A Wife Loved Like The Church

Posts Tagged ‘Exercise

The first step in becoming a runner is to run. That might be simplifying things, but it’s true. You’ll never be a runner if you don’t run.

Running is a daunting task at times. It’s hard, it’s tiring, and can be very lonely. But I’m going to share some quick tips to get you started.

1. Set a goal – Every race I’ve run has a goal. It could be to finish. It could be to set a record. It could be to just have fun. Having a goal in running let’s you know how you’re doing while training. Without a goal, you don’t have clear direction. And without direction chances are good you’ll stop running.

2. Set realistic goals – I’d love to get on a course and run a 10K in under 45 minutes today. That averages an 7min/mil. Doable, perhaps. But since my current average is 9min/mil, it’s not that realistic. If you’ve never run, or it’s been a long time, having realistic goals allows you to meet your bar and feel accomplished. Set a goal to run a 5K in 3 or 4 months, not next month.

3. Buddy system – Running is great for solitude. I can hit the streets and not talk to anyone, just be alone. But that can get really boring. If you are just starting off running, having a running buddy can make the difference between success and failure. A friend helps push you, motivate you and hold you accountable. You can be certain, I would not be running at 6am if I didn’t have someone depending on me running with them.

Don’t have friends who run? Do a search for running groups in your area, or check out Meetup. Finding established clubs are safer options for meeting a new running buddy.

4. Get the gear – If you have never run before, you need to make sure you have shoes, shorts, top and sports bra {for the ladies}. It’s going to make things much harder if you don’t have what you need to get started.

5. Don’t get the gear – Chances are good, that you probably already have the essential gear you need to start running. Now, I speak for myself when I say – don’t buy new shoes/shorts/top/bra thinking this will motivate you to run. Personally, for me it never did. If you already have what you need to run, start running. Perhaps getting new shoes/clothes can be a reward for hitting your goal. Run a 5K, get new shoes.

Don’t let yourself be discouraged before you ever start. Set a goal, find a friend and start running.

“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” -John Bingham

Next week, I’m going to be addressing how to set goals using running programs – and how to find a program that’s right for you.

*Disclaimer: All tactics/tips are my own personal opinions and not medically backed. Please seek medical advice before starting any running program.

I grew up around a lot of runners. My step dad ran track and field throughout college. My older brother did the same throughout jr high and high school. I had lots of friends who ran. I always wanted to run, but never thought I really could – especially distance. Sure, just about every able body is capable of running, but I had a dream of running distance, not just down the street.

I remember running for a few months in high school during basketball season. I had tried out for the basketball team {you can laugh at that statement} and part of training was to build up to a 3 mile run. I think I made it to 1.5 miles before I stopped. And I promptly quit the basketball team. In college, my longest distance was a mile. Maybe 1.5 if I’m being extra generous. And I’m pretty certain that 1 mile took me a good 20 minutes. I tell you all this to say – If I can run, anyone can run.

After Hannah, my second child, was born, I started working out. I joined a gym, got plugged into an aerobics class. Shortly afterward, some girlfriends suggested we run a 5K together. So, 4 months after Hannah was born, I ran my first race. I hadn’t done any training for it, but hoped that I had built up enough endurance from my aerobics class to get me through. I made it. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t fast, but I did it. And a fire was lit.

The day after my first race, I ran again. 1.5 miles around our neighborhood. I told a friend, and avid runner, about the 5K. She encouraged me to run a 10K with her later that month. I thought she was straight up crazy, but I signed up. Shortly after the 10K, that same friend said “If you can run a 10K, you can run a half marathon.” Again, my first thought was she was straight up crazy. But that prod stuck with me. Two months later, I started training for my first half marathon. Three months after that, I ran my first half. I haven’t looked back since.

This year marks the most races I have ever done in a running season. By year’s end, I will have completed 3 half marathons, 2 10Ks and 1 5K. My race season next year will kickoff with my first full marathon.

Over the next month, I’m going to share my personal tips and advice for beginning runners. Whether you want to run a marathon, or you just want to run a mile without stopping, I’m going to share my insights to how to go from dreaming about running, to being a runner.