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I don’t know how many times I told people that I wasn’t a ‘runner.’ It was just something I said, along with ‘I could never do that.’ I still say that sometimes and I loathe saying it. It’s such a bullshit excuse.
The truth is, you can be a runner.
Even if you’re slower than a herd of turtles running up hill in molasses.. What’s that metaphor?
But seriously, you can.
You can do anything you set your mind to.
All you need is a little bit of grit and determination.
START WITH 60 SECONDS- THAT’S IT
You can do anything for a minute.That’s what my favorite trainer, Autumn, from the Beachbody app is fond of saying. So, keep that in mind when you first hit the pavement (or treadmill or trail). Run for one minute, walk for five to start. Do that for 3 days the first week and the next bump up the time you run and cut down the time you are walking.
It took me a while to realize that I didn’t need to run 7 days a week.
In fact, that may hurt you. You need to give your body time to rest and recover in between runs so that you can maximize the the effect running is having on your body.
Even when training for a marathon, the most I ever ran in a week was 4 days. Some people might be able to do more but that was the sweet spot for me where I wasn’t getting injured from over training.
The couch to 5k app is an awesome one to start with and helped me a lot with motivation and sticking with it. It’s also helpful to have something concrete to follow so you can track your progress opposed to just going out and trying to run as long as you can.
DON’T WORRY ABOUT DISTANCE AT THE BEGINNING
Start with time and build up until you can run about 30 minutes comfortably. After that start going for distance. It’s a freaking awesome feeling to realize you are counting your runs in kilometers opposed to minutes. Awesome.
Once you have mastered being able to jog comfortably for about 30 minutes, then it’s time to start incorporating long runs (if you want to progress further). What worked really well for me was 2 short runs and one long run on the weekend.
A general rule is to increase your total weekly mileage by 10 percent. So, if you are running 10km in a week total, add one km the next week. But, that is a general rule. If you are feeling great and want to do a bit of a bigger jump, go for it.
As long it’s realistic, you will be fine!
GET EXCITED ABOUT RACES TO KEEP YOU MOTIVATED
Races are soooooo good for you to go to because it can be very motivating and very humbling at the same time. You will realize that you will always be ahead of some people and behind others.
Also, it’s incredibly inspiring to go to a race and realize that:
“runners” aren’t just a bunch of amazingly fit or skinny people.
Runners consist of all body types and ages. I have been absolutely killed in races by 70 year old’s wearing no shoes (true story) or people I would describe as bigger. Absolutely annihilated by these people and I loved it!
They taught me an extremely valuable life lesson-
don’t judge anyone based on looks, they’ll probably kick your butt in a race!
INVEST IN A GOOD PAIR OF SHOES
I wouldn’t skip this step. Honestly, a good pair of running shoes makes a world of difference. I didn’t realize until after I went out and invested in a pair.
Here’s a pro tip I got while sitting next to someone in the store- if you love the shoes you have now, keep one on while you put a new shoe on the other foot. When you find one you like better than the old one, you struck gold!
It was really encouraging for me to get a new pair of shoes after running a race. Tell yourself that once you complete the 10k (or half-marathon or marathon) that you get to go out and by an awesome new pair of shoes.
You deserve it!
IT’S LIKE RIDING A BIKE
You never forget how to run once you’ve been doing it for a while. That’s what I learned with running while having 3 pregnancies in between.
I started running after my first baby was six months old. I ran up to a certain point in both my pregnancies after that. Each time I was so worried I’d forget or be so out of shape and not get back in to it.
That wasn’t the case at all.
It’s like a muscle memory, your body remembers and even though you aren’t at the same fitness level, you still know how to breathe and run.
RUNNING WILL SAVE YOUR SANITY
Something I’ve learned with having 3 children under 5:
you MUST do things for yourself and your SELF- only.
My first run after giving birth is always one of rediscovery and self -connection. I usually cry. With joy, with bittersweet despair and awe of where my body is at. When I leave my house and kids behind and it’s just me, pushing through a hard run feeling connected to myself, I realize I haven’t lost who I am.
I am still someone who perserveres and isn’t just ‘mom.’ This can be applied to any situation. If you work a stressful job, are insanely busy all the time or maybe are just searching for something more-
Running can bring you back to yourself.
IT’S NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART
Learning to run and seeing what you’re capable of is such a crazy journey of self-discovery. You never forget the first time you crush a 10k or get a runners high.
Running is like meditating with your whole body.
You’ll learn things about yourself that you may never have if you didn’t start running. Running is something that you can always improve at and you’ll be surprised at how much you’ll improve quickly.
I remember literally running out of my clothes when the weight started falling off and feeling so strong. Suddenly you’re not timing how long you can run for, you are crushing 10 k’s and seeing how fast you can do it.
I was over weight, had never worked out and had a 6 month old baby when I started running.
If you are here, reading this post, then you are already well on your way to being a runner. Congrats! Now get out the door and start this new chapter, one of health, vitality and self discovery.
Let me know if you decided to for a run in the comments! Good luck ❤