Hey guys! Back today with a bit more about how to start running! If you missed last week’s post, you can find that HERE.
Running is my very favorite way to relieve stress, take time for myself, and my favorite way to work out. Every run I finish makes me feel powerful and accomplished. It boosts my mood and my confidence. It shows my kids I am willing to commit and follow through with really tough things.
Wanna feel all that too? You CAN.
Here’s more about how to do it.
1.Having a running buddy is fun, but not required.
When I first started running, it was just me, myself and I. Sure, my sister and SILs in Michigan were runners, but I was all alone here in NC. Brandon didn’t join me right away. And while I’m so glad he eventually started his own running journey, we rarely ran together in those days. My point in telling you this is that it’s easy to make excuses about why you won’t/can’t run…and “I don’t have anyone to run with!” might pop up a time or two. It’s BS. Go out and run alone until you find a family member or friend or fellow mom to run with. In the meantime, you might find that running is actually your solace.
2. Don’t stress about your pace.
Honestly, I’m not much faster today than I was a few weeks into running. I sort of hit a 9:30-10 min/mile pace and that’s where I’ve lived ever since. Could I try to get faster and improve a little? Probably. But this is comfortable for me and where I can run a lot of miles very consistently. So if you just want to run for fitness, mental health, or even a race one day, don’t spend time worrying about the fact that your time doesn’t improve. If you are getting out there and running, feeling better about yourself, and enjoying the process, you’re doing great.
3. Breathe the right way.
Google it, guys. There’s a right and a wrong way to breathe while you run. Don’t try to run so fast that all you can do is pant/exhale/try to grab some air. Run at a pace where you can still concentrate on breathing. You need to INHALE and exhale. You should be able to still talk when you run–not to a phone call level or anything, but you should be able to speak a couple sentences every few minutes. If you need to, add walking breaks or go to a slow jog so you can concentrate on getting that oxygen!
4. Listen to your body.
Our bodies let us know when they need rest. Much like the breathing we discussed, you also need to listen when your body is telling you it’s time to take a running break. That might mean on an individual run, or it might mean you need a few days off. Injuries, shin splints, side stitches, knees acting up, feet that are hurting…there are so many things that can happen while we run. Don’t be afraid to listen when your body needs a rest. Over time, you’ll learn to decipher the difference between your mind telling you to be lazy and your body telling you it’s time for a break.
5. Use a fitness tracker or app.
You will want to know how long you’ve gone and what your pace was. You’ll want to watch yourself improve week after week. I use an Apple Watch and my husband uses a FitBit. Before we had those though, we just used good ol’ fashioned MapMyWalk. I think a tracker is great for accountability too. Even if you don’t have anyone in real life cheering you on, you can always post your runs to social media to help you stay accountable to yourself!
6. Enjoy the process.
Running isn’t easy, but it is really enjoyable for plenty of people. Even on days when I hate the run, I love the results. Just like anything else you’re learning, there will be hard times and easy. Keep going! Those first miles, that first race, your kids cheering you on from the stroller…all of that makes the process not only worth it, but amazing.
Happy Running friends!
Other running posts to check out: