You’ve decided to start running?? Welcome to the club! We have cookies! Sure, they’re full of chia seeds, but you’ll get used to it 😉
Whether your motivation is to lose weight, improve your overall health, or you just want to join all of us cool kids out there in the streets with our neon shoes and short shorts, whatever your reason is we’re happy you’re here!
Incorporating any new routine into your life can be tricky at first, and you’re probably going to want to quit at some point. We want you to succeed so here is a list we’ve put together to help manage expectations and keep you lacing up.
- You will suck. But that’s ok, and nobody cares. Keep going because you WILL get better. Here’s the great thing about running: you don’t need someone to teach you how to do it to get good at it. In addition to running, I’ve been doing taekwondo for several years and am sooo close to finally earning my black belt. To get to that point I needed instructors and classmates to teach me and help me and correct me. Assuming you don’t have olympic aspirations, you don’t need any of that to run. Your body knows how to run, and the more you run the more efficient your body becomes at it. You just have to keep going. Don’t quit before you get to experience that thrill of running a 5k with no walk breaks for the first time..and still feel great afterwards!
- Find a walk/run program. They’re easy to find in a quick google search, but what I prefer is a couch to 5k app. When I’m training with my kids we find this the easiest way to keep track of what we’re doing, and we don’t have to constantly watch the clock. Basically you walk and run and walk and run for 30 mins or so without worrying about distance. The app tells you when to run and when to stop and walk while gradually increasing the total run time. Do this 2-3 days a week to start.
- Strength Train. Not only does this mix it up and keep your workouts interesting, strength training improves your running speed and performance. When I started running I had already been doing taekwondo for some time. I had 4 kids at then and was squeezing my race training in after bedtime by running circles around my flat, paved neighbourhood. The only reason I survived the verticals and rough terrain of the mountain trail run was because of the leg and core strength I had built through cross training in taekwondo. You don’t have to become a ninja or involved in any other sport to be a good runner, but don’t neglect your strength training. Planks, squats, push-ups, hand weights or resistance bands are all simple and fast things you can do at home in almost no time at all.
- You don’t need toys! Just go. Don’t get intimidated by gps watches and chic (expensive) running wear. As long as you have a pair of decent running shoes and a sports bra you can get started. As your
addictioncommitment to running grows, you can reward yourself as you go!
- Set goals and track your progress. Give yourself short-term goals, and once you’ve achieved them set more. For instance, you could set a goal to run a mile with no walk breaks, or you could focus simply on getting out 3 days a week. Download an app like Map My Run and add some friends. They’ll be able to see your progress and cheer you on. Sometimes when I get a ‘ding!’ on my phone and look down to see that Emily’s done a run it shames me into getting my butt out there too 😉 Sibling rivalry (or any good-natured competitiveness) isn’t always a bad thing!
- Give it two months. It takes awhile to adjust to a new routine, and for your body to adjust to a more active lifestyle. Sometimes you have to muscle through some unpleasantness on sheer willpower before it becomes something you truly find satisfaction in. I’m betting you’ll stick with it 🙂