Running is generally something you either love..or hate. If you hate it or want to start you might be wondering how to start. I’m actually starting to love it but I used to DESPISE it. I’ve learned that the way I feel after my run is worth the struggle of actually running and I’ve noticed that it does get easier with time.
Earlier this month I challenged myself to 21 straight days of running in hopes to make it a habit. Although I missed 4 days out of the 21 days, I am now running faithfully at least every other day. I’m not even gonna try to run every day because I just don’t want to. I really like high-intensity interval training and prefer it over LISS (low-intensity steady state) cardio.
Now, the most obvious answer to the question “How can I start running?” is to put one foot in front of the other and repeat. Easier said than done sometimes. It’s not always easy to go from being a couch potato to a full-on runner. Here are some helpful tips that can get you up and running quickly.
How Can I Start Running?
- Obtain the Okay from a Doctor if Needed. I am not a doctor and it’s always a good idea to check with your physician before starting any type of physical fitness program.
- Start Slowly. You don’t have to begin by actually running; it’s completely okay to start out by walking. As you get stronger and begin to better your cardiovascular health, pick up the pace a little at a time.
- Run and Walk. There’s no rule that says you have to start running out of the gate and keep the same pace for 30 minutes. Don’t be afraid to mix running and walking. You can vary it any way you want. You could try 3 minutes of walking followed by 30 seconds of running, 5 minutes of walking and 3 minutes of jogging, etc.
- Couch to 5K Program. If you want a complete blueprint on how to start running, the Couch to 5K Program is fantastic. Also known as C25K, the program is designed to get you up off the couch and running 5 kilometers or 30 minutes in 9 weeks. There’s even a treadmill version for those who prefer running indoors.
- Keep it Interesting. If you’re like I was and you’re really struggling to run, change it up quite frequently. I will rarely do the same exact cardio workout during the same 7-day span. Usually every time I do a cardio workout, it’s different than the last – whether I changed up the speed, distance, intensity or location. To keep things interesting try intervals, short bursts, long steady runs, morning runs, evening runs and treadmill runs.
- Listen to Your Body. If you’re running and you feel like you need to take a breather than do it. Slow your pace – even to a slow walk if you need to – and then start back up when you’re feeling comfortable enough to do so.
- Create Small Goals. Each time you run, walk or jog, try to go a little bit farther than you did the last time. Also, try to pick up your speed. Note how long it takes you to go a certain distance and then strive to beat your own time the next time.
- Don’t Try to Run Every Day. If you’re up for walking or running every day in the beginning – go for it. However, I was not. Haha. If you’re just starting out you could easily burn yourself out if you do too much too quickly. Instead, aim for 3 to 4 times per week or every other day and work your way up if you’d like to run more.
- Find a Running Buddy. Running with another person is a great way to get moving and motivated. You can motivate each other to run so just create a schedule that works for both of you and follow through with it. You can help hold each other accountable as well and push each other to do better.
- Make a fun playlist! Listening to your favorite music can really help motivate you to run — and keep running.
Here are a few playlists that I’ve made:
- My I’d Rather Not Be Running Playlist
- Turkey Day 5K Playlist (no laughing!)
- Girls Gone Rock Workout Playlist
- Top Workout Songs 90’s Playlist Edition
Still wondering how you can start running? You don’t need to ask this question anymore, the rest is up to you. :)
You got this!