Ive been a longtime lurker on Heather’s blog. For some reason I never felt right commenting because I wasnt a runner.
I dont know what defined a runner in my mind—but I wasnt it & wasnt sure I had anything to add to the commentversation (tip: dont be me).
Thankfully Heather didnt hold that against me & was willing to provide the newbie runner tips below.
And a closeclose second? The photo above. It’s a real photo of some inspirational words Heather saw in the park one day.
I love it & you can be sure Im never hitting the pavement again with our sidewalk chalk in pocket.
Not often does a day go by when friend, co-worker, or stranger questions me “how can you love running?”
I like to think they are asking me out of sheer curiosity, as they would love to love running as well, but usually, the disgusted looks on their faces leads me to believe they just think I’m a bit crazy.
And maybe I am, because the first thought that always comes to my head when someone asks me “why do you love running?” is “why NOT?”
You can run almost anywhere, anytime, and you don’t need any equipment other than a good pair of shoes (some in the barefoot running movement would argue you don’t even need those!).
It’s an amazing workout, good for your whole body, mind, and soul. Ever heard the saying “running is cheaper than therapy” ? They aren’t kidding, especially for us running mamas with a hectic schedule.
So what’s NOT to love about running?
OK I realize that it’s easy for me to say that now, but it wasn’t too long ago that I was a brand new runner too.
So when Mizfit asked me to do a guest post with tips for newbie runners, I was more than happy to help.
In the last three years of running I’ve determined three simple steps to developing a love of running are: take care of your feet, never give up, and don’t burn out.
That’s the secret to happy running career.
Here are the details:
***Take care of your feet for the sake of your whole body.
Get properly fitted for running sneakers.
I don’t mean pull out your 3 year old Nikes from the back of the closet.
I don’t mean find what’s on sale at TJ Maxx.
I don’t mean ask your neighbor who has run a few half marathons what kind of shoes she wears.
I mean go to a running specialty store, and get fitted for a shoe that will be good for YOU.
Just like a fingerprint everyone’s foot is different. From the width of your foot, to the arch of your foot, to the way you land on your foot, do you pronate, underpronate, etc.
A running specialty store will do a gait/foot strike analysis on you. They will look at your foot, stance, and perhaps put you on a treadmill.
It may sound intimidating, but I assure you it’s not.
In my opinion this is one of the most important steps in learning to run, and it will greatly help you avoid common annoying injuries such as shin splints, or even common long term debilitating injuries, such as plantar fasciitis, which often occur from wearing the wrong pair of shoes.
MizFit Note: AMEN, Sister. I did all the above before my half marathon & was really glad that I did. As a commenter pointed out on this post: cheap shoes arent cheap if they trigger an avalanche of medical bills! This time around, however, Im going to branch out a little (thanks in no small part to the encouragement of this blogger) and experiment with these. Post coming.
***NEVER GIVE UP!!
Wanting to run a marathon is an attainable goal, but remember, even the best marathon runners had to start somewhere.
Just like with weight loss, if you set out thinking “I want to lose 50 lbs” you are going to get frustrated when it doesn’t happen overnight.
Instead, you tell yourself “I’d like to lose a pound or two this week” and work towards that small goal.
The same goes with running.
Be proud of the little accomplishments, like if you can push yourself to run 30 seconds further each day.
Because before you know it, those seconds add up to minutes, those minutes add up to miles.
Also, there is no shame in walking. Did you hear me? DO NOT BE ASHAMED TO WALK! You are still a runner if you walk.
Many world class running coaches, such as Jeff Galloway, even recommend walking! So if you have to walk, then walk.
One of my favorite quotes ever is from Dean Karnazes, a world famous ultra runner. “Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.”
Walking, heck crawling, is still better than sitting on the couch feeling sorry for yourself or wondering what if? Am I right? Getting out there is the most important part.
I remember the first day I went running after I gave birth to my oldest. I struggled/ran/jogged/but mostly walked through a 20 minute mile. And then I puked as soon as I reached my driveway.
It was miserable. I assure you, it’s not getting out there the first day that is the hardest part. It’s going back the next day and the day after that. But the day after my puking incident, I forced myself out the door.
It was just as miserable. But I kept doing it.
If you stick with, through all those mornings you don’t want to get out of bed…if you push through it, I promise that you too will start to crave those runs, you will LOVE those miles!
Which leads me to my next topic:
***Don’t burn out!
Some days, “getting in shape” or “weight loss” are not motivation enough to get you out the door, nor are they really “fun”
Here’s a few suggestions to keep that “I love running” flame alive…or even just to start running in the first place!:
- Sign up for a race! A local 5k is a great place to start. It will motivate you to get out the door , and give you another goal to work for.
- Find a training plan. You can find free ones online at http://www.coolrunning.com/ , http://www.c25k.com/ , http://www.runnersworld.com/ just to name a few. Having a training plan will give you something to physically see your training progress & will help prevent you from doing “too much, too soon.”
MizFit note: There are many great ones out there. Ive chosen this one.
- Join an online support community, like Dailymile (http://www.dailymile.com/) Runners are some of the most supportive people you will ever meet. Almost all of us are in the sport because we love it, and will do anything to help spread that passion. And there is no motivation like logging on and seeing what everyone else has already done that day for workouts!
There you have it, running in three simple steps.
I saw that Mizfit has extended the invitation for ALL of you to join her at the 2010 Las Vegas Rock n’ Roll half marathon.
I have no doubt that in just under six months, any one of you reading this could train to walk or run a half marathon.
Just remember, starting is the hardest part.
The pain you feel may feel now is temporary, but the pride you will feel as you cross that finish line, whether it be of your first mile, a 5k, or even a marathon, that feeling will last with you forever!
Take it slow, BELIEVE in yourself, and you will accomplish anything you set your mind to!
Now do you see what I dragged RunnerHeather over here to inspire us all?
Even after the first time I read this post, squinting on my handheld, I grew more excited to run and grew more confident than ever that I can do this.
That we can do this.
Whatever our own, personal, training-together-virtually, SMART goal “this” might be.