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Good morning, friends! I get a lot of questions and DM’s from you guys over on my Instagram page about how to go about becoming a runner. Aside from the obvious ‘put on your sneakers and start running’, I thought I’d share some things that have helped me the past five or so years.
Believe it or not, I LITERALLY could not run more than 45 SECONDS at a time without becoming crazy winded when I first started out. No lie. I’ve been able to work up to running a few 5K’s, a half and a full marathon with consistent practice.
So, if you get nothing else from today’s post, just know that if I can become a lover of running, SO CAN YOU!
So, let’s get to it!
| ONE |
I honestly cannot tell you just how crucial this was for me when I first started. It may sound simple to everyone else, but I honestly just didn’t even know WHERE to start with running. This app gave me very specific instructions, in real time, about when and how long to run and when to slow down and walk to get my body acclimated to solely running. All you need is 20-30 minutes, 3 times a week, for a total of nine weeks to be ready to run your first 5K! I’m ALL about an end goal, and these kinds of formulas get me pumped!
| TWO |
Get the right shoes…not just the ones that look cute! A trade off, I know, but the right running shoes for YOUR specific foot needs is pretty crucial. Head to your local sporting good store that specializes in getting you set up with the right shoe. If you’re in the Baton Rouge area, Varsity Sports is your best bet. They’ve been at the running game for a long time!
| THREE |
MUSIC…get some! Honestly, apart from running to clear my mind from the day, music is a HUGE part of my running motivation. There are nights when the right music can push me another 2 or 3 miles when I might be apt to throw in the towel earlier otherwise. Start making yourself a playlist that inspires you to keep going, whatever that looks like for you. And if/when you get tired of listening to tunes, switch over to a podcast that interests you. It’s amazing how far you can go when you get in a zone listening to something interesting or educational that encourages you to live your best life. Multi-task and make your runs work overtime for you!
| FOUR |
Set a goal and shout it from the rooftops! Let your friends and family know that you’ve started running and are planning to be able to run X amount of miles by X date or better yet, cooler weather is nearly here, which means there’s bound to be a 5K run coming up soon in your area. Go sign up for it and then picture yourself crossing the finish line. Having a goal to work toward is the best motivation.
| FIVE |
Cardio is amazing for your heart health, but be sure to add in some strength training so your body is strong enough to carry you through those runs and can help prevent injuries. Work on building up your core and your hips (side steps with a resistance band is a great place to start). Free weights are some of my favorite ways to build up strength. I’ve been a part of a weekly weight class for almost eight years now and have loved the way it makes me feel stronger each time that hour is over.
A couple other things to keep in mind as you get ready to hit the pavement:
Guys, my marathon coach once said to me one morning while we were out training, ‘some days you run the road. Some days the road runs you.’ She’s so right. You’re going to have bad running days. Days where your body just doesn’t feel up to par and you STRUGGLE through the whole run. We ALL have them! Don’t beat yourself up about it….just continue to get out there and give it your best effort. Trust me, those days when you feel like you’re flying through your run and your body feels good is the very best feeling and the thing that I think that keeps runners running. Cue the ‘runner’s high’!
Now, that I’ve encouraged you to get out there and push yourself to give it your all, PLEASE keep in mind that rest and recovery time is JUST as important as your running time. Listen to your body and if it’s telling you to slow down for the day, then SLOW DOWN. Acknowledge the need, rest, and then move on and try it again the next day.
Hope something here helps and encourages you today!
You got this, guys! Lace up your sneakers and get out there! I’m over here cheering you on!
(Photography via Alyssa Fisher Photo)
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