If you’re trying your hand at running in 2017, you wouldn’t be the first. Getting fit is one of the most common resolutions that people make to start off the year. Luckily, if you chose running to help shed the pounds and better your health, you chose an activity that’s easy to get into– and keep up. As long as you have the time and the right clothes for winter, you’re good to go. Even though running is an accessible activity, the first couple of weeks can be a little rough. During this time, it’s easy to talk yourself into quitting. If that’s the case, we have a few motivational pieces of advice.
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The first few weeks are weeks of rapid improvement.
This is the best part about being a new runner. While veteran runners work to shave a minute or a few seconds off of their times, the newbie runner’s times drop dramatically. New runners will also find that they’re more and more capable of distances that were previously thought to be out of reach. In the first few weeks, it might be hard to run two kilometres consistently but in a month or two, that once daunting 5K will be simple.
It’s okay to walk.
If you’re starting to run for the first time ever, you need to acknowledge the fact that the walk breaks are inevitable. Don’t push it. Set a route and walk when need be. Oftentimes, new runners will start with a mix or running and walking ( try running for a minute, walking for a minute). Walk when you need to and focus on eventually shortening the walk time until you are eventually able to phase it out. And no, adding in walk breaks doesn’t disqualify you from being a “real runner.”
If you put in effort, you WILL get results.
One of the reasons why running becomes so addictive is that if you invest your time and energy, you will see results. When starting, as long as you feed your body right, commit to training on a regular basis and don’t overdo it or skip the recovery, your running will improve.
Committing to a workout schedule is half the battle.
If you have set up a workout plan and committed your evenings or mornings to running, that’s much more effort than a lot of have gone to. Once you’re dressed and out the door, you’ve made the decision to go and half the battle is complete.
Think you run too slow? Run even slower.
One of the biggest mistakes new runners make is starting out too fast. Hold back on the pace– even if you think it’s already slow. It’s not about speed, it’s about getting the body used to running for a long period of time. If you’re out of breath on a casual run, you’re going too fast. Take it down a notch.
Keep it up and it will become second nature.
After a while, runners stop thinking about hitting snooze when the alarm goes off. Got a group run on Tuesdays? Once it becomes part of the routine, it’s automatic to say no to all other social plans. Right now you’re in the process of making those new habits.
Every other type of physical activity just got easier.
The flight of stairs that used to wind you no longer will. That walk that used to feel extra long will seem easy too. And if your fittest friend drags you along to her favourite new fad workout, you’ll find you’re actually able to keep up. One of the joys of running is when you see perks in your day-to-day life.