As many of you know I am not a pro-runner or pro-athelete by any means. Let’s be honest, when I was a kid, I usually was the last one chosen in gym class and up until a few years ago the idea of me running seemed like a totally unreachable and unreasonable goal. When people talked about “running” I seriously could not even fathom how they could run, I mean I got winded trying to run to catch my bus in the morning. The notion of running any distance whatsoever truly scared me and I genuinely believed it was something I was just not meant or “built” to do.
Until I started running that was.
In the beginning I took it slow. I joined a group of friends one summer (some who had run their entire lives and some who were just starting out like me) and we started running together. I am not going to lie the first few times were extremely difficult. I would run half a kilometer and get so winded I literally had to stop. So guess what? I walked. And after catching my breath, I would run and get back to it. Each time I ran my feet got me a bit further than they did before. One thing is certain, even though the initial runs were tough, I always felt great afterwards. I am so thankful for the first time I actually got the guts to hit the ground running because once I got over the learning hump I started to enjoy running and now I cannot imagine my life without my my morning runs. (*I talk more about how I started running here)
Here are a few tips that genuinely helped me in the beginning 🙂
Walk when you need to.
There is no shame in walking. Sometimes you need to walk to catch your breath, center yourself, smell the roses, rest your feet or whatever. In the very beginning try to begin by going for a walk and incorporate running into your walk. Every time you go for a walk, run a bit more than you did before. The purpose is to get out and move! I still sometimes take a walk break when I feel like it.
Run on a familiar path and each time go a little bit further.
This helped me a ton in the beginning. I started to recognize the sites I’d run by and each time I ran I wanted to see more. I still use this technique when I am trying to push myself a bit further in my runs. I always tell myself that if I end up going “too” far I can always walk part of the way home. And most times, you’ll end up running home anyways. And if you do walk back, it’s all good! You made it further than you did before! 🙂
Find some motivating friends to run with or join a beginner’s running group.
Running in a group is more fun and a lot more motivating than running alone. The first time I ran 5k I did it because one of my close friends was doing it with me and I did not want to stop when he could run the entire way! Running in a group also makes you accountable to more people than just yourself.
Run to music that makes you want to dance.
I love running to samba, hip hop, dance, pop, country all different genres of music that make me want to move my body and run further. Good music makes it easier to push yourself especially when getting lost in a great song!
Start thinking like a runner.
Convince yourself you can do it! In the beginning, I labelled myself as a “runner” and knew that I wanted to live up to my new title. This might sound silly to some, but convincing yourself psychologically that you are capable is half the game!
Breathe through your nose and out through your mouth.
I got this tip from a friend on my very first run and it works wonders on extending your endurance. It works wayyyy better than the old mouth breathing/panting I used to do when I tried to run.
Get the right “equipment”.
A good pair of shoes and a supportive sports bra are a must. There is nothing worse than running with a bad pair of shoes with “the girls” flying on the loose. Investing in a good pair of runners and a good bra are maybe the two best things I ever did – I promise it will be worth it!
Maybe running isn’t for you but you will never know unless you give it a genuine shot! Maybe walking, dancing or zumba are more your thing – the most important is that you are out there moving! 😀
What are some of your running tips?