How to be a Runner
Let’s get one thing straight, if you run, you are a runner. This is one of my favourite things about running, it is all encompassing; you do not need to be picked for the team, or even any good at it! If you’re lacing up and getting out that door for 1 mile or 100 miles you’re a runner.
If you’re not there yet then that’s fine… Welcome! You are about to join an amazing community of people that stretches around the world. If you’re a woman there are over 15 million of us hitting the track, trail, or treadmill! If you’re a man then I don’t know the stats, sorry!
Running is a great, efficient and relatively inexpensive way to shape up, relieve stress and stay healthy. So here are my top tips at how to take those first sometimes uncomfortable steps…
- Start small
You don’t have to start running for any particular length of time or distance. Start at what feels comfortable. A great way to build up stamina is to walk and run intermittently. Start out by running for 1 minute walking for 1 minute, or even running for 1 minute walking for 5 minutes if that’s what you feel comfortable with. Each week try and decrease the amount of walking time and increase the amount of running time. There are some great apps out there like couch to 5k to help.
- Keep going
I won’t lie to you; it’s not always going to feel great. You might hurt in places you didn’t know exist, your breathing might be uncomfortable and you’re going to want to stop, a lot!! Don’t!! It does and will get better, that’s an actual fact. The feeling you get when you can make it through that first mile without stopping (or whatever your personal goal is) will give you such a high that you will almost instantly forget how terrible it can be at the beginning, almost!
- Spend a little
Running is pretty much a free sport but it is worth investing in some essentials. Get the right shoes, go to a specialist and get your running style checked. There are plenty of shops out there that do this. Don’t be pressurised in to spending loads of money, be clear about your budget, shop around and get a good deal. Women buy a good quality sports bra, you will not regret this purchase.
- Park run/Run Club
When you’re feeling ready to engage with other runners why not find your local park run or sign up to a local club. Park runs are an incredible initiative they organise free, weekly, 5km timed runs. They are open to everyone, and all over the country and world for that matter. People walk them, walk/run them and run them. They are awesome little motivators to have a weekly run. Sadly there isn’t one that close to me, so if you’re in that boat why not join a club. Running clubs are incredibly friendly and supportive and have runners from all abilities. It’s a great way to stay motivated, meet people, build up your stamina and improve your technique.
- Flexible routine
Having set days you will run on is great and helps build routine but life will undoubtedly get in the way. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t make it out or you fall off your fitness wagon. Be flexible and readjust your plans accordingly. Try setting yourself a time target for the week. For example say I will run 30-60 minutes this week. This way if you’re busy you can still reach your goals and adjust your running days around your life.
And if nothing else, remember this… There will always be a million reasons not to run, it’ll always be too cold or too hot, you will always be too tired or too busy, but ignore all of that, always, and in the words of Nike “Just do it”.
I hope this sparks a little fire in someone to dust of those shoes and head out the door.
It could just change your life…