Running will always have a special place in my heart, and it’s the sole reason I got into fitness in the first place. Growing up both my mom and dad were pretty good runners; my mom has even run the Boston Marathon twice. I, however, hated running and I mean that wholeheartedly.
In middle school, we were required to do the pacer and the 12-minute run. The pacer was my biggest nightmare. I would get so anxious over it that I would become sick before school. I felt nauseous to the point of throwing up, so my mom would have to excuse me from school. There was this little machine used for the pacer that would beep and you would have to run from one end of the basketball court to the other before the next beep went off. I was always the first one to miss a beep and be done, which being middle school age, completely humiliated me.
Fast forward to 2013, when I went on my first run. I was out in California visiting my mom and stepdad and my mom encouraged me to give running a shot. Long story short, I fell in love. Five half marathons and two Tough Mudders later, running is one of my favorite forms of fitness.
Running to me is an outlet. Whenever I’m having a bad day, am not in a good mood, or just feel down, I turn to running. Ever heard of that thing called a runner’s high? It truly is an unexplainable feeling; it’s one that I crave, and one that I want all of you to feel.
Getting started with running is HARD. Really freaking hard. Just like anything new, you might suck at it – at least I did, but pushing through the hard times is what will help you grow and gain confidence. Below are my top 10 tips on how to start running. They’re a combination of things that helped me and things that I wish I would’ve known when I first started. There is no particular order of importance!
- Invest in a good pair of running shoes. This is something I wish I would’ve known and done when I first got into running. I was running in my Nike Frees, which are amazing shoes! However, for long-distance, my feet needed more support. (This may not be the case for you!) I recommend going to a store that can fit you for a pair of shoes based on your foot type and your stride.
- Start out slow. When you step foot on the pavement for your first run you may be excited, nervous, or an emotional mess, which can cause a huge rush of adrenaline. That adrenaline rush could result in you sprinting for the first minute or two. SLOW DOWN. Don’t let this happen or you will be exhausted after 5 minutes and end up hating running, trust me – I’ve been there. Start slow and pace yourself.
- Run/Walk. This arguably may be the most important and effective one. Instead of going out and running until you literally can’t, schedule in walks. This will vary based on your activity level, but I recommend doing something like the following:
- Week 1: Run 1 minute, walk 2 minutes, repeat for X amount of time (maybe 20 minutes?)
- Week 2: Run 1 minute, walk 1 minute, repeat for the same amount of time as the previous week
- Week 3: Run 1 minute, walk 30 seconds, repeat for the same amount of time
- Week 4: Run 2 minutes, walk 1 minute
- Week 5: Run 2 minutes, walk 30 seconds
- So on and so forth until you can continuously run the entire time!
- Set small goals. Setting smaller weekly goals that lead up to one big goal will morph your mind to crave that winning feeling. Once you reach that week 1 goal, you will crave that urge to win a week 2 goal and so on.
- Sign up for a race. Somewhat going along with number 4, if you put something on the calendar and pay for it, it will motivate you not give up and have something to work toward.
- Change the way you approach your runs. Let’s say you want to run 3 miles, but it may seem daunting looking at it that way. If you say you want to run 1 mile 3 times, that seems a little easier and better than 3 brutal miles.
- Switch up the type of runs you do. Don’t just stick to long-distance or long-duration runs. Do hill sprints, tempo work, speed work, trail runs, etc. THAT is what will help you progress and become better at those longer duration runs.
- If you’re running outside, find a good playlist or put on a podcast. (Unless you like running in silence) I personally am motivated by some intense music or a motivating podcast. If you’re looking for a Spotify playlist, here is mine.
- If you’re running inside, put on a movie or a Netflix show. The Transformers is the BEST movie EVER to run to. You’ll be dodging things left and right on that treadmill, trust me.
- Find your go-to place. Whether that be your favorite treadmill or that outdoor route, make sure you feel comfortable. It can be frustrating running on a busy street and having to stop every two minutes for someone who is walking. It also can be intimidating to run on a path where you don’t necessarily feel safe. After you get a feel for running and become comfortable doing it, I encourage you to try running in new places, it’s fun to look around!
Remember; it’s one step at a time, one breath at a time, left foot, right foot. You got this.
Until Next Time,
Peace & Love,