How to start running

I started running seriously this spring but I had a couple of short runs, 3-4 km with my colleagues from work in the fall of 2016. I don’t wanna brag about the first ones (actually not the first because I had some failed attempts a couple of years ago when I was overweight) but I was decently fast even at that time. So while I don’t necessarily consider myself at the beginnings with running since is past already more than half a year, I still remember my humble beginnings. I can relate to your thoughts. I can still remember asking myself, how do I start running?

There are two major things that will hold you back from starting on running. One is your habits or your daily routine. The other is your lack of fitness. Or at least that was what kept me from starting running earlier. Let’s see how these two factors influence you and what can you do to start running.

It’s all about routine

For me, the worst enemy is the mind because a lot of what we do is routine. Everything else looks like additional effort and who wants work? I’m pretty sure you interrupted at least one thing in your life to which you tried to get back after some time without success. Isn’t it hard to start all over again? Or maybe you keep thinking to start something for some time but you just can start on it. Like learning a new language or learning a new software for work. The same happens with running, it’s hard to start. It’s the power of routine that makes us keep doing the things we do and resist the change. Friends come over, we come tired from work, we have groceries to do, dog needs walking, cat wants to be petted, we feel like watching a movie, etc, etc. Life happens. You’ve got to make running a habit. Running a couple of times each week, get you into a running routine and gets your body prepared for more and more miles.

Learn to walk before you run

The second factor that might keep you from running is your fitness level. I have colleagues at work that never ran but, when they came with me, they did just great. I tried running a couple of years ago and it was a complete failure. I tried for a number of times but my pace won’t go anywhere close to 6 minutes per kilometer. I was running and walking and trying to run again and so on. I was miserable. And obviously I stopped after a couple of tries. I just couldn’t do it because of the weight and the lack of exercise. If you are overweight and start running you won’t get far. It’s the reality. Happened to me, it will happen to you. Except if you are some sort of a super duper urban Batman. Believe me, you are not.

This is why I think, if you want to lose weight, start with food by eating healthier, watching the carbs and the sugar, then move gradually into running. And you will start running, eventually, not because someone will tell you to run but because you just get so much more energy when you are at your ideal weight. You just feel like running.

Lose some weight, then start running a little bit here and there. Run with friends or register for a club to feel more responsible and to keep at it. Say out loud to everyone you know that you started running. This will held you accountable, will motivate you and will also support you when you have your bad days.

Pain first, passion later

When I started running I just didn’t have the passion, just some energy excess that pushed me on my feet. It was lace up and go. It still is. Passion started later when I demonstrated to myself that I can do it.

My passion for running started when I first ran 10k. Until then was just exercise, fitness, breaking the routine, blowing off the steam. Once I realized I can run 10k, is not only that I started looking into pace and other running metrics but aiming for long distances too. One thing I struggle at this moment is putting in more weekly miles. Currently I run 1-2 times, one of these usually no longer than 13k. But sometimes like yesterday, I run longer. Yesterday I ran 22k. Sometimes, like yesterday, I feel like running myself to exhaustion.

Running is not easy but once you start it becomes a snowball, the more you roll it in the snow, the bigger it gets!

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dinovici

Toronto tech guy interested in all things healthy.

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