start running

Start Running: By Jen Oliak

It wasn’t until after I had 2 kids when I really fell in love with running. Even after I decided to start running, it took a while for me to get comfortable. But now, it is a part of who I am. I feel strange if I go more than a couple of days without going for a run.

Marathon Mom

My first half marathon in 2009 – the Rock n Roll Los Angeles, mile 12. The guy in front of me does not look happy.  But I was!

For those of you who “wish you liked to run,” I promise, you can! It is a learned hobby that takes time. Here are some tips to start running:

  • Start running slowly. Set a goal for week 1 — say, 10 minutes of running as slowly as you can without stopping. After you have mastered that, make your week 2 goal be running slowly for 15 minutes, and so on. Once you get to 30 minutes, you can focus on running faster. I found that when I focused on the amount of time I ran rather than my speed, it was much easier to build up and much more enjoyable too.
  • Get a good pair of running shoes. I am a size 6.5, but wear a size 8 running shoe. It is important to find a running store that will help you find the best sneaker for your running form and type of foot. I pronate my feet a lot (my feet turn inward on its sides as I run) and I also tend to mid-strike my feet as they land. Also, with running, our feet tend to swell with distance so it is good to have some room in your shoes. If you ever feel like your feet are “sore” from running, your shoes are most likely too small!
  • Start running in a pretty setting. Is there a trail near your house, or a park you can drive to that feels serene? For me, running is my meditation. I love being able to look at the ocean waves crashing and the birds flying in the sky along the coastline. It helps take me away from my every day thoughts to a place where I can feel “quiet” as I run.
  • Make a great playlist. If there is one thing I can’t live without, it is music during my runs. It lifts me up and motivates me. When the beats per minute are consistent with my stride, it keeps me on track for the speeds I’m trying to achieve. Lately, I have been listening to running stations on Pandora. I love that Pandora changes it up on each run, without me having to worry about the playlist.
  • Set long term goals. Make a goal to be able to run 3 miles in 2 months, or get a friend to sign up with you for your first 5k — something you can make a commitment to, and someone who can keep you accountable will keep you motivated. After I ran 6 miles consistently for a year, I signed up for my first half marathon. Once I completed this, I did a few more. Then I signed up for my first full marathon, and then another! I love to set goals and achieve them. If you would like to read about my journey in the 2014 New York Marathon, click here. If you ever run a marathon, this is definitely the one to run! It was magical!  If you’re not inspired to run yet, the running video on this post has to work!
Marathon Mom

Just before leaving the hotel for the 2012 San Diego Marathon! I was so nervous! Click here to read my facebook entry I wrote just before the race.

Flavor Your Life with an Ounce of Salt. A lifestyle blog by Jen Oliak