I was the kid growing up that only ran the mile twice a year when forced in gym class…I huffed and puffed it in the back and struggled to make it in over ten minutes. Even in college I labeled myself a ‘non-runner’ and rarely stepped foot on the treadmill or made it for runs around the neighborhood. Running wasn’t me, I told myself, I couldn’t do it.
After college, I started getting more and more into fitness and put in some time on the treadmill, building up slowly. Maybe I had been wrong…maybe I could be a ‘runner’? That fall I signed up to run my first 5K…a Drumstick Dash during Thanksgiving at home…I completed the race in 32:10 and was thrilled!
Fast forward to 3 years later and I regularly compete in 5Ks and have even gone up to the 1/2 Marathon distance…I’ve shaved almost 10 minutes off my original time…again…maybe I can be a ‘runner’?
Yes! Anyone can! If you set your mind to it…so if you have thought of getting into running..here is some advice from me to you!
1. Pick a 5K a couple of months out – I think its nice to have an initial race to train to, that way you have a clear goal in mind.
2. Find a training plan – Most are about 8 weeks for a 5K if you are new to running, but if you have some experience, some can be in as little as 4 weeks. Hal Higdon has very popular plans and here is another I have found for a Rookie. Training plans are great because they give you daily goals to strive for while ensuring you aren’t over or under-training.
3. Find running buddies or groups – Most runners wouldn’t deny that training can get boring, lonely, and hard to do on your own. If any of your friends are runners, ask them if they want to meet. There also might be runners groups in your area you could join. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there!
4. Listen to your body – Just because you have a set training plan does not mean that you MUST stick to that every day, every run. You need to listen to your body and be careful to avoid injury or stress. If something feels off, listen, and give yourself some rest if needed. It will benefit you in the long run, I promise!
5. HAVE FUN – don’t let training become a stressful situation, but rather try to have fun with it as you go. If you miss a day in training, or need to rearrange things to fit your schedule, do so! There is no good time in the day to run or perfect outfit you have to wear or hidden secrets to running success. For your first 5K don’t focus on being the fastest runner, but know that you won’t be the first timer out in the crowd and you will have a great time!
Want more information? Need more support? I am going to be starting a virtual running group so that we all are training for a Thanksgiving 5K together! You will be able to find a race in your area and we can all support each other through the training process. This group will be open to those with NO running experience or those with many miles under their belt who just want a group to connect with. We’ll be starting in October so watch for more information!
Are you training for anything right now? Any advice for those new to it?