It might be that it’s now officially Spring. It might be because the forecast has 70 degree weather in it. Or it might be the thought of upcoming bathing suit weather, but I’ve got the itch to start running.
My running career is one that’s been all over the board. I’ve gone from someone who averaged a 13:30 mile to someone who finished a 5K in 22:20 (that’s about a 7:30/mile average.) So, I’ve literally been the tortoise and the hare.
My relationship with running is probably best described as Love/Hate. Some days I love it. Other days I dread hopping on the treadmill. But, I’ll tell you this – I do love what it does to my body. It helps me lean out, increase my cardio ability, and helps my thighs look nice and toned in those summer shorts. And, when you hit the road on just the right day – the combination of the fresh air, chance to clear your mind and endorphins is absolutely awesome. (And for the record, yes, the runner’s high is real.)
Now, I know that the thought of running (or starting to run) can be incredibly intimidating. But, I truly think it’s important to add to your workout routine to be a well-rounded athlete and perform at your top potential (and it helps you rock that little black cocktail dress…) So, I thought I’d shed a little light on how to get started running and some thoughts on hitting the road:
Just Do It: I used to be an incredibly slow runner. Really. Like slower than an octopus with ankle weights (why does that image make me laugh?) I was absolutely terrified at the thought of running with someone else for fear of being too slow or not being able to run as far as them. That’s ridiculous. The best piece of advice to get started running is this – run. It doesn’t matter how far you go or how slow you are – just run. It’s kind of like cooking, the more you do it, the better you’ll get.
It’s Ok to Start Slow: Now, no one is going to go out on their first day of running and be Jackie Joyner-Kersey (with or without the nine inch nails.) Your first time running isn’t going to be easy. As a matter of fact, the first several times aren’t going to be easy. But everyone starts somewhere. Try jogging to the tree then walk. Then when you’re ready, run to the next mailbox and walk again. Little by little you’ll get better, run farther, and get faster. It won’t take long before you’ll be surpassing that tree and running around the block.
Grab a Buddy or Find a Running Group: One of the best things you can do to help make running enjoyable and help you stick with it is to find a running buddy. Find someone that wants to run with you and make a decision to do it together. Can’t find a friend that will join you? Try Road Runners Club of America to find a running group near you (www.rrca.com.) And don’t be scared that you’ll be too slow. They’ll be more than happy to help you get started.
Sign Up For a Race: Y’all know my thoughts on goals. I think they’re imperative because they give you a definitive objective to work toward. So, pick a 5K a little ways off and sign up now. It’ll hold you accountable and make you continue to lace up your tennis shoes. Print out a running training program that works for you (I always use http://www.halhigdon.com) and put it on your fridge. Seeing it each day is a great reminder of what you need to do each day to reach your goal.
Get a Good Pair of Running Shoes: This tip is worth of it’s own blog post another day, but let me just put this out there – get good running shoes. Don’t buy some just because they’re cute. Buy some with good support that fit your feet. My running shoes (I wear these from Brooks) are the most expensive pair of shoes in my closet (seriously.) But, take this from experience here – you do NOT want to mess around with your feet. Buy good shoes – they’re an investment. (And they’re a lot cheaper than foot surgery. Ugh.)
No, running is not easy. There are times that a two mile run feels like 10. But there are other days when 10 miles feels like two. I know what running does to my body – it helps me lean out, boost my cardio and perform better in the gym. And the fact that it helps me rock some tiny booty shorts sure doesn’t hurt.
So, grab a friend, lace up and hit the road. I promise you, if you stick with it (please read those words again) you’ll end up loving it and loving what it does for your body.
**Be sure to like Cynthiana Strong on Facebook or click “follow” on this page to get the blog emailed to you each day!**