This is part 2 of the “Running From Couch to 10k” series.
So You Want to Run?
I have always wanted to run. Many times I would drive by runners in the neighbourhood and think, wow, they look so happy running. I think runners just have an attractive glow that is infectious and it makes you want to follow along. At times I would go for a walk and I imagined breaking out in a run. There are other times that I would say “what the heck!”, and give running a random try. Unfortunately, the thought of quitting came just as quick as the thought of beginning. I did not feel like I had an infectious glow, instead I was sweaty, panting, and troubled with shin splints and low back pain. After a few failed running attempts I told myself that running was not for me.
I lied to myself. It wasn’t that running wasn’t for me, I just didn’t prepare for running the way I should have and totally set myself up for failure. My idea of running was to put some shoes on and just go. I had to change the way I approached running and train properly. All of those happy runners have likely been running for years, and have trained their bodies and minds.
For those of you that want to begin running or have a story similar to mine, there is hope. Sometimes it is the self-doubt and negative voice in our minds that become our barrier to succeeding. I am not expert in running and still struggle at times, but I have compiled a list of my own necessities. I am sure others have their tips and tricks, but these are some things that have helped me in so many ways.
Running shoes are so important and will actually save you from injury. I had terrible shin splints and wanted to give-up. My feet pronate, so I required shoes that would correct that issue. With the proper shoes it made such a difference. Ensure that you wear your shoes before you attempt to run, it really does help to break them in.
“You just gotta ignite the light / And let it shine / Just own the night / Like the fourth of July /’Cause baby you’re a firework” – Firework, Katy Perry
You need music that will keep you going and distracted from the self-doubt and negative thoughts in your mind. I swear there is a miniature devil on my shoulder that is telling me to just give up, while the tiny angel Katy Perry is singing in my ear telling me to get moving.
3- Running Program/apps or group
Being accountable and organized will help you reach your goals, avoid injury, and not quit. For some people they need a friend or group to run with, while others enjoy the solitude of running alone. Some people feel like they need to begin running a full 30 minutes straight, but in reality, interval training with a group or phone ap is the best way to begin (i.e. 30 seconds of running and 1 minute of walking). Have a plan for running.
4- Treadmill versus Outdoors
I started running outdoors in the spring, but have since transitioned indoors on the treadmill for the winter (I won’t risk falling on ice). I am not a fan of the treadmill since I find it extremely boring, so I recommend running outdoors if possible. When running on a treadmill I increase the incline to mimic the feeling of running outdoors. However, when you do run outdoors, the best advice I ever received was to dress like it is 10-15 degrees warmer than it really is outside. It may feel cool on a summer morning, but you will quickly warm up.
5- Register for a 5k
When I began running I immediately registered for a 5k and trained for 3-4 months. With a goal in mind, I was motivated to keep training and improving. Keeping up with others has never been my goal, I have always aimed to do my personal best and finish what I started.
Do you have any tips and tricks for those who want to begin running?
For Part 1 of the “Running From Couch to 10k series” click here -> Running From Couch to 10k – Part 1.