I recently discovered a blog by my friend Amari from high school (by the way, anytime you see an underlined word in my blog, you can click on it and it'll direct you to a link regarding whatever subject I'm talking about). It's a great blog and the other night when I couldn't sleep, I started reading hers and some of the other blogs she recommends. I ran across a one called Healthy Tipping Point and found some tips for beginning runners that I could really identify with! If Emily and I can do this, anyone can :o)
Here are the tips, with a few of my own comments added in:
1. Start slow and short! You don’t want to burn yourself out mentally OR physically. Don’t try to pound out a 5 miler on your first run, and don’t be disappointed if you have to stop after 10 minutes. Similarly, don’t try to be a speed demon right away.
2. Try the Galloway Method, which is basically walk/run/walk/run. You walk for 2 minutes, then run for 2 minutes, then walk for 2 minutes, etc. This gives you time to catch your breath and cool down. Gradually decrease the amount of time you spend walking and increase the amount of time you spend running.
3. Stay hydrated! This is equally important in the winter and in the summer.
4. Find a running buddy. It’s best if you can run with someone slightly better than you who is willing to walk when you need to. A running buddy holds you accountable, pushes you to improve, and gives you someone to chat with — which helps the time fly by. (Emily Gilmore is my running buddy even though we don't exactly go on runs together since we live in different states. But she's hard-working, determined, and committed. I can't skip a workout because I KNOW she's not skipping a workout!)
5. Sign up for a race! I love doing races. Races give you motivation to succeed, and it makes your workout schedule have a “point.” (See my personal training goals a few posts ago).
6. To fight the urge to slow down or quit, listen to music, plan your day, or just zone out! Running serves as excellent mediation. Focus on your breathing, the feel of your blood coursing through your veins, and the sensation of power pushing through your legs.
7. Think positive! Too many people focus on how hard running is. Well, of course it's hard work. And it's even harder if you think about how mucy you're dreading it or you bitch and moan about it. I talk and think about running as my life’s passion, even though I'm just (re-)starting out. Put a positive spin on exercise, and it won’t seem like a chore!
8. Just do it. Seriously. This is what gets me out the door most days. Sometimes I don’t want to run, but I just lace up my shoes and GO. Within an hour, my workout is DONE and I feel more energized, happier, and more positive! It's hard to remind myself of the rewards of working out before my run, so my bottom line had become JUST. DO. IT.