How to Start Running
How to start running
by Christie Wang
As someone who was brand new to running about five years ago, I remember how hard it was to start running. Running is a HARD sport but, I believe everyone is capable of doing it and capable of making it part of their lives. Running has been one of the most life changing things in my life and I hope you will be able to make it part of your life too. Below, I’ve included some of my best tips to learn how to start running.
Stay focused on yourself
My biggest tip for new runners is to not compare yourself to others. It is so easy, especially when you are side by side on a treadmill, to compare your speed to others. Running is an inwards sport - focus on yourself and only compare yourself to yesterday’s version of yourself. I know this can sound like a cliche but, I’ve compared myself to others - which has made me feel discouraged. Focus inwards!
If you find yourself getting easily winded and are having a hard time running more than 10 minutes, I’d suggest finding a run/walk program. Everyone starts somewhere! A good strategy is to try being outside and to bump up the time ever week. For example, running for 10 minutes, 20 minutes and then 30 minutes. In these times, run for 3 minutes and walk for 2 and repeat. You can slowly decrease the walking until you can finally run the whole interval. For example, run for 3 and then walk for 2, then run for 4 and walk for 1 and then finally, run for 5, walk for 30 seconds etc.
Another huge tip is consistency. Your aerobic capacity increases with how often you do it. My biggest advice is to consistently run every day or every 3 days for at least a month. You’ll find that after a week or two, running will feel a lot easier. Running is HARD for everyone! It only gets fun when it gets easier which is why being consistent is the only thing that will make running fun. Once you start enjoying running, feel free to add in speed workouts and play with volume.
Now, I shouldn’t even tell you to have to do this one! It’s a fun one. Set micro-challenges for yourself. If you stick to your “plan” for a whole month, reward yourself with a pedicure, massage or a new piece of apparel. These are simple, easy ways to make running more manageable.
Make a plan
Set goals and make a plan for yourself. I suggest creating a month long plan with running 3-4x a week at increasing intervals. Set goals around time to start rather than mileage or pace as, this is a more manageable way to think about length. Write it down and check off each workout on paper - it’s so much more satisfying.
Find a buddy
Lastly, find a buddy! On those cold, dreary days, running with a friend makes all the difference. Join a run group for accountability or strike up a conversation with someone at the gym.
PS: I’ve created a 6 week running plan just for you newbies out there! You can download it here.