When it comes to running, do any of these sentiments sound familiar?
A. I am not good at running.
B. I lose my motivation to keep running.
C. I end up injuring myself.
These reasons are common, but they are no reason that YOU can't be a runner
Here are my tips to help you start (or re-start) your successful running career;
1. Avoid doing too much too soon.
For the sake of your new running career please take this number one piece of advise to heart. They call it beginner's luck for a reason. That twenty minute ~magical~ run you have the first day sadly isn't going to happen every day and the problem with exhausting yourself on day one is that you are going to be too sore for a week or more to have another decent run. You'll TRY to run, but it won't feel good. It will feel like you're wearing ankle weights and you're not getting enough oxygen. After two minutes you will be dying to stop and your I'm-going-to-run-everyday promise will turn into fuck-this-shit-o'clock. Frustration caused by second day failure is the number one reason new runners quit before they've ever really started.
PRO TIP - You should finish EVERY run feeling like you could keep going. Twenty minutes is a great beginners goal, but you don't need to - and shouldn't plan to - run the entire time. Even though it may feel too easy, start off by running for one minute then walking for one minute for twenty minutes. Repeat this routine every second day for a week and then aim for two minutes of running and one minute of walking the following week.
2. Keep your expectations realistic.
I repeat, that magical I-feel-awesome run isn't going to happen every day, so nip that expectation in the butt before you hurt yourself! If you've just had a great run chances are your next few runs are going to feel terrible. Instead of mentally beating yourself up try mentally preparing for some much needed rest and recovery.
PRO TIP - Plan to take it easy for the next few runs following a runners high. Shorten the distance and slow down your pace. Focus on keeping your heartrate low and your muscles loosey-goosey. These slow and easy recovery runs are what set you up for I-feel-awesome runs.
Runners high - a euphoric state where you feel less pain and a heightened ability to run faster and longer, most often occurring after a period of rest.
3. Know that running is 90% mental.
Running is a mental sport - you have to train your brain - and the hardest part can be just getting out the door.
PRO TIP - Trick yourself! Turn up the tunes, put on your sneakers and tell yourself you only have to run for one minute. If you want to stop after one minute you're allowed. This mini commitment will 99.9% of the time help trick you into going for a decent run.
4. Mix it up.
Nothing could be more boring than running the same route at the same speed in the same direction day after day. Talk about kill-me-now! This repetitive routine would be a motivation killer for anyone, so don't feel like a failure. Boredom just means you're ready for the next level.
PRO TIP - Visit www.runkeeper.com to pre-plan some new routes and then download the app so you don't get lost. Also try sprinting for 30 seconds every 5 minutes to build up some serious quad muscles. Another quick fix is to run your regular route in reverse. If your regular route is off-camber this change of direction will help balance out your body.
5. Have a rest week.
If you've been doing great for a couple weeks but are suddenly feel lethargic it's because your body needs a break, not because you are getting sick or losing motivation.
PRO TIP - Scale it back for a week and make every run a slow and easy one. Listen to your body - are your joints creaking and your hamstrings so tight you can't touch your toes? YouTube some runner's recovery yoga to help stretch out the kinks and prevent future injuries from happening. If you're afraid of losing your momentum, keep psyched by pre-planning some killer workouts for the following week, when you'll be back at it and stronger than ever.
There's no time like the present to get started so here's a quick action plan to get you going:
1. Put on your favorite workout clothes.
2. Put in your headphones and turn up the volume.
3. Lace up your sneakers.
4. Dance a little bit (it's a better-for-you warmup than stretching!)
5. Tell yourself you only have to run for one minute!
6. At the end of that one minute ask yourself if you want to keep going. OH YOU DO?!
7. Walk for one minute before running another minute, then repeat UNTIL...
8. When your feeling a little sore, but you could keep going, it's time to stop!
9. Congrats, YOU are officially a runner! Now have a rest and repeat in two days.
If you like these tips please head to Bewildher's facebook page and give this post a thumbs up! I'll be sharing more tips in the weeks to come and Facebook shares with you the type of posts you've liked.
Have your own tips? Post them below! You never know what key piece of advise will inspire someone to run more.
Owner | Designer of Bewildher Fitwear