When I’m coaching new runners, a challenge comes from building up confidence. I’ve talked about this a few times, but one of my biggest pet peeves is when people say “well, I run but I’m not a runner because…” No matter if you run a mile, 10 miles, a six-minute pace or an 11-minute pace, you are a runner.
I get it though. It’s scary to jump into a sport where people throw around things like, “oh I’m JUST running 8 miles this morning” or “I have a 20 miler this weekend.” When my sister was training for one of her first races, I would text her when I had a bad run in the morning… which she said was helpful because it made it seem like she wasn’t doing it wrong when she had a bad run, too. Everyone has bad runs.
As a new runner, there are a few different ways that you can build your running confidence:
Set a goal
I think setting a goal is the most important thing that you can do as a new runner. It gives you focus for your workouts and something to strive for. It doesn’t have to be a crazy goal like running a marathon, but it can be something like:
- Training for your first 5k
- Going out for a run at least 3 times a week in one month
- Building up your endurance to run for 20 minutes straight
Find other runners at your level
Runners can be intimidating (even if they don’t mean to be) so finding other runners who are at your similar level can be a great way to stay motivated and inspired to keep going. Even though other runners don’t mean to do it, they throw around their mileage like it’s nbd (guilty) and I totally know how that can make people feel like a “lesser” runner even if it is not meant to be like that.
Track your runs
Whether you use a running journal or if you track your runs through a Garmin/app/etc., one of the things that helps me feel so much more confident about my runs? Seeing what I’ve already accomplished. Nothing builds you up more than being able to see the miles that you did run and track the improvements that you’ve experienced as well.
What other advice would you have for new runners? Do you feel like you’re a runner?
Follow me on Instagram
Follow me on Twitter
Follow me on Pinterest
Follow me on Facebook