For some people the idea of starting to run is daunting. They have heard of the many benefits, but they are not sure it is something they can be successful at doing. The fear of starting something outside of the comfort zone produces the excuses of why running is impossible for someone. I could guarantee you that if you knew how running can improve your life in multiple ways, you would find time, motivation, and the courage to become part of the running community. Running can help you mentally, socially, and physically. You only have to show up to see that what you thought was impossible is possible.
I have been running for over 40 years, and it is the biggest positive in my life. I have done everything from the 5K to the ultra-marathon, and I have coached cross-country for many years, so I know I can help you start to run. I will stick to the bare bones because part of becoming a runner is asking questions of veterans, learning about what works for you, and adjusting your running program to fit your lifestyle. Here are a few tips to help you start.
I know you probably thought a running program should start out with how far to run on the first day, but one of the most important elements of your running program is your attitude. Start with a positive, can-do attitude and tell yourself that you will make gradual improvements to meet your goals. Don’t compare yourself to other runners because someone will always be faster and slower than you. Have a growth mentality.
Why do you want to run? What benefits would you like to see? I met a couple yesterday who said they were empty nesters and had decided it was time to improve their health. They also wanted to enjoy the social aspect of the running community. The woman told me her goal was to run a whole 5K instead of having to walk some.
One of the reasons people give up so fast is that they do too much too soon and end up sore, miserable, and discouraged. Start off by running/walking and gradually run more than you walk. Many running stores and community centers offer running programs where you can ask experts how much is right for you.
Don’t run two days in a row and then take two weeks off before you run again. Consistency will help you become a stronger runner.
Fuel your machine
You need your energy to be a runner, so make sure you are eating a healthy, balanced diet to fuel the extra activity. Don’t eat everything in sight though because running only burns so many calories.
Runners love to help each other, so ask questions. I am always learning new things to make me a better runner.
Good luck as you start your program. You only have to take that first step.