I was checking my notifications the other day and realized someone had tagged me in their friends post. This person was looking for advice on starting to run, ideally when the weather was warmer and how did they start?
Ok, first of all, running is a pretty natural thing. Our bodies are designed for it and most are capable of doing it.
Most don’t do it because well let’s be honest, it’s hard. I was thinking on a run the other day the only way to get better or stronger at it is to constantly push myself out of my comfort zone.
I can run decently fast ( I think) for a middle aged woman tipping into her senior discount years. Speed is relevant depending on the individual and certainly not a factor to being a good runner. I just like being able to do it. I know when I get out of my comfort zone I’m capable of delivering up faster speeds…
Faster speeds though are hard, require a lot more effort than an easy run, and can make me feel powerful and helpless all at once.
So that being said, anyone can run if they don’t have some health limitation ( and thinking it’s hard doesn’t count)
The next thing. I’m not an expert, ok?
I’m not some running coach or a person who’s run their entire life. ( I was in my late 40’s when I got started) I never, ever would’ve thought I’d become a runner. Ever.
I do think now in terms of miles and distance. I think that a mile driving or on a treadmill is…. for….ever….but a mile on foot can go by rather quickly. I can grumble driving behind a slow person that I could run there faster… yeah….
I guess I’m a runner.
I believe anyone can go run without having to focus on all the technical stuff, unless you have big goals and want to keep improving your game.
Then we need to talk about intervals, speed training, long runs, negative splits and pacing etc….
Well how do I get started?
Listen, you don’t need a lot of fancy gear to run but you do need some solid good shoes under you.
** hubby does delight in reminding me how my low maintenance, not expensive athletic shenanigans have changed** haha the more you get into it, the more cool stuff you find to make it fun…
I spend more money on my running shoes than anything that goes on my feet. Other than my cycling shoes but thankfully those last longer since they aren’t taking a pounding.
Go to a sports store and try several on. Don’t drag out shoes you’ve had 5 years… please don’t.
And don’t buy the prettiest ones. I’m right there with you on liking those but you really need to go for what fits and supports you best and then go for your color.
Once you get set with your shoes, you can pretty much wear what you’re most comfortable in. Again, the more time you spend doing it, the more you’ll figure out how you’re most comfortable doing it. What you choose to run in will be determined by your budget, how much you like to be covered, and how you can stay cool/warm enough doing it.
I’ve actually learned to shop discount type stores and have found name brand sports bras and the boy shorts I prefer to run in at a fraction of the cost as the sports store sells them.
The weather, to run or not to run
When I first started off with my running adventures I was what I now think of as a “fair weather” runner. If the weather was the slightest bit not good, I stayed in for another type of workout.
Funny thing over these years how that has changed. I’ve trained in everything from pouring rain, to freezing cold with wind slicing through me. Maybe I am crazy.. or ridiculously disciplined.. there could be a fine line there..
If I have an event I’m training for my take is, I have no idea what the weather will be like on race day. If I train in it all, then I’m better prepared for whatever it is.
I weirdly now like being out when the weather is a bit rough and less than perfect. But that’s me… were talking about you…
This will all come down to what you want to do, your commitment, and if it’s a matter of staying in for safety ( I won’t run in fog, lightning or icy roads there is to much risk)
If it’s cold, layer up accordingly but keep in mind running warms you up fast! I know once I hit my first mile all engines are go and I am often tossing something in the trees till I come back by to claim it. I just don’t run as well being to warm, and you probably won’t either.
You will have to determine how much layering you need to stay comfortable.
Same with hot weather, getting over heated or having soggy clothes hanging off of your body isn’t fun ( hello dri-wick fabric) how much you run in to stay cool will be determined by your personal level of modesty and what you can move best in. I spend most of my time in boy shorts and a sports bra and I’m comfortable in that.
Hitting the road
Assuming you’ve not run before, or haven’t run in a long time, I’m going to suggest you start the way I basically fell into running…
the walk/run method. It’s a great way to practice running yet allowing your body to adapt to the rigors that running places on it. It can also protect you from injury when you do to much to soon.
You start off with small increments of walking, and running. If you’ve never run before those running seconds might seem like eternity to you, trust me, the wheels won’t fall off, hold on.
Using a walk/ run method allows you to gradually increase your running time and ease into your mileage.
Start with this plan to get you going
So that’s about it peeps. If you want to run, it’s easy to get started. You just have to get your mind in gear to make it happen, and hey, don’t forget to go get those cool new running shoes!
Do you run? What do you enjoy most about it? Do you want to but haven’t known how to get started?
5 thoughts on “So You Want To Be A Runner”
I started running in my late twenties. Up to then, I had been a big skier. But one summer of running and I was hooked. It became my favorite thing to do.
I’ve had years where the running took a backseat to other things (I know . . lame) but I have never really stopped. Over the last several years I am back to my regimen and loving it. I’m not the speed demon you are, not by a long shot. But I just enjoy immersing myself in a good run. It centers me, focuses me on the day ahead.
Really enjoyed this post. Thank you for it!
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Me.. a speed demon… hahaha the important thing is we’re out there! That’s therapy! And as always, thank you for your kind words.
That IS the thing, for sure. I look forward to that time. It’s ‘me’ time, when I can just immerse myself in a peaceful blanket. When it’s a good run, I savor the steps.
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I was a long distance runner in high school, but over training and injury got me into cycling. So of the three sports in the Triathlon, running is my second least favorite to do and train for, swimming definably being my least favorite.
This line got me: “I believe anyone can go run without having to focus on all the technical stuff, unless you have big goals and want to keep improving your game.” This is when you know you’re in the zone and are a “fill in the blank”. For me, this is how I am on the bike. Sometimes I have to think real hard to help a rookie rider with shifting, because I don’t think which lever to I push for what gear anymore, I just do it!
I’m getting back to that point on running, but I’m just training to survive during the couple of tri’s and du’s I’ll do this year – swimming is still a chore. But ask me to go pedal the afternoon away and I’m clicking in before I say, “let’s roll!!”
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I need your help with shifting! I’m still working that out… and have sometimes found myself heading into a hill thinking… ” uh oh wrong gear”… and muscling it up ( thank heavens for strong legs!) Wow.. I admire all of that! Someday I’d love to do a tri, I just kinda suck at swimming haha I did love the duathlon so I am planning that again, it’s in Nov. I’m ready to get back to distance running again. Maybe this year 😛 thanks for your comments!