I signed up for my first marathon in 2010 after a break-up. Instead of shaving my head Britney-style, I registered for the NYC Marathon to raise money for the MS Society. I needed a goal. I needed to shock my body. I had no idea what I was in for.
Training for the marathon, mile after mile, I healed. And in the cheesiest, most “Eat, Pray, Love” way possible – I crossed that finish line in Central Park a different version of myself. When you feel the weight of the medal around your neck, after powering through the city you love, blowing kisses to family at mile 21, you feel like a damn warrior. I still draw on that moment when doubt creeps in.
Running is a lifestyle. A marathon is a journey. And each race opens up a different part of you.
It all starts with a single step. Make the choice to redefine possible.
So here are my 10 tips for new runners:
1. Get the right kicks. I saw someone running in Jordans. I get the dedication, but stop. Go to a store like New York Running Company where they can observe your running form on a treadmill. They will recommend shoes for your gait. And, no, they might not be the hottest new Flyknits. Run is what’s right for YOUR feet.
2. Don’t worry about miles. Start out clocking your runs by minutes, not miles. Go for 15, 20, 25 minutes and build from there. Once you’re comfortably logging 30-40 minute runs, then you can start tracking miles on Nike+, MapMyRun, or any GPS-enabled device. Run on feeling, not numbers.
3. Slow down. A lot of new runners go out of the gate too quickly, get winded, frustrated, and swear off running. Slow. It. Down. The next time you go out, try the “talk test.” If you can sing a verse to a favorite song or have a conversation, that’s the right pace. Jog before you sprint, feel me?
4. Listen to your body. I’m all about pushing your limits, but listen to your body so you can tell when you need to pull back. There’s impending injury and then there’s being a wuss.
5. The 10% Rule. Increase your mileage no more than 10% a week. Once you get in a running groove, you might want to go head first into crazy miles. Abide by the 10% rule. Slow and steady increases will keep you progressing, but injury free.
6. Get uncomfortable. Get out of your comfort zone. That’s when change happens. You have to get to the top of the hill before you can really see the view.
7. Holler. Tell someone about your goal to start running. Post it on Facebook, Instagram. Call your mama. Why? Because putting yourself on blast keeps you accountable. Do what you said you would, and let those inspired by your actions sing your praises. What you do matters.
8. Join a running crew or get a running partner. Harness the power of community to keep you moving.
9. Set realistic goals. But set them. Identify the “why” and the “how” will follow. Commit to a realistic goal like 3 runs per week for one month or sign up for a 5K on www.active.com. And then tell someone about it. Better yet, get them to join you.
10. Remember: You are a runner. What is a “real” runner? You. If you’re putting in time to sweat and getting moving, you are a runner. I don’t care how fast or slow you are. Do you?
Also see running track tips.
Why Crossing The Ironman Triathlon Finish Line Was A Disappointment January 30, 2017
Shift Your Mindset To Reach Success January 28, 2017
How To Finally Achieve Your Goal January 27, 2017
Intro to Ultra-Marathons: What to Expect January 26, 2017
Overcoming Fear Of Cycling January 6, 2017