Written by Ann Brennan
This post is meant for new runners who have come across my blog in hopes of some encouragement to get started, but I would like to ask the veteran runners who frequent Ann’s Running Commentary to please read this post and leave your best tips for sticking with the running life. Or better yet, share your story. How did you start? What speed bumps did you hit along the way? And how did you overcome them?
I have learned so much since I started working at Spark Running in September. I have learned about shoes, socks and running clothes. But mostly I have learned about runners.
So many of us refuse to admit we are runners. I hear, “I am not really a runner,” “I don’t run as much as most people,” and “I am just starting out but I am not sure its going to stick.” I am not big on any of these statements but the one that makes me want to shake the runner standing in front of me is, “I think I am going to start running but I don’t want to buy running shoes until I am really sure I am going to stick with it.” I say this not to give anybody a hard time but because I am such a believer in the mental side of running. I know, without a doubt, that if we run, we are runners. I know that none of us give ourselves the credit we deserve. And finally, I know that if we want to run, if we want it to stick, all we need to do is believe that we can run, believe that it will stick. In other words, if we give this running thing our best shot, it will happen.
So how do we give it our best shot?
1. Plan – I am a huge believer in planning. Not just setting a goal of running a 5k but finding a training plan to get you there. You can find running plans through magazines, books, or even coaches. I work with Coach Jeff at PRSFit. He’s extremely reasonable and loves working with the beginners.
2. Shop – Yep, I said it. Go buy those running shoes. Get fitted in a specialty running store. A lot of people come into our store nervous that that they will look foolish. I think that people believe running stores are only for marathoners or elite runners. They don’t understand that our favorite customers are the newbies. We love to offer advice, fit you for your shoes and most importantly encourage you in your journey. Our second favorite customer is that same customer who comes back four months later to buy their second pair of shoes and tell us all about their new running passion.
3. Work your plan – You found the plan, you bought the shoes, now it is time to put one foot in front of the other. Add your plan to your daily calendar. Make your workouts just another part of your day. And then get it done.
4.Believe – And we have worked our way back around to believing. Believing you can do it, visualizing yourself coming across the finish line of your first race is more powerful than you can imagine. Just as important as what you think, is what you say. If you use doubting language, you will eventually begin to believe it. The same goes for positive language. You can do this. I have no doubt, so now it is time to start doubting yourself.
I am so excited every time I meet a new to running runner. Starting out on the running journey is lot like a first kiss. Even if you run for years, leave running and come back to it, you will never be a new runner again. You will never have that same excitement of running your first mile, the one that almost kills you, or running your first three miles and realizing it was easier than you expected. You only get one first kiss and you only get one beginning running start.
Good luck out there.
Two more quick running tips from my YouTube Channel.
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