It wasn’t until after I had two kids when I fell in love with running. But even after I decided to start, it took a while for me to get comfortable. Now, it’s a part of who I am. I feel strange if I go more than a couple of days without going out for a run.
For those of you who “wish you liked to run,” I promise, you can! It is a learned hobby that takes time.
Five 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 two-goal be running slowly for 15 minutes, and so on. The beginning will be difficult. Your body will tell you to stop and walk. Push through it and you’ll improve a little each time.
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. Invest in a good pair of running shoes that are right for your feet.
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 watch the ocean waves crashing and the birds flying in the sky along the coastline. It helps me escape from my everyday thoughts to a place where I can quiet my mind.
Make a great playlist
If there is one thing I can’t live without, it’s 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. Make a list of 30 songs that pump you up. I also like to have meditation music for my cooldowns.
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 commit 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 that, 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. Make a promise to yourself with a goal and honor it.
Read about my journey in the 2014 New York Marathon to get even more excited about running! If you ever run a marathon, this is the one to run. It was magical!
If after reading this, you’re still not inspired to run, this running video has to work!
You can do this. I know you can! Running is as much mindset as physical ability. Try these strategies for a month and you’ll be amazed how much you’ll improve with time.
Flavor Your Life with an Ounce of Salt. A lifestyle blog by Jen Oliak