If I could go back to when I was learning how to run, these are the bits of knowledge that I would emphasize to the newbie runner in me.
1. Make motivation signs/boards and post them! Harness the power of your motivation by making it visual. If you’re running for your health, post a picture of yourself and your loved ones where you can see it everyday to reinforce why you want to run.
2. Log your run. Tracking the time of your run, distance, and your mood is a quantitative/qualitative way to see your progress, however small that progress is. While it may feel tedious, it’s a proven way to assess your running and figure out how you can prepare for your next run.
3. Don’t walk in your running shoes. Yikes! What I mean is, once you’ve found a pair of shoes that work well for your runs, don’t use those shoes for casual wear. Walking around in them while you’re doing errands will shorten the life of your shoe and lose the fit that you need when you’re actually running in them. It might save you from any aches and pains which could hamper your run.
4. Form a mantra and say it often. “Never quit.” “Pain is temporary, pride is forever.” “Easy and fast.” Your mantra is your armor against the creepy quitting thoughts that will march into your head. Although you might not believe in your mantra at first, use it often and it will protect you.
5. Don’t forget to breathe. Unless you’re running next to a sewer plant (why would you do that?), inhale the air around you and let it reinvigorate you. Take in the scenery along your path and feel your body shuffle forward. Don’t obsess over how fast you are (or aren’t) or how uncomfortable you feel. Allow your body to find its running groove by starting with the air you need.
And a bonus thought – Run with a smile on your face. You’re not crazy, you’re having fun!
As for me, I’m confident the Army made me run enough miles to circle the globe at least once, but sadly, I have no verifiable proof. This year, I started a run log on an excel sheet in addition to my Daily Mile account so that I can see how many miles I accumulated.
My personal mantra for running is Be Brave, Have Courage. It’s not a super gung-ho mantra, but it works for me since I’m not a super gung-ho person. Whenever I start to drag, I pull this out of my reserves and repeat it a couple of times.
So for all of my newbie runners out there, I hope you find these tips to be useful.
For help finding your mantra, check out this Runner’s World article.
And if you’re on Daily Mile, add me as your friend, I’d love to be your cheerleader. If you’re not on Daily Mile, check it out. It might be the tech tool you need to keep on (or start) running!