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6 things new runners worry about (but don’t need to)

If any of these worries have been keeping you from getting into running, don't stress any longer

It can be intimidating to try new things. You don’t know much about the activity, and so your head is full of preconceived ideas that may or may not be worth your worries. When it comes to running, there are a lot of misconceptions that non-runners have about the sport. If you’re thinking about becoming a runner, don’t let these misconceptions stop you. The truth is, running is awesome, so if you hear anything bad about the sport, it’s probably false. Here are six common misconceptions that might be weighing on you and other prospective runners, plus the reasons why you shouldn’t worry about them anymore.  

It’s going to hurt 

Yes, running certainly will hurt at times, but you won’t be in constant pain every run. If you’re worried about hurting while running, remind yourself that it’s 100 per cent OK to slow down, walk or even stop altogether to catch your breath and recover. You’re new to the sport, so it will of course be tough at first. Plus, as weird as it sounds, you’ll eventually become accustomed to that pain, and you might even begin to like it as you see how far you can push your body. Regardless, easy running and walking will always be an option in case you push things too far and need a break. 

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The marathon is the race 

The marathon is the best-marketed of all race distances. Many events may feature shorter options, but the race itself is still called the [insert city name here] Marathon. Because of this, a lot of people think the marathon is the only race that matters, but that’s not the case at all. There are other distances for a reason, and they’re not just stepping stones up to the 42.2K race. If you don’t want to run a marathon, you shouldn’t feel any pressure to do so. When you get into running, you’ll find the right distance for you.

Quebec City Marathon 2019. Photo: Michele Grenier

It’s too expensive 

Running can be an expensive sport, but it’s not innately pricey. Sure, you can buy multiple pairs of shoes, enter a bunch of races and get the latest gear and tech, but none of that is necessary. All you really need is a pair of good shoes, and while these can get expensive, they’ll last you a while. After you get the right footwear, running can be a free sport if you want. 

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You have to run every day

This isn’t true at all. Rest days are important for everyone, but especially if you’re a new runner, as your body needs a chance to get used to your weekly mileage. There’s no required number of runs per week when it comes to being a runner, and you can go as many or as few times as you please. 

Speed matters 

If you enter a race, speed might become important to you, but when it comes to your regular runs, it really doesn’t matter. Run at a pace that feels comfortable for you, and don’t worry about what other people might think. Who cares if you’re slower than other runners? You’re working on yourself, and that’s all that matters. 

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Racing is a must

Lots of people like to race, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it. If you enjoy running for the sake of running, then stick with that. You’ll always have the option to race, so don’t feel pressured to do it if you don’t want to. Everyone has different motivations when it comes to running, and if racing isn’t what drives you, that’s totally fine.