected when you start out!

5. Find an accountability partner


I personally want to thank Cat for her time and the fire she brought on the podcast episode helping to motivate all of us who may be intimidated by other runners or intimidated to start running.


Thank you (the reader) for taking the time to read and I hope you enjoy the podcast episode!


Stay active, stay healthy, and just keep running!


Stay safe,


– Duane


Duane Scotti, PT, DPT, PhD, OCS



Connect with Cat Aniballi:

Email: ctrek73@yahoo.com

Facebook: @cataniballi

Instragram: @hookoffthejab 



Healthy Runner Strength Program


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WAIT… check this out before you go!


Before your next run, training session or race implement the latest from SPARK… It’s our 5 minute Dynamic Warm-Up! Please take a moment to watch the video, drop a like and subscribe to our YouTube Channel so we can continue creating the best content for our healthy runner community!



⚡️ SPARK Physical Therapy and the Healthy Runner Podcast  Helping Active Adults Be Able To Run Without Aches and Pains So You Can Feel Good About Yourself Again…

[Even If You Don’t Think You Are A Runner]

If you are a runner and frustrated with your nagging aches and pains and have been told to stop running, we can help you.


Health for Runners BY Runners ‍






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“I developed IT band syndrome during my first marathon training cycle last year and ended up in physical therapy for about 3 months. I was told not to run if I had any pain at all. I lost so much time “recovering” that I ended up deferring my registration to the next year. I spent the next summer training for the same marathon when about 6 weeks out, that familiar IT band pain returned. I could barely finish a mile. I didn’t want to go back to my physical therapist because I knew what he was going to tell me. Stop running. I was so frustrated and started to feel like marathons weren’t for me. I stumbled upon the healthy runner podcast and learned that I don’t have to stop running in order to recover from injury! I was skeptical about an online physical therapy session. But I reached out to Dr. Scotti and he was able to give me the tools to mitigate my pain within the first session! I was able to complete my training cycle and made it to the finish line of my first marathon with his help! I highly recommend!”

Kendyl R. (Runner)

“I’d been dealing with Proximal Hamstring Tendinopathy (PHT) for about 4 years and had been doing PT, but still had lingering pains. I just figured I’d have to suck it up and deal with it because that was as good as I was going to get. But then, I came across a podcast of Duane being interviewed by Jason Fitzgerald on PHT and how he overcame the injury, and my curiosity was piqued. I met with him virtually and he has been a GODSEND! I’m able to sit as I type this! I can bend over and get in and out of cars without pain! And, I’m RUNNING again!!! It is amazing to be able to do things that I haven’t been able to do without pain since 2016!!! Thank you so much Duane for being an incredible PT!!”

Michelle D. (Runner)

“I suffered from IT band syndrome for four years before seeing Dr. Scotti in April 2020. Before then, I couldn’t run more than about 10 minutes without stabbing pain near my left knee. I’d seen various orthopedists, physical therapists, and chiropractors looking for some relief. My career needed me to run a mile and a half within a certain amount of time, and it was impossible to do so with the knee pain. I saw Dr. Scotti and he immediately got to work! That first visit, he helped me understand the anatomy and underlying cause of my knee pain (aka IT Band syndrome). Once I understood what was happening, the course of treatment made so much sense. Not only did he have online videos of all the recommended exercises to treat the problem, his “healthy runner” Facebook group, Podcast, and YouTube videos held a wealth of information and supplemented my plan. I soon understood that running wasn’t just a casual hobby – it’s a sport and one that deserves dedication and focus. Without his dedication to the sport and his community, I wouldn’t have realized this! Over the next few months, I had many ups and downs – victories and failures – and even some tears! Two steps forward and one step back. Dr. Scotti always checked in between appointments and tweaked my plan if needed. By August, I was regularly running 3-4 miles with barely any pain! If I did get pain, it was because my dedication and focus were lacking – and I quickly picked it back up and overcame. I’m so thankful I took another chance at having my knee looked at and trusted someone else. I run regularly now and am really enjoying it. I can’t thank Dr. Scotti enough and would highly recommend him to anyone having trouble.”

Tracy G. (Runner)

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