Running Advice for Non Runners
When I turned my Garmin on for my run this morning, my marathon run showed on the screen. Of course I had to take a picture of those numbers before I pressed the reset button. Those numbers represent 17 weeks of training and then over four hours of running through downtown Oklahoma City. 26.2 miles! (With a few extra tenths in there with all the crowd weaving.)
I earned that finisher's medal through literal blood, sweat, and tears. I still can't believe that happened.
Squinting because it was dang bright outside.
Yes, I've run a marathon, but there was a time when I couldn't even run for 5 minutes without coughing and wheezing and feeling like my legs couldn't move another step. I remember that time quite well, in fact.
In college, a friend and I decided to trying running. We made it 2 minutes, if that, before we had to stop. We decided to add 30 seconds onto the end of each run. By the end of the month, we were running for 10, 15, 20, and then 30 minutes without stopping, just by adding half a minute each time.
But I will never forget that first run. You have to start somewhere.
In light of that, I wanted to offer a bit of advice on running. This is useful for anyone in any stage of running or non running, as the case may be.
||1. Figure out what you can do instead of focusing on what you can't.
Don't stress yourself out thinking about running for 30 minutes if you can only run for 1. Find out what you are able to do. That's where you start. You'll get there eventually, but you can only start where you are. Be patient.
||2. Don't think "going running" has to mean running the whole time.
I think it's completely ridiculous when people get focused on running the whole time. Who cares if you ran the whole time or if you stopped to walk a few times? The run/walk combo is a fantastic way to get into running longer distances, and it's been known to help improve time and stamina.
It's sad when I hear people say they don't even want to start running because they are intimidated by the idea of running and think that means if they stop to walk, they're being lame. WRONG. You are not lame. You are awesome.
My brother and I after our half marathon in February.
||3. Sign up for a race
If you're like me, if you pay money for something, you're going to do it. So find a race happening in your area and sign up! It will give you a goal to work towards that will force you to get out there and train.
Running a half marathon was on my bucket list for at least 3 years, but it was never going to happen until I signed up for one. Once I signed up, it made me motivated to start training, and it was a clear deadline that forced me to stick to my schedule.
So what are you waiting for? Always wanted to run a 5K or a half marathon? Sign up for one!
My dad and I after our half marathon last April.
||4. Admit that you are a runner
It took me a long time to call myself a runner and believe it. It took even longer for me to say to other people, "I am a runner," and not feel like a liar.
But you ARE a runner if you run. No matter the speed, no matter the distance. If you run, you are a runner. You might not be a "serious" runner or an "elite" runner or a fast runner, but you are a runner. Own it.
If you couldn't tell, I am passionate about running. As you can see from the pictures, I've gotten my family into it too. You could say I'm a bad influence.
I love it (most of the time), and I think everyone should do it! Even if you hate running and right now you're thinking I'm on crack if I think you're going to start running any time soon, I still strongly believe that everyone should run at LEAST one race in their life. It's such a feeling of accomplishment to push your body to do something you didn't think you could.
My brother and I during the amazing Dirty 30 Zombie run last October.
Just promise me you'll think about it.