The Two Things You Need to Start Running
Have watched other runners with envy wondering if you could get out there and start running yourself? You can - anyone can. You just need two things: heart and brain.
Have a Heart for running.
I’m not talking about having a healthy heart, although, it is always a good idea to get a check-up before starting an exercise program, especially if you have any health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Exercise is clearly beneficial for these conditions, but you should be cleared by your doctor to start exercising intensely. Even if you are completely healthy, it never hurts to get medical clearance.
What I am talking about is a love for running. Yes, during a run I’m prone to cursing and crying and wondering why the heck I am putting my body through all this - but in the end I love it. I love the accomplishments, no matter how minor. I love getting up on Saturday morning for a hometown race. I love reading running blogs and browsing through running magazines. If I’m forced to take time off, such as for work or because of a minor health annoyance, I feel down and incomplete.
In the beginning, you may need extra motivation to get out there, so find something that you love about running to focus on. Are you training for a special event – your first 5k or a race that would raise money for a cause close to your heart? Are you doing it for some “me” time or to meet a new group of friends? One thing I will advise – don’t let your workout be solely focused on a method of weight loss. Although regular exercise is a great way to burn calories, the weight loss may not come as fast as you might think.
If I Only Had a Brain
The mind is a powerful thing. While I’m out for a run, sometimes I will just stop. I do a quick body check – my heart is fine, my legs are fine. Why did I stop? My brain says “You’ve gone far enough” – even when I clearly haven’t. Learn to overcome the negative thinking that we all tend to do.
When starting a running program, you may be self-conscious. Don’t be – we all started somewhere. At races I see all shapes and sizes. I see young and old. I see every level of economic status. And most importantly – I see Fast and Slow. Running is the one sport where you are in it for yourself. After all, PR stands for “Personal Record” – don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Running is for you and no one else.
For getting past negative thinking, it helps to have a coach or some sort of support. The Couch to 5K apps are great if you want something cheap for a solo run. They tell you when to start running, when to walk. They build fitness gradually. You can go back and repeat a day if you aren’t ready for the next step. As long as you are moving you will progressively improve. If you like groups, I recommend finding a local running club. There are several for free, such as Moms Run This Town. If you don’t mind spending a little money, look for a running coach through the Road Runners Club of America. For online support, there are many on Facebook such as the Women’s Running Community or Run Junkee’s.
That’s all you need! Anyone can run. Just dedicate a little time to it and you will soon find yourself addicted.