I always hear people say that they wish they were a runner, but that they can’t run far without getting tired. Now I’m not saying that running is easy, because I personally used to hate it. When I was in middle school I played on a field hockey team and I dreaded running. I was always the slowest one, so I was always embarrassed when we had to run perimeters around the school. But then in 9th grade I asked for a treadmill for my birthday (I know, I know, what a strange birthday present!), and I slowly started to enjoy running. Running on my treadmill allowed me to build up my endurance in the privacy of my own home, this way I didn’t feel embarrassed with other people watching me. Then when I was 22 years old I completed my first half marathon and felt so accomplished! Fast forward 3 years and I’ve definitely dialed back my running a lot since then. But there’s still nothing better than getting out in the fresh air and going for a run! So if you’d like to get into running, here are some of the things that I did to get started:
Now it’s important to start off slow with running, you need to slowly build up your endurance. Start off on a flat terrain, whether it be on a track, a treadmill, or on the sidewalk, try to make sure there aren’t any noticeable hills. My biggest suggestion is to not worry about your time when you’re first starting out. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to complete 1 mile, all that matters is that you do. It also doesn’t matter if you need to take 2 walking breaks or 20. If you’re running outside I highly recommend getting the Nike running app on your smartphone. This is an amazing app that uses a GPS to track how far you have run.
Now that you’re ready to run, start off small. Your first run should be as far as you can go, whether that be 50ft or 5 miles. You can go slow, just as long as you push yourself. Then you should slowly start running for 1 extra minute, and then 2, and then start adding miles. This will allow you to slowly build up your endurance and not burn you out. However, don’t forget to rest! If you’re a beginner, try starting out with only running every other day, and then you can slowly build up to running more often. However, always give yourself at least 1 rest day a week. You need to give your legs a chance to recover and rebuild their strength.
If you’re just starting out, here is a great example workout to build up your endurance:
- run for 1 minute at a moderate pace
- walk for 2 minutes
This workout is so easy to intensify as you get stronger. You can increase the time you’re running, or decrease the time you’re walking, or both! Do this until you can run the whole time!
And always remember that it doesn’t matter how far you go or how slow you go, just as long as you go!