Get Started Running

A lot of people hate running.  Really hate it.  As an avid runner, and one who really loves it, I hear that frequently.  What some people don’t know is that you can learn to love it, it just takes a little time, patience, and of course discipline.  One of my favorite quotes is “The first mile of every run sucks.”  It’s pretty true.  For me the first 3 miles almost always suck.  Then something happens and I go to a happy place.  Get out of your comfort zone and you might just fall in love.  Even if you don’t fall in love, you might like it a little bit and you’ll be doing something good for your body.  It’s the only one you’ve got, take care of it!

A few things to remember and some tips for beginners:

  • Get good shoes.  Go to a local running specialty store.  Do not just go to the “big box” sporting goods store.  The running store employees are much more knowledgeable and they can help put you in the right shoe for your feet.  Some even have a policy where you can try out the shoes for a couple of weeks and if they aren’t just right, you can take them back at no extra charge and you can try something else.  Don’t be afraid to do this.  While you’re there, I highly recommend attending a free running clinic if they offer one. They will evaluate your running form and can help you run easier, with more efficiency and less chance of injury.
  • Get advice from other runners, but don’t compare yourself to everyone else.  We’re all a little different and what works for one person might not work for you.  Try things out and figure out what is best for YOU.
  • Ease yourself in.  Don’t go out and think you can run 5 miles the first day or you’ll end up injured and set yourself back.  Get a plan.  There are a ton of resources online for “couch to running” or running your first 5K.
  • Set attainable goals and find people to help hold you accountable.  Find a buddy who wants to get healthy with you.  It’s so much easier to go for a run at 5am if you know there’s someone waiting for you.  You don’t want them to lace up and be standing out there in the dark all alone, do you!?  Most areas have a local running store with a group run.  Go get it!

Running is good for you!  How many stories have you read about people who lost a ton of weight by starting out walking and then graduated to running?  People have gotten off of various medications for anxiety, high blood pressure, depression – just from running.  Even if you’re still against running and refuse to try it, do something.  Anything.  Just get your body moving.  Yoga, biking, hiking, kayaking, dancing, even just plain old walking.  Your heart will thank you.  Your mind, your spirit, your love handles, will all thank you.