Welcome to Wednesday! Today I have an 11 mile run… oof, I know. And then work? Just typing it makes me tired, ha.
I have to insert a mini brag here: Over the past few months, I have been working on converting my sister into a runner! I think I successfully did it, even though she still has her moments where she hates it. The best part? She booked a trip to come down to Austin to run the ZOOMA Women’s Half Marathon with me at the end of March! (You can join us — use coupon code LORA15 to save $$$ on your registration!)
I was brought back to my early days of running and know that there are lots of questions that swarm through everyone’s head when it comes to starting to run, but I think there are three essential things for new runners to know:
1) It’s going to be hard. For a long time. And once it’s not hard all the time? You will still have hard days.
Whenever I have a rough running day — you know the ones: where your legs feel like they each way 250 pounds, you just aren’t in the mood at all and try to think of every excuse in the book to turn around and go home — I like to tell new runners about it. No, not my way of bragging and saying that I ran all the miles, but to let them know that yes, it is hard! And it’s hard for everyone, not just because you are new at it.
Sometimes I think there’s a misconception in the universe because all of us runners on social media are like ohmygoshrunallthemilesCHEESE. But forget to talk about those rough days. And those rough days will be there. I still have mornings where I try to act like I don’t hear the alarm. And then there’s the days when I push myself to go for a run, only to spend 3/4 of it convincing myself that no, I don’t need to turn around.
So now you’re probably wondering, why do it? Because of those great runs. There will be the days where you feel like you can run forever. And of course, you can’t forget that after feeling! What’s the saying… you’ll never regret a workout you do? SO true. It’s the hard runs that make the great ones so great.
2) You don’t need to buy all the stuff.
Since running has blown up to become a big deal sport in today’s world, there are a LOT of things on the market for you to buy and it can be really tempting to load yourself up on all of it. All you really need are some running shoes, shorts and a tee and you are good to go! I do recommend investing more in running shoes (especially in the beginning because you are more likely to get shin splints) because they take on the brunt of the impact when you are running.
Once you get into the groove of running and find your love, then you can start buying the stuff… at least the stuff that you think is essential!
3) Build yourself up slowly.
This is probably the biggest misconception about starting to run… that you need to go out there and do three, four or even five miles. So not true! Start by counting minutes versus miles. Aim to run for 10 minutes and if you aren’t in the best of shape (which is OK!), alternate between walking and running. This is a marathon, not a sprint!
Building up your mileage slowly gives your body time to adjust and your brain, too. It’s easier to find time to work in a 10 minute workout versus an hour, especially when you are starting from nothing.
Your pace? Don’t worry about it. Run at what feels comfortable for you. You will naturally get faster as your body gets more efficient from running more.
How long have you been running?
What’s your advice for beginner runners?
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