I’m obsessed with running at the moment and desperately trying not to become a huge bore who talks about running to people who couldn’t give a hoot. I’ve been stuck in conversations with those people before and it’s no fun. However, one of my oldest and dearest friends recently asked me for tips on how to start running from scratch. I found myself replying enthusiastically, really ranting on via email (she lives in the States) and having to stop from sending her a novel.
Then a Facebook friend contacted me for tips too (if these people could only the pace I run at, kind of like an arthritic senior citizen) and I thought, well why not write a blog post about this? I’ve already written most of it and hey, I love a good shortcut in life! Better not run the risk of working too hard.
So without further adieu/waffle, here are my Top 5 Tips for Running Newbies:
1. Sign up for an event. This is particularly important if you think you’ll be likely to dilly dally when it comes to working on improving your running. Choose a distance that is a bit ‘scary’ or in my case, almost makes you feel physically sick ‘cause it’s so scary, ha!
2. Become a wolf pack. Okay so you don’t need a whole posse of people to become a runner, but it does help if you can find other people to run with occasionally. Doing the odd timed running event is great too because it adds extra pressure, keeps you moving and you meet people who are enthusiastic about running. There is nothing less motivating than surrounding yourself with couch potatoes who think you’re mad for wanting to go for a run.
3. Stick to a schedule. Find the right training schedule to get you to your goal, and do it every single day. Don’t think ‘I’ll find time to run’ because you may miss runs that way. Sit down every Sunday and map out exactly when you are fitting your run into each day for the next week. If you can’t find time to do a big run, make sure you fit in a little one to keep your momentum going and your fitness up.
4. Stop when you’re sick. I’ve ignored this advice many times and it sucks the big kahuna. If you get sick, just stop running for a few days and let your body recover. If you have enough time, build a couple of extra weeks into your training schedule so you can afford to miss a few days.
5. Mess with your mind. Some days a run will be the last thing you want to do, yet your schedule will say ‘Run 35 minutes at a fast pace’ and you’ll want to crawl into a hole and die. On these days, I know the guilt of missing a run will consume me and I play a little mind trick on myself. I commit to doing a small amount of running instead, like 15 minutes. Almost without fail, after 15 minutes, I realise that I do have the energy to run and I’ve already done the hardest parts – getting warmed up and getting my breathing right. I almost always keep going, only to finish feeling proud as punch and high on endorphins.
So those are my tips and I also really like this advice from the world wide web too: