Thursday, May 10, 2012

How Not to Quit Running | Running for beginners

1. Be reasonable
You just started. You aren't that lean, mean running machine on the treadmill next to you making a 7.0 look effortless. You're new. You're you. And just getting your shoes on & yourself to the track may be a triumph at this point.  Start off slowly, but not too slow that it doesn't hurt a bit. There's a reason running feels daunting: it's freakin' hard! The struggle is worth it. Find yourself a plan for beginners or just start out with a warm up, run a bit, walk a bit then each time add a bit more running than walking until you're running the whole time. That's what I did.
2. Be practical
I'm talking about when & where you run. For me, it's in a gym because they have childcare & I have a baby & 3 y/o at home with me all day. The treadmill is boring & you don't get the mental satisfaction of distance conquered. As beautiful as a run through Colonial Williamsburg would be, I'd rarely get around to it because I'd have to wait til my husband got home for childcare, because my 3 y/o wont stay in the jogging stroller. Choose which time & place is least likely to be sabotaged. Minimize excuses.
3. "Turn up some great music & run your butt off!"
This is the advice I got from a friend that had achieved recent success running. Besides being physically challenging, running was so dang boring to me! I wanted tips on making it less agonizing. Choose music with enough bpm (beats per minute) that will get & keep your body moving.
Try my playlist (check it out here) 
Other top recommendations: watching a favorite show while on the treadmill makes time pass. Running outside is visually gratifying-you're actually going somewhere and see how much is left ahead as well as getting a change of scenery along the way.

4. Be accountable 
I made my foray into running public via Facebook &
There's something about every friend knowing you're working toward this goal that makes it difficult to give up. A running buddy may work for you in the same way.
Also, sign up & pay for a race. Signing up for a 10K, knowing I'd have to cross the finish line on race day motivated me to prepare. Paying $30 to register furthered the investment. After that race, I signed up for another which impels me to maintain my routine.
5. Be comfortable.
When I first started, I wore a pair of cute running shorts like these. Ouch!  My inner-thighs were burning from the chaffing. And I found myself pulling on them the whole run.
Bottom line: if you're adjusting your clothing through the run, you're more likely to stop short of your goal. Make sure your shirt is long enough and your shoes aren't blistering your heels. (Liquid bandage helps run through blisters, by the way. I also had success with breaking in a new pair of sneakers using vaseline & bandages) I prefer to run in what you see the girls wearing in the photo above.

6. Stay hydrated (coffee helps too) 7. Potty first 8. Don't run on an empty stomach. Half a banana or a spoonful of peanut butter does the trick for me. 9. Try a running app like Nike Running which tracks your run, pipes in your selected playlist, and alerts you along the way. 10. Believe there will be after pics!
Have something to add??? 
I'm happy to hear what works for you!
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  1. Thank you! I was hoping you would post something like this! This is my summer goal. Any tips on breathing correctly while running? I am so bad at that!

  2. Dear Anonymous: I have asthma, so breathing is something I struggle with while running. I use an inhaler before I run. I find a pattern of breathing similar to what I learned in birth training. Think "he he whoo he he whoo" Find one that feels natural to you. It starts out as something you're thinking about & eventually becomes instinct. Hope that helps.

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