Truthfully, running is one of those sports (yes it IS a sport!) that you can just pick up and ‘run’ with. Unlike any sport with a ball, running does not require hand-eye coordination. There is no team work, and the rules are minimal.
For your first run, I recommend lacing up whatever cross trainers or lawn mowing kicks you have laying around and head out on the street. Ten minutes out, and ten minutes in. Twenty minutes is really just that easy. A novice mistake is starting out too fast, and having to walk. Therefore, I can’t stress enough to start slow! If you’re not fatigued, you should end your run strong. The idea is to build up your strength and speed. Gradually increase your time, even if it’s by three minutes, or set a goal to run further in your twenty minutes. By setting different goals with distance and time, you can begin a realistic, busy-schedule friendly running routine.
Understandably, many beginners feel uncomfortable with their neighbors watching them dash down the street. After a few jaunts you won’t be as coy; however until then you can stop at another neighborhood on your way home from work and run without people knowing who you are. Yes, just park on the street and run around a few blocks. Some, prefer indoor running; a treadmill is a great option for beginners who are serious about running and not watching the TV attached to said treadmill.
With your first run, it is crucial to listen to your body. You will need running shoes with appropriate support once you feel how your knees, ankles, and feet respond. Your running shoe purchase should be based on the orthotic support you need. I recommend visiting a store specialized in running to ask sales associates about the weight, shape, arch, and stability with the shoe you are purchasing.
It is likely you will also become better acquainted with your body’s digestion, as you may find yourself mid run looking for the nearest gas station to use the restroom. This is normal. Additionally, increasing your water consumption and replacing sugary beverages with water will have an insurmountable impact on your running. Drinking water throughout the day truly makes a substantial difference with your performance and how you feel running…from alleviating heavy legs to eliminating side cramps.
Being a novice runner shows you are adventurous in trying something fresh, dedicated to improving your health, and most importantly, it shows you believe in yourself! That is quite an accomplishment! Envisioning yourself running or crossing the finish line will you get you far with running, because it is a very mental sport. Often, you are competing against yourself and you will be impressed with the competition. Your beautiful running journey will have its’ ups and downs…from injury to victory, to bad runs to hitting your personal best. The longer you run, the more disciplined you become and the easier it is for the off days to become a distant memory, as your achievements take the cake.
Alas, it is useful to view your body as a machine that requires maintenance and proper nutrition to run its best. You will never stop learning about yourself with running because your body is always changing, adapting, and responding. As Bob Clarke, Philadelphia Flyers general manage once said, “If you push the human body, it will respond.”