I get lots of inquiries from people who want to start running but have no idea where to start.
I wish I had all the convential wisdom in the world hehe but I do not feel I do.
What I will share is a few tips to get you headed in the right direction. That are coming completely from my own experience this past year going from running a 5K for the first time to preparing to cross the finish line of my first marathon in 18 days.
#1 You can do it. I know it seems daunting, I began running when I weighed about 230 pounds, and trust me it felt like I would never ever get anywhere fast. But do not doubt yourself, do not give up. Keep training and keep pushing you will get to the point where a mile is easy.
#2 Sign up for a 5K right now. Do not hesitate. Do not blink. There are many free couch to 5k programs out there, find one that fits into your training plan and use it. This is the easiest way to get yourself ready. A good starting point to find races is Cool Running and Active.com I would recommend a smaller 5K for your first depending on what you are looking for. After that first race, you may just get a little bug hehe
#3 Set some goals that are attainable and adjustable. By this I mean, what do you want from running, is it to lose weight? Is it to build a hobby, is it to win medals? Whatever it is just go after it with full force. If it is just to start running then your goal can be to finish that first 5K.
#4 Set a new goal as soon as you reach your current one. This just keeps me motivated to keep going. As soon as I conquer one goal I am already planning the next one. This is just a habit I took from my weight loss. When I was losing weight I set out looking at it in 5 pound increments. Each time I would hit another 5 pounds lost I would have a little celebration inside and get excited to look for the next 5. I do the same with running now. Each time I hit a new PR or conquer a new distance I look for the next one.
#5 Relax and have fun. Remember running is supposed to be fun, unless you are a professional and it is your full time job, I see no reason why you should treat it as such. I run because I love to and the day I do not love it anymore I will find something else to do for exercise. Running keeps me sane, helps me maintain my 120 pound weight loss, and helps me cope with depression and stress within my own life. I look forward to my runs they are my me time and when I race I make sure its fun. I will sing, dance, cheer loudly, you name it!
#6 Spread the love! If you take up a love for running talk about it. You will be amazed at how many people are runners or were runners, or will hop on your running band wagon. I have 3 coworkers who have started running since I became so enthusiastic about it. I have a friend who got motivated to take her running to the next level when I suggested it. I love having new running partners so it is a win win situation ;)
#7 Get fitted for a proper shoe. I know it can be expensive but really when you think about it your feet are the most important piece of equipment you will need to run. Before the ipods, garmins, whatever it may be, sneakers must be the first splurge you make. You will not regret it.
#8 Run your own race. When you are training you will get tons of advice, some will work for you some will not. Try out what you want and do what you want. Bottom line when it comes to the big day, you are the one who will be running and crossing that finish line, we all are unique so find what works for you and stick to it.
#9 Proper nutrition will only help improve your performance. I know it gets said all the time but really think about it. If you are driving a luxury car are you going to fuel it with low grade gasoline? If you get your nutrition balanced and healthy it can only help improve your performance, my motto is garbage in, garbage will come out during your workouts.
#10 Never give up. That is engraved on my Road Id and I remind myself every single day. It is a fight sometimes to get a run in, or coordinate things with a hectic schedule. But you are worth it. You deserve to set your own goals and achieve them so do not ever settle for anything less than that.
Do you have some good tips to share with a new runner?