Tips For Becoming a Runner

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So yesterday I posted tips for training for and running a marathon, but what about everyone else who just wishes they could run a mile or two, or make it a habit? For every “I’d love to run a marathon” I hear at least two “I HATE running” remarks. I’ve been there friends, your hate is a very real thing, and someone probably hasn’t coached you what it takes to turn that hate into love.
So let me tell you 15 things you should know if you’re looking into taking up running– I hope this helps!
1. Somehow we let junior high PE continue to influence how we run or why. We get so caught up in “how fast did you go?” or “how far did you go?” that we’re afraid to even go, and then we beat ourselves up for not running a 5k in record time every day. Go slow! Walk parts if you need to! Start small! Don’t run in pain! Listen to your body and applaud yourself for going. It’s not a competition against anyone but yourself. Seriously, be proud you went and don’t let junior high creep back into your life in any way shape or form! You’ve outgrown that awkward stage, let’s outgrow the most awkward part- your first PE experience!
2. I’m going to be honest, it’s going to be awful while you’re conditioning your heart to get in shape. You gotta go at least 4 times a week for a month before you’ll start feeling comfortable and it will be fun. That’s why most people hate it and don’t make it, they never break through the getting in shape phase. Stick to it! Reward yourself with something if you have to, get a friend to go and make you go, walk parts- but go! It will take you at least 20 runs to feel great. That’s just the truth of it! Nothing worthwhile in life comes easy, and you’ll get through it faster than you think!
2. Mile #1 never feels good. Like ever. In my hundreds of runs maybe in 2 I’ve felt awesome on the first couple steps. It takes about a mile to warm up, and since most people only run 1-2 is it any wonder why hate is used so often? Make sure you plan to get up to 3 miles, you’ll find a new appreciation for it! After 1 you have a lot to look forward to! Don’t give up until you get there!
3. There are two barriers with running, one is getting up to 3 miles in that first month- your heart has to get in shape and it’s the hardest! The next is around mile 5-7, it’s the muscle part. It will take a little effort to get your muscles to go forever without some pain, but you’ll get there!
4. Go at the same time every day, make it a habit! You always have less time than you think, and excuses are just mind games that are stopping you from conditioning and falling in love with running.

5. Remind yourself this is a workout, the point is to get your heart rate up, to burn calories, and to feel some burn. The moment I realized that and embraced it my mentality changed and running became a much better experience.

6. You will have good days and you will have bad days. Don’t let the bad days get you down! While marathon training I’d rather do my 20 miler over my 9 any day- it was that rotten of a day! The same goes for 2, 3, or even 4 miles. There are just some bad days. Don’t worry- they happen! Enjoy the good and know the bad will happen.

7. Get the right shoes pretty quickly. Injury happens fast with the wrong pair. If you’re serious about making this your new workout routine, get some good shoes and socks. You can live without the other stuff, but shoes are a must!

8. Start slow. Gradual build up is the way to go. Everyone who takes on too much too fast seems to get injured right when they start really loving it. Enjoy a mile or two and some walks, don’t worry about pushing too hard until you’ve been going for a a while.

9. Get a running buddy! I’ve done most my running alone, but one year one of my best friends went with me at least once or twice a week. Our 4 mile loop flew by, and we caught up with each other on life and plans. It helped me get back into shape after a long hot AZ summer with a lot of distraction!

10. Don’t underestimate a good playlist! Find some tunes that make you want to move and invest in a playlist. Also has some free ones you can download, and Spotify Premium will also let you find other people’s playlists that get them moving.

11. Remember this is very mental! Don’t assume you can’t do it- you seriously can and just have to envision yourself succeeding and pushing through the tough moments.

12. Register for a race. Nothing pushes you to train and get moving like that upcoming event!

13. Tell friends and family you’re doing this, having to report to them and getting their encouragement helps a lot!

14. Think about swimsuit season or jean shopping. Few things burn calories like running, and if you’re just starting up and you keep your eating in check you’ll be amazed at the pounds you can lose!

15. Don’t make excuses! If you decide you want to start running follow Nike and Just Do It! There will always be plenty of excuses.

I could keep going, but really, knowing it’s a little tough for a few weeks, taking it slow and making it fun, and pushing yourself to 3 miles is the best advice I can give!

Any other readers who run have other tips they’d like to add, or my tips they’d like to 2nd? I’d love to hear them, and we can all always use the encouragement!

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  1. Becca Lund says:

    I love this list. Are you planning your second marathon yet? 🙂

    I second everything you said!

  2. 16. Powerade Slushies. Other than that, I just say “amen!”

  3. Tuare Garrido says:

    This is perfect! I've been looking for some beginners tips and this is great! I just started the couch-to-5k app and want to run a 5k this year. I need to go out and buy a good pair of shoes before I hurt myself.

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