Contrary to what you may believe, anyone can run. Let me say that again, anyone can be a runner
. It doesn’t take extraordinary levels of physical strength or an indomitable will, just the desire and drive to run. But that doesn’t mean that running is always easy. Beginners, in particular, can face challenges when starting up a running routine.
Being a beginner runner is hard. In a very real sense, you’re changing some fundamental parts of your life. The best way to make sure these changes stick is to introduce some supplementary changes as support.
These beginner runner life hacks will help you make that transition smoothly and set you on the course to changing your life!
Take the First Step
For true beginners you’ll need a way to transition into making running a part of your routine. To accomplish this, start by walking. Walking is low impact and, for most people, a comfortable way to build your cardiovascular system until your body adjusts to the rigors of running. Initial focus should be on building an exercise habit and cardiovascular development, not on speed or how long you’re able to run.
Assemble a Crew
Getting together a group of friends or family members that you can confide in about a healthy lifestyle and exercise is a great motivator. When you’re having a not-so-great day, it may take that extra push from your crew to keep you focused. You’ll not only have your internal motivator in your head telling you to keep going, you’ll also have your buddy system right beside you cheering you on. However, be careful not to use this as a crutch by surrounding yourself with people who aren’t dedicated to a transition into a healthy lifestyle. Instead, find people who are just as committed as you are to making a change in their own lives.
Keep a Running journal
Keeping track of your progress as a runner makes it easier to monitor specific goals you’ve set for yourself. If an actual journal is too analog for you, try downloading an app that tracks your times and mileage. Not only is a running journal a great training tool, it also keeps you honest with yourself and gives you information on important measures of progress. A running journal is highly customizable – feel free to include pre-run meals, supplementary exercise routines, or even sleep data that can help contribute to the quality of your experience.
We all love being rewarded for a job well done, and sometimes extrinsic rewards can be just as motivating as intrinsic ones. Combine physical rewards for yourself with your mental achievements to reinforce your progress. For example, if you reach a new mileage goal at the end of the week, reward yourself with that new gadget or accessory you’ve had your eye on, or indulge in your favorite snack. If you’re looking for a recommendation on the best GPS watches for runners, then check out these choices
from Garmin. No matter what reward you choose, it should be personal and something that positively acknowledges the necessary steps taken to transition to a lifelong commitment to running.
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Steve is the founder and head coach of RunBuzz.com. Steve is host of the RunBuzz podcast and founder of PaceBuilders
, a complete training program for runners. Steve is a RRCA / USA Track and Field Certified Running Coach.