I would like to begin this post by saying that I am by no means a running coach, a personal trainer or a kin major. But I am what my mother would call “a serious runner”. I grew up with my mom running all the time, just doing the casual 16km a weekend no big deal. Every time I would start running with her I refused to walk and it was so discouraging. So when I started my journey with running last year (approximately 7 months ago to be exact) I told myself, Chrisinda, start with the walk run plan, don’t start heavy because you will be discouraged. I have had friends ask me “how can you just wake up and run” well folks that is easier said than done. I would like to impart to you my tips for beginner runners.
- Dang nabbit you must get the proper running shoes. I can’t tell you the importance of the this. I was running in the completely wrong shoes for the first 5 months of my journey. Sustaining injury after injury. I finally went to the New Balance store with my amazing running friend who is just a gem to the world. I FINALLY got proper advice and shoes I can tell you my feet and bunions are happy.
- Realize that running is a mental challenge. I don’t care what people say running is hard. You are the only one running. You are the only one encouraging yourself. You are the only one accountable for going. Running is a great mental challenge.
- Start slow. I have tried and tried again to start running and never started properly. I always started going 5K right out of the gate. Ma’am this is not the way to go. I advise going on Pinterest and finding a beginners guide to running and then following it. Trust in the process. YES it will get frustrating just doing the “run 1 min, walk 5” 5 times. BUT this will help you build stamina and endurance.
- Running never gets easier. I’m sorry. I hate to break it you you. You just get better at running. You get better at coping with your lungs telling you they are tired, you get better at running. Yes it will improve, and you will have good runs and bad runs. That just how it shakes out, at least in my experience.
- Rest days and rewards. Take this seriously. My rest day is Wednesday. I mean this is also my 12 hour day at school so I don’t have time to do anything. Rest days don’t necessarily mean doing nothing, you can lift weights, do yoga etc. Usually I take one day of the weekend off and do yoga. What are theses rewards you may be asking? WELL its sounds odd and materialistic but for example, let’s say I set a goal to run 15Km and if I get to that I can “reward” myself with some new running pants or a new purse. I mean hey this isn’t the best thing for everyone but I think that sometimes having a wee incentive is really what can make you feel good while you are running.
- Decide a schedule and stick to it. You will realize as you get further into running, a schedule is great and you will be having to explain to your non running friends that you can’t miss one.
- That being said don’t beat yourself about missing a run. Life happens, it happens to me all the time. However, if I can help it i don’t like to miss my long run. My long run is something that I really need to do. Both for stress relief and for training for my career.
Remember, running isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But I wanted to impart what wisdom I do have about running. And remember, when you run you get to wear fun pants and colourful shoes. Embrace the pants. Embrace the shoes.