The most common question I get from you guys is: How do I start running??? So today, I’m going to start answering ALL THE THINGS about my very favorite way to exercise.
Also, may I just point out quickly that NOW is the PERFECT time to start running? I mean, you’re home, you need fresh air, you can’t go to a gym anyway…so let’s get you on the right path! (Do you see what I did there? DO YOU!?)
First things first…
We gotta address the elephant in the room.
What if I’m not a runner?
You guys. None of us start out as runners. No. ONE. So when I started running in the neighborhood running club at like, age 10, I wasn’t a runner. When I re-started running (off and on) during college and summers, I wasn’t a runner. And when I re-started running a couple years ago…I wasn’t a runner. But here’s the thing: If you go out and start running, BOOM! You’re now a runner. It’s just that simple. If you run, you’re a runner. If you aren’t a runner, all you gotta do is begin your journey.
Alright…let’s do this.
1. Schedule your runs
One of the most important things I’ve learned is that running takes discipline and planning. If you don’t naturally have a lot of discipline, you aren’t alone. This is why I plan to run. I learned early on that I rarely run on a whim. But if it’s scheduled into my day, I’m there.
Let’s delve a little deeper into planning, because I get so many questions about my running schedule too.
a) I personally do not run every day. I work, I have two kids, and my husband deserves his own running nights too. I run 3 (sometimes 4) days a week. My general schedule is Tues/Thurs/Sat. But with the Coronavirus and all the strange things that have happened with all our schedules, we’re doing more family runs and they have shifted to the weekends for the most part.
b) Your running plan should reflect what works best for YOU. For example, when I’m training for a race, I do my long runs on Saturdays because that’s the day I can. Be sure to figure out what time of day will work best for your schedule too!
c) You should inform someone of your plan to run that day to help keep you accountable. Even though I have my “normal” days, I still share that I’m going to run later that day because I know my husband will keep me from slacking off if he knows I planned to run.
2. Gradually build up your mileage
a) When you first start running, you’ll want to determine where you’re at and go from there. People with a bit more natural athletic ability might be able to run a mile fairly quickly, while for others that might take weeks and weeks.
b) I tend to run in miles, not time. So for me, once I mastered a mile, I worked on two. Once I could run 2 miles, I’d move to 3. And so on. But if you prefer to build up your time instead, you can.
3. Determine your favorite distraction
-when I am training for longer distances, I find that I do better listening to podcasts. They distract me and keep my mind focused on something OTHER than the fact that my feet/knees/legs have started to hurt.
-if I’m just going a few miles, I normally kick on some music. I know I won’t need as much of a distraction, and music lets my mind wander to whatever it needs/wants to whereas a podcast keeps me focused on what I’m learning through audio. Plus music just boosts my mood!
-It’s hard for me to understand, but I certainly see runners out there just taking in the sounds of nature. It will never be my jam, but it doesn’t have to be. If you want a headphone-free run, you go right on ahead.
4. What to wear
Don’t freak out about having (or not having) specific running shoes. I actually didn’t get my first pair of nice running shoes til maybe last fall!! Wear whatever tennis shoes you have that are comfy for you. If you wait til you have the best shoes, you might never start!
When I first started running, I’d just wear my lounge/mesh shorts–and I promise you–whatever you have will work just fine too! Eventually though, I realized that I much prefer tight shorts because I don’t like to feel like my booty might be showing! So now, I run in black polyester/spandex shorts on hot days, and tight workout pants/tights on cooler days.
I’ll be back next week with more info about how to start running!! In the meantime, here are some other helpful posts that you can check out!
5 Must-Haves for Outdoor Workouts
7 Crucial Safety Tips for Female Runners
The Ultimate Guide to Running Gear