New year, new goals. Right?!
And I’ll bet a handful of people have running related goals. Maybe you want to PR at a certain distance, maybe you took a break from running and want to get back at it, or maybe you’ve never really ran before and are thinking about starting.
Maybe you’re even scared to start because running is hard.
It’s true. It is hard, but it does get easier.
Think of anything new you’ve ever done – it was probably hard at the beginning, right? Then, the more you did it, the easier it became.
Running is no different. <– seriously, I promise that running is no different.
If you’re looking to ease back into running, or just get started, here are some tips for you.
1. Start slowly
I don’t care if you’re a seasoned runner, after any kind of break you need to build back up. Yes, this process sucks, but trust me on this. If you try to jump into what you used to be able to do, you’ll be sore, discouraged and even possibly injured.
If you’re new, start with intervals. Run for 30 seconds, walk for 1 minute. Do that for 20-30 minutes. Then do it again. And again. Once the 30 seconds get easy, increase the interval. Keep doing that until you’re running for 30 minutes. If you’re looking for a plan to get you started, take a look at my coaching page.
2. Run slowly
It took me nearly 3 years of running to figure out pace. I always wanted to run too quickly.
If you can’t hold a conversation on your easy pace runs, you’re running too fast. SLOW DOWN. There’s no sense in sprinting for a minute only to have to stop to catch your breath for the next three. There’s no pace that defines you as a runner, so long as you are running, you are a runner.
3. Find a friend
Now is the perfect time to peer pressure a friend into running with you. Lots of people are hopping on the fitness bandwagon (and there’s always room for everyone!), so don’t feel badly about dragging them to the gym with you 😉
(Not that I’d ever do something like that)
Or, find a coach. Whatever it takes to keep you accountable, especially if you’ve started and stopped running a handful of times before.
4. Sign up for a race
Now, you may not want to sign up for a race happening right this second (I won’t judge if you’re a fair weather runner) but having a race on the horizon can be great motivation to get out there and train.
If you’re in Calgary, I highly recommend taking a look at the MEC Race Series – all races are $15 and chip timed. The races are well-organized and are held all over Calgary, so you have the chance to experience a route you haven’t run before.
5. Just do it
I find the more time I spend thinking about running, the more time I spend making up excuses on why I can’t run.
Don’t do that. Schedule your runs into your calendar and get out there and do them. When I’m really riding the struggle bus, I make myself follow the 10 minute rule. I run for 10 minutes and then if I still really really want to quit, I can. 99% of the time I hit 10 minutes and keep going.
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What are your tips for getting started with running?
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