I decided to write up a post about how to get into running if you are looking to start because I was getting asked a bunch of questions on my Instagram about where I started and how I have kept at it. I am NOT an amazing runner and am not even being humble. The fastest mile I ever ran was 11:57. I run at about a 13 min mile pace which I hope in the next 6 months to maybe take that down to 11 or even 10. I am good with endurance. I can run for several miles at a time and feel great. Just so you know, I don't claim to know it all, but have learned so much about running in the last 6 months that I thought would be great to share. Please note, these tips are for those who don't run or haven't ran on a regular basis.
1. Start Slow and walk most of it
In the beginning, you will mostly be walking. Your endurance hasn't been built up yet and that is what you are doing now. Don't set out 3-5 mile goals. Start with 1-2 miles or even half miles. Do what is comfortable for you. I used to walk my kids in their double stroller to the library which is 1.3 miles away from our house and then another 1.3 back. It pushed me enough that I could feel a good burn, but it wasn't overwhelmingly exhausting. I burned a couple hundred calories and really started to see change.
2. Gradually Incorporate Running into your workout
As time goes on, you're going to feel more desire to jog a little more in your walks. I would still go on the same walks with my kids, but then jog from one block to the next. Of course, I was exhausted and wanted to stop, but my endurance started to build and then I could start jogging more and farther as time went on. Make sure you don't run more than what you are comfortable with. It is definitely ok to walk.
3. Set goals
I am a goal maker and this has definitely been a motivator for me. For instance, when I was getting more confident, I would save my exercise time for when my husband was home so that I could go on my walks solo. I would go to the high school track by myself and try and run one time around. In the beginning, I could only make it to the first turn of the track and feel like I was going to die. But with persistence, I just kept trying and eventually was able to complete one time around. I then would walk 2 more times around (1/2 miles) then try and run another 1/4 mile. It started to get easier and easier.
4. Sign up for races such as 5k's
This sort of goes along with setting goals but is a bit more specific. If you want to be a runner more than just casually like I do, I started to sign up for races. I completed my first 5k race this last weekend and surprised myself with how well I did. I knew that this race was just what I needed to show me what exactly I am capable of. This made me start training. I started to run 4 times a week and saw definite improvement in my running skills because I had a bigger goal than just running because of exercise. It does put you out of your comfort zone doing a race like this, but maybe do one that is a Run/walk so that you have the option of walking and not feeling like the only one.
5. Do Not Beat yourself up
This is something I am completely guilty of. Just because you say that you want to run 3 miles and can only do 1.2 and you feel like you are going to die so you quit doesn't mean you are a failure. It's so okay to change things up. You have to listen to your body and sometimes your brain isn't on the same page. When you tell yourself that you aren't doing good enough, the chances of you quitting are much higher. Celebrate little things. The first time I ran a mile without stopping, I was literally so excited. I told everyone I knew that I had done this. Yes, its a mile, but it was such a huge hurdle that I could say I crossed off.
6. Good Music
I believe this is one of the most important things for me. Countless times, I have had little to no desire to go out and run because of this or that. Once I put my head phones in, I start to get pumped and excited to work out. It doesn't always work that way, but usually I can count on my music to help me. I recommend using pandora to help you find new music. I love listening to alternative rock when I workout but I know some people like hip hop or techno or Anything! Just whatever gets you moving.
7. Don't always listen to your brain
This is the most important tip for me! Your brain controls SOOOOOO much of what you think you can or can't do and I believe our brains are wrong a lot of the time. I remember so many times running and feeling like I want to stop because my brain says that I should, but my body is telling me to keep going. And what do I do? stop because my brain is saying that it hurts to much to run or whatever. We are capable of so much. You will actually be very surprised to see what you can do if you just ignore what your brain is saying. I made this inspirational saying for anyone who might feel they need it. It really helps me whenever I am struggling.