It seems my inbox is always filled with emails in regards to how I began running and what advice I have for others to get started too. Well let me start by saying I HATED running for the first 30 years of my life, I’m 33 now, almost 34- WHAT the WHAT, and no I’m not exaggerating. I hated running so much growing up that I made sure I was absent on days I knew we would have to run in school for things like the Presidential Fitness Test or in Junior High when they would tell us the next day would be track day so “bring your shoes”… thanks for the heads up coach ;-).
As an adult I would say “oh I can’t run I have a bad knee” which is true I did injure my knee my Sophomore year of high school, so much so that my Dad hopped a fence to carry me off the football field after doing a half time high kick routine (I was on my HS Dance Team, The Jacketeers ) That was always my crutch, my fall back, and it was really what I hid behind. You see when I did try to run I would take off super fast, not get very far, my lungs would burn, and my side would cramp…. I felt like a failure. I thought to be a runner you had to be able to run 7, 8, or 9 minute miles, that you needed to log at least 4 miles or more on “running days”- anything less was just a waste, and I thought you had to train for 1/2 marathons or marathons and have a collection of medals, and most of all I thought you had to be thin. That’s right, thin…. you know skinny….. you know look like this…..
I don’t fit that look at all. I’m not tall with legs like a gazelle and my pace is anywhere from 9:30-11 minutes per mile depending on the terrain, and that’s OK. (P.S. I walk sometimes too…. OMG I know!)
All of my ideas about running were so wrong and I’m willing to bet some of you have the same ideas and you also have “excuses” to hide behind as well, I know you do because you’ve messaged me! So how do you get started and keep going? Below are my suggestions!
-Go SLOW! Don’t set out to run a mile your first trip out and don’t expect to run that mile in like 8 minutes either. Instead select a song in your playlist that really gets you pumped up and when it comes on jog to it, DON’T sprint or run just jog the whole song. Stop and walk a bit once it’s over, catch your breath, and see how you feel. Once running to 1 song becomes easy, try 2 and so on.
-Pick a place you enjoy being. Not everyone likes to run on the road and not everyone likes the treadmill and believe me those are two very DIFFERENT places. The treadmill almost does the work for you where as running outside on the road provides you with a natural rise and fall, traffic, nature, sun etc… I prefer outdoors because it’s more challenging- but I have learned to appreciate the treadmill because it provides a “No Excuses” approach… you know being indoors and all.
-Set a goal. Whether it’s to get out and run/walk intervals a certain amount of days a week, to run from your house to the top of your street and back, just set something attainable and work for it! Once that goal is comfortable and you own set a new one that is a bit more challenging.
-Always have music that you love! Make several different playlists or set up fun stations on Pandora. (Check out my I was RUNNING board on Pinterest)
-Find an app that you like to help track your progress and distance. I use Map My Fitness for outdoor runs but I also use Nike+ Running while on the treadmill. Both apps provide voice feedback allowing you to stay updated on your distance and speed. The Nike+ app will connect to Facebook and Twitter and allow your friends to “cheer” for you while you run!! (You can friend me via both apps: Tera Norberg)
-Get a POLAR, seriously. If you are looking to get healthy, get active, and be serious about working out you need one and they aren’t just for running. You see me post pictures post run or work out all the time, it’s a great tool to keep you motivated and they vary in price too! (A great starter would be the FT4 or FT7, the one you see in my photos is the RC3GPS seen here.)
-Lastly, JUST GO! Stop saying “I’ll do it tomorrow” or “I can’t”…. YOU CAN and you’ll never know if you truly enjoy it until you try. Who knows you could be an Ultra Marathoner and just not know it yet.
I hope these little “tips” help those of you looking to get started, and as always please consult your doctor before starting anything new that may put a strain on your body or affect a pre-existing condition.
So I want to hear from YOU now! In the comment section below tell me how you got started running!
Healthy Wishes, T