Coaching, Training, Camps.

New Runner’s: A Guide to Running on the Road
Coach Sarah Portella

Hello friends! Today I wanted to talk basics. For a lot of you, you know the do’s and don’ts to running on the roads. But with the COVID crisis continuing, I have noticed A LOT more folks out there taking up running as a way to get outdoors and get in some exercise. So, I wanted to discuss a few basic ‘rules of the road’ if you will!

Before we dive into the rules of the road, I want to welcome all new runners to the running community! It is a world of crazy, funny, maybe slightly odd individuals that are passionate about all things run-related. So welcome and enjoy every minute of it. Now, down to business!

Rules of the Road

  1. Run AGAINST Traffic -> This first one is a big one. If you are not on a sidewalk always, always, always run against traffic (facing oncoming cars). This is for safety and visibility. While this may seem counter intuitive, it is the best way to stay safe. You can see when a car is coming and if needed, be able to react in a timely manner to get out of the way. Even if you are running on roads that are sparsely traveled this is still the best way to go.
  2. Be VISIBLE -> Another major safety alert. If you run early in the morning before dawn, or in the dusk of evening, it is hard for cars to see you. Make sure to a.) where reflective clothing or, b.) wear a blinking light or reflective vest. These items will ensure that if you are in a car’s headlights, they will see you.
  3. Stay ALERT -> While running listening to music may help you pass the time and take your mind off of the task at hand, it is also a major distraction. I’m not telling you to stop listening to music or your favorite podcast, but make sure you are taking measures to stay alert and be able to hear your surroundings. I encourage you to: a.) only put one earbud in so you can hear what is going on around you; b.) purchase headphones that allow in outside noise such as AfterShokz; c.) just try running without headphones and listen to your body. Allow the rhythmic sound of your breathing and feet hitting the pavement relax you.
  4. Be FRIENDLY -> Runners are friendly, even if they are a bit strange. It’s okay to nod or wave when passing or to say hello. We are all in this together, putting in the miles and trying to be the best version of ourselves.
  5. ENJOY the process -> The first few weeks of any new routine is hard. Once your body starts to get used to the new routine each run will feel a bit better. Enjoy the process, both the challenge and endorphins, and relish the time you have to do something new, that will hopefully become a lifelong habit!

New Runner Coaching – New to running due to COVID? If you are interested in personal coaching, I am offering special coaching plans for you. I will help you:

  1. Build miles safely & injury free
  2. Help you with run biomechanics (stride/arm position/etc.)
  3. Create a sustainable training program
  4. Answer run and training related questions
  5. Enjoy the process

If this sounds like something you are (or could be!) interested in, please email me: We can set up a time to chat by phone to talk through your options.