Now let me just tell you that I never in a million years thought I would call myself a runner! Anybody with me?! Well, little did I know… once I started, I wouldn’t want to stop. And now I proudly, with a smile, say, “I’m a runner.”
So for those of you cynics like me who think running can’t be fun, ever… I have something great for you.
1. Find a buddy.
This is seriously the most helpful thing for me. Having a buddy who is close to your level of running experience will do wonders for you! When I started running a year ago, I started with my best friend. And neither one of us could make it half a mile! But knowing that she was struggling right next to me gave me the encouragement I needed to keep going. It also helped to hear her urge me on and to hear myself encouraging her, even when it was tough for me to keep going! I probably wouldn’t love running today if I hadn’t started out with her.
And I even have a running buddy here in New Hampshire! Just knowing we are meeting to run – that she’s depending on me to show up – gives me the motivation I need to get off the couch. And I always feel great afterwards. It’s so worth it!
2. Pick a place you enjoy.
I love running outside because it gives me an excuse to get out there and enjoy the beautiful world around me. It’s especially fun for me now that we’ve moved to a totally new place. Each run is an adventure to see what’s around us in our new town! So if you’re just starting… pick a nice day so you know you’ll enjoy the outdoors. It’s magic, I tell you.
3. Be patient with yourself.
It’s okay that you can’t run very far on your first day! Running, like anything worth your attention in life, takes time. You have to build up your endurance and your strength… which is so rewarding, by the way.
4. Set realistic goals.
Start out each run with a goal: I want to get ____ far today. The first day, that was half a mile for me. The next day it was at least half a mile, but three-fourths if I could keep going, etc. Listen to your body and know when it’s best to stop. Every day (especially in the beginning!) you can run a little farther than the day before and that in itself is motivation to get back out there! I’m always thinking how far can I get today?
5. Keep at it, even when it gets hard.
When you plan to get up in the morning to run… do it! Don’t hit snooze! If you planned to run after dinner, don’t opt to sit on the couch and watch TV instead. And if you have started your run, but you’re struggling to make it to your goal for the day… push through it! A second wind will come and you will be so proud that you kept going after you’ve finished, I promise.
6. Run a race!
If nothing else, it will give you motivation to be diligent with running. I promise you, it’s actually fun! I didn’t think I’d ever want to actually run in a race… but it gave me motivation and I was excited when the day came! Not to mention I felt extremely accomplished afterward.
Now get out there, get running, and tell me how it goes! 🙂
And for those of you who are runners already, what did you do to get yourself started and ENJOY it along the way? Share your wisdom with us!!
*Segments of this post first appeared here, but I’m going through all of these challenges again with starting in a new place after a short break, so it’s very relevant to me now. And I’ve updated it with a “going back to running” outlook.