Hey Austinites, come by and see me tonight at Athleta in the Domain! I will be there from 5 – 6 p.m. sharing training tips and insight… gearing you up for your first spring race! Whether you’ve run 0 races or 9, I’d love to help you hit your goal!
With the New Year, a lot of us have new goals on the table and use it as a time to “start fresh.” I do think it’s a good time to reset and start thinking about the year ahead and what you want to accomplish.
Sometimes these goals can be quite lofty and overwhelming, especially if you are going for something completely new and different. I know a lot of people have made new goals to start running this year, which I love! The running community is always looking for
fresh blood new runners.
If you are starting to run — whether it’s something you’ve never done or if you’ve previously taken some time off — you can be successful if you kick it off in the right way!
A few years ago one of my coworkers set a New Year’s Resolution to start running and I thought it was a great idea. What I didn’t think was a great idea was the way that he approached it. Day 1 = ran for 60 minutes. Day 2 = so much pain, but still went and ran for 75 minutes. Day 3? He could barely move and decided not to go… same with day 4, and 5, and 6… and then it was a goal of the distant past.
There is a little bit of an art that is required to starting to run… something that you do have to plan and think about, but with some initial focus, you can find yourself successful down the road.
Here are my tips for starting to run:
1. Get some good shoes. There are a lot of different products on the market that are designed for runners, but of all of those, the most important is the shoes that you run in. These shoes can make or break you as they can prevent injuries and ensure your comfort. Your best bet is to hit a running store or physical therapist office to have someone analyze your gait and let you know what type of foot striker you are and whether you pronate. I am a neutral runner that is a heel striker, which means I need a lot of cushion. If I don’t have that, I end up injured.
2. Figure out how much time you realistically have to dedicate to working out. Running is a great way to relieve stress — it shouldn’t add stress to your life! It will if you set unrealistic goals for yourself. Determine how much time you have to dedicate to running — an hour a day, three days a week? 30 minutes a day twice a week, but a little bit more a few more days a week? Knowing this will help immensely as you start running.
3. Start based on your fitness level. Like my coworker above, a lot of people will jump into running and start running three, four, five miles their first time out. It is uncomfortable and painful and leads to burn out. Your best bet, if you have little to no fitness, is to start a walking program and start running for a few minutes as you go.
For instance, go out for a 15 minute walk. Walk for three minutes, run for one; repeat until you hit your time limit. Each day, gradually build up how much you run and decrease how much you walk… pretty soon, you’ll be running the entire 15 minutes! And it will feel so good. I promise.
4. Set a goal. A goal of starting to run is a great one! But to make it even better, you need something to work towards. The best way to do that? Sign up for a race! Based on your fitness level, aim for a 5k or a half marathon. It will give you something to motivate you to get out of bed and keep on trucking towards that date.
5. Find your motivators. Sadly, not everyone will be supportive of your decision to start running. I know, it makes me sad, too. But, there will be plenty of supportive people and use that to your advantage. Find the people that give you the support you need as you embark on this new journey and listen to their words, not those that don’t believe in you.
6. Drink more water. What does water have to do with running? A LOT. The more water you drink, the better you will feel on your runs. Plus, it means that you will be drinking less sugary drinks, which is never a bad thing.
7. Give yourself a break! Make sure you build rest days into your program. I personally like to take two rest days a week; I know others that will take one more than that or even one less than that. It’s all part of the journey — figuring out what works best for you. But make sure you give your body time to rest and away from exercise, even if it is just a day.
Any other tips for newbie runners?
What motivates you to get out the door?
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