How to: get into running
Running something that seems to be a love or hate for people. I ran track in high school and did sprinting and jumping events, but nothing ever longer than 200 meters. The 400-meter dash was a distance event to me back in those days! I always said, I could never run distance and was just “made for sprinting”. To be fair, I still believe I am suited to that - but I (along with every other person) during lockdown wanted to get out for some exercise and the only option as to run. The biggest problem was I didn’t enjoy it and believed I wasn’t good and couldn’t do it.
One of the most important things to me is enjoyment. I came up with a plan to enjoy running which would require a mental shift on my part.
- Don’t care about pace, or speed. The goal is to not be dying during the run and wanting to stop every second – so whatever that pace is do it even if it’s a run walk.
This is hard for me because I am used to being good at most of the sports I do, and more specifically used to being a top sprinter. While it shouldn’t be, I found it hard to know I was going extremely slow and *comparatively* felt like I was terrible. It doesn’t help that because of my skill in other sports people always commented on how they thought I would be much quicker… urg.
But during lockdown I didn’t see anyone and there were much less people on the streets, so I felt a bit more confident to go be my slow self. (For reference we are talking 12–13-minute miles was my comfortable pace).
- Build up and be progressive with distance (if that’s your goal) before adding in other running aspects (like speedwork).
Some running experts say play with distance, speed, and spiriting drills to become a better runner.. which is good advice, but it all seemed overwhelming to me and make me less inclined to do it. So I decided to start easy… almost too easy that way it wouldn’t seem overwhelming and I wouldn’t quit (haha).
I started with running 2-3x a week and started with .5 mile distance. So for example:
Week 1 – ½ mile 3x/ week
Week 2- 1 mile 3x/week
Week 3- 1.5 miles 3x/week
Week 4- 2 miles 3x/week
Yes, this will seem CRAZY to many of you and especially those established runners out there. But this isn’t about you!! It’s about those who hate running and never would even consider liking it but want to. How to start.
Could I have progressed quicker physically? Pushed myself more? Yes, less than a year previously I had done a relatively good paced 10k… and hated it and had not run since! My goal was to simply enjoy running. This allowed me to gain confidence, and most importantly enjoy it without caring what others thought of me (because really no one is looking).
The most important parts of this plan for me was my adherence to it, doing it multiple times a week – and again enjoying it each time.
- Adding in the outdoors
I am a huge lover of hiking, walking, and being outdoors in general – so running in spaces that I loved added to my sense of enjoyment. Trail running is basically hiking (especially at my pace haha).
It took time for me to truly start to love running, and I am constantly having to bring myself back to these rules of not trying to care what people think, my idea of what my pace should be, what my fitness is and focus on the running in a way that makes me feel good in my mind and body.
After I really started to enjoy running, I could slowly add in aspects to improve my running form, speed, pace, endurance, strength, and it wasn’t a core either! Slow and steady over 2 years I made this change – if it’s your goal be patient, be consistent, and be honest with yourself and how your feeling!
SUBSCRIBE SO YOU NEVER MISS THE GOOD STUFF
Weekly blog posts on gear reviews, research discussions, outdoor trips, and more!!
We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.