OK, so maybe I’m jumping the gun a little. After all, we have a few more days of the year. And I, for one, am enjoying chilling with my kids and playing with our new Christmas gifts.
But, the new year is coming soon and with it lots of resolutions. And there will be lots of new runners out there. Since I’ve come back to running several times (two pregnancies where I did not run, plus a handful of injuries) and I’ve taken the RRCA coach training, I thought I’d share my tips for becoming a runner.
Whether you’ve been a runner in the past or never run before, the key to starting running is to get out there. Take that first step. Walk out your front door or hop on that treadmill and start to move. It really is that simple. And it’s really not.
*Disclaimer: I don’t know you. We’ve never met. Before you take my advice, please talk to your doctor and make sure it’s safe for you to run.*
1. Get some good shoes. Shoes are the most important equipment that runners use. You want to make sure your shoes are supportive and appropriate for your body. I’d recommend going to a local running store if you can. They can make recommendations of what shoes will work best for you. (Eventually you will likely want to invest in good socks and clothing made of wicking material, but you don’t have to do that right away.)
2. Find a plan (I recommend the couch to 5K program or checking out Jeff Galloway’s run/walk method), but remember to start where you are. By that I mean if you can only walk for 15 minutes, don’t expect your body to necessarily cooperate with a plan that asks for more. Build slowly up to where a plan starts or repeat plan weeks as necessary. And if you are returning to running, don’t expect your body to jump right back to where you left off. (Trust me, I’ve learned that one the hard way.)
3. Take it slow. You don’t have to run hard to build your endurance. Run easy and build your mileage. There’s always time to train for speed later. It’s better to be slow than too push too hard and burn yourself out.
4. Listen to your body. It’s ok to be uncomfortable, but you should be able to talk and you shouldn’t feel actual pain. If you can only huff out a word or two, you are running too hard. Slow down or take a walk break if you can’t talk. (If you like techie stuff, this is where a heart rate monitor would be useful.)
5. Sometimes running isn’t fun. There. I said it. Even those of us who have been running for years have runs that suck. But if you’re listening to your body and your breathing is ok and nothing hurts? Then, by all means, keep going. Because I’m a firm believer that the sucky runs make the awesome runs that much better.
Good luck with your first runs and here’s to the addiction that running is!
Today, I’m hooking up with Cynthia, Mar, and Courtney for the Friday Five and Jill Conyers for her Friday Fitness link up. I’ve also linked up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs. I’m also indulging in a few holiday beers, after squeezing in a few more miles for the year.
Any bets on how many miles I’ll get to total? I’m at 1033 and I have a half marathon on Sunday!