We are going to teach you to run right now. With no week-by-week program, no instructor, no iPhone app.
If you’ve always felt like you need to run in order to get in shape, you’re not alone. Running is fantastic exercise, and runners tend to be very romantic about their favourite pastime, but it’s not for everyone. It takes time to build up to running and when it doesn’t go smoothly in the first attempt, many would-be runners give up.
AREN’T ALL THE “REAL” RUNNERS LOOKING AT ME?
Why is running so intimidating? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that we are all BORN runners. Every child runs. You know this because you are constantly running after those little runners; are we right? Then, sometime in our teens or twenties, we stop. The truth is, the ability to run — more than a minute or two — doesn’t come naturally if you don’t run often. Not being able to run the distance we want to feels like failure. But it shouldn’t. As with all things, if you want to be good at running you must, simply, run.
It’s important to realize that all of those other runners out there are actually NOT looking at you and thinking, “Pffff… She stopped for a walk break? Clearly she is not a real runner.” This is in your head. You may think you are not a real runner. Everyone else is just running around thinking about themselves and their own running as well.
START RUNNING TODAY. GUARANTEED.
Now here is the part where I tell you how to become a runner — like, TODAY. I promise — this works. Here is the simplest advice I offer — on a regular basis — to people who express interest in running but have trepidation about how they will “perform” when they head out for their first run:
1. Choose a time you can commit to — say 30 or 60 minutes, total, out of the house. Start your watch when you head out the door. Now you will not look at this watch again except to acknowledge when you’ve hit your 30 or 60 minute workout lapsed.
2. Run until you can’t run, then walk. When you feel like you can run again, run. Then walk when you can’t run anymore.
3. To figure out your route, use your watch to determine when you’re at the halfway point of your workout, then turn around and double back. You’ll probably travel at roughly the same speed, and making it back to your house in that second half of the workout might even motivate you to walk or jog slightly faster.
4. High five yourself (this is dorky — wait until you get in the house to do this or just high five yourself in your head, peeps) because you just went out for a RUN!
Mind. Blown. Yes, it’s that simple. Enjoy!
Don’t like running outdoors? Try a treadmill. There is no wind resistance or change in incline/decline, which makes treadmill running more accessible for the beginner runner.
Don’t push yourself hard enough? Join a learn-to-run group for beginners. Then, when it’s over, join it again! Or progress to the next level if you feel ready. Perhaps a 5K training group or even a 10K.