Every January, treadmills and tracks see a new flurry of activity. One has to arrive earlier than usual to find a space at yoga. There’s a line for the weight lifting equipment at the gym.
I used to work at a gym, so I’m familiar with the whole “January Joiner” thing. A new year provides a perfect opportunity for a new beginning. A new attitude. New goals. New shoes. (Okay, that last one might just be me.)
However, the whole concept of a “January Joiner” is that these individuals will be done by February, and I hate that that’s a thing. Why can’t we encourage others to be fit? Active? Their healthiest, best self? We were all beginners once, right?
Two of our Scoot chicks are getting back into the swing of running things, and what better way to celebrate them- and other runners either returning to the sport after a hiatus or those who are dipping their toes in the running pond for the first time- than with some Chick chatter. We want to help you make the best start on your running journey; whether you are running for general fitness or adding miles for a race goal. Our advice:
I haven’t clocked any miles since Wine and Dine, so it’s like I’m a newbie. I’d have to say the 2 min work/1 min rest routine is helping me immensely. It’s not so daunting when you have a guaranteed rest. There are awesome apps for phones that keep track of your time, and of course, there’s those fancy schmancy time-pieces that everyone’s sporting nowadays. I use HIIT Interval training timer. Also, get a buddy. I’m far less likely to slack if I know someone’s expecting me. Or even better, if someone’s picking me up!
When you begin (or begin again) I think it’s really easy to compare. Comparing yourself to other runners or to the runner that you once were – whether it be your high school self, your pre-injury self, or your twenty pounds ago self. My advice would be to treat yourself kindly. Use positive words and remind yourself that you are doing the best that you can within this given moment. When you’re running consistently, it’s very easy to forget just how difficult it is at the beginning of things.
Be consistent. But also be forgiving. If you have a bad day or a bad run, acknowledge it and then let it go. Don’t carry it with you.Try not to let it turn into a bad week or a bad month.
When I first started running, I was heavily reliant on my friends. I’d ask them to meet me at the park. It kept me motivated and they never minded going my pace (which was always slower than theirs). Now I’m more of a solo runner for many training runs but I still check in on the daily mile and chat with friends.
Any journey begins with a step. It sounds cheesy, yes, but it’s also true.
Anytime anyone asks me about starting to run, I suggest they start with a run-walk. Run for a minute, walk for five. Run for two minutes , walk for five. Run for three minutes, walk for five. You get the idea!
Soon enough, you will be running without wanting – or needing – to stop and walk! I did this when I first got back into running. I’d actually count light poles on my route. I’d run past 2 light poles, then walk for two more. Then repeat. And again.
For me, the break was enough to look forward to, to get me through “the tough part.” And by distracting myself to look for and count light poles, it went by in a flash!
I’m a big fan of small goals; they can add up to Big Things. Start with 20-30 minutes of running, 2-3 days a week. Once that is routine and comfortable for you, you can up the time, number of days and/or switch to a mileage goal. And don’t forget to celebrate your achievements!
Missing a day is just that. Missing a day. We all do it- hell, I did it last week. Don’t be too hard on yourself, just get back on track tomorrow.
Find your fit people. I’ve been lucky to find a regular crew to run with each week. We motivate each other and we laugh a lot too.
Happy running, everyone!
Any new runners out there? How’s it going? Experienced runners, please add your best advice in the comments!