Beauty is about looking AND feeling good, and one of my favorite activities is running. I’m not a natural runner and am still rather slow, but I’ve learned to really enjoy it and can even say I’m somewhat addicted.
The benefits of running are pretty obvious – it is a total body workout (experts say one of the best) and you can pretty much do it anywhere at anytime. Sounds great, but I know it isn’t that easy to get into a running routine.
If you’re like me and not a natural runner, the first few months of trying to establish the routine are going to be difficult. The key is to get over this hurdle and get to the point where you really enjoy running and it becomes a habit. Here are my tips on how to become runner.
Invest in a good pair of running shoes. Running shoes are important to prevent injury and blisters. It’s especially easy when you first start out to feel sore and aches, so you need to have a shoe that works for your feet and running style (everyone is different). I recommend going to a running store where the staff can look at your running form and help you select a pair of shoes. This is the only time I also recommend to skip fashion and go for comfort!
Listen to music. Music makes a run more interesting and can also motivate you to run faster for longer. Download your favorite tracks to your iphone or ipod and enjoy music while you run. If you’re running outside, just make sure to still be alert of your surroundings!
Don’t benchmark yourself against anyone. Some people are naturally fast, others have been running for a long time and have built endurance and speed. Don’t be discouraged by other people around you and stay motivated with your own personal progress (which takes time!)
Run for time, not distance (in the beginning). For a non runner like me, you’re not going to be able to get up one day and run 3-4 miles without any training. Rather than pushing for mileage, determine a time (at least 30 minutes) that you want to exercise. Once you get to the point that you can run for 30 minutes or more without stopping, start tracking your mileage and add 10% per week. This will make the routine more achievable and also prevent injury.
Be comfortable with walking! If you’re completely exhausted, don’t push yourself. It is very common for new runners to get shin splints by pushing too hard early on. Stop and walk if you need to and start running again once you have the energy. You can also try interval training by running for 5 minutes and walking for a few, which will also make the workout a bit more interesting (and is also a great calorie burner).
Make it fun. Everyone has different ways to make a run more interesting. Maybe you don’t want to run with music and need a running partner. Or, maybe you prefer going to the gym and watching tv while you jog. One of my personal favorite activities is “runsploring” – running outside to discover new places. Figure out what works for you.
Stay committed. The first couple of months of starting any exercise routine isn’t always fun. I encourage you to stick with a routine of a few times a week and over time you’ll increase your endurance and speed. If that isn’t enough, you’ll also look great!