Updated: Jan 3, 2022
One of the BEST gifts you can give yourself today is to start running.
There...I said it! I know lots of people that say running isn't for them, and I totally respect that. But also....are you a little scared? Because I also get that too.
When I first started running 20 years ago, I was terrified, mortified and also slightly excited. But honestly, I would only run after dark, and with a baseball cap pulled down over my face, because I was TERRIFIED of someone seeing me!
And yes, in the beginning it often sucks. But believe me when I tell you, it truly does get better, and it truly is worth it.
And honestly....it has truly been a much needed lifeline for so many moms I know this year. It is the gift of alone time, it is the gift of self-care and it is the gift of endorphins galore.
So how do you start running?!
1. Which running shoes should I wear? Invest in the right pair of running shoes - in fact, go to a running store to get fitted (as long as it's safe obviously) - believe me, you will potentially save thousands in physical therapy bills in the years to come!
2. How do I find the best sports bra to run in? Protect your girls and get a good sports bra. This will make all the difference between hating and loving running. I promise you. And make sure you get the right fit for the size of your ladies :) You can always get yourself fitted at a good running or sports shop, or check out this article by my favorite running magazine everrrrr
3. Is running in a group better? For some yes, for others no. Helpful right?! But seriously, do what is best for YOU. If you love running with people, or the camaraderie, find a running group near you, even a virtual one. Accountability and camaraderie are AMAZING reasons for lacing up and getting out the door, even when you don’t want to. I have a wonderfully supportive running group on Facebook, feel free to request to join here
4. How long should I run as a beginner? I personally like to focus on time over distance in the beginning. It does not matter a jot how fast you are running or how far in the beginning - forward is a pace! Slow it down and be patient.
5. How long does it take to enjoy running? Haha, good one! No seriously, it does happen - it really does! In the first month or so I encourage you to embrace the run-walk method. For example, running for 3 minutes and walking for 1 minute right from the start of the run can improve your energy and endurance over the entire run. Run by run, week by week you can increase the run times and decrease the walk breaks, and before you know it, you’ll be running 5k without stopping.
6. How long does it take to enjoy running? Part 2 Just accept that the first 3 weeks are going to be shit. They just are. It will feel like hell, you won’t be able to breathe, it will seem like an eternity. And then little by little, you start to actually enjoy it. And before long, you realize you’re actually addicted! You can’t see it now, but believe me, it will happen!
7. How to breathe while running. Take time to intentionally focus on your breathing while running. The best way is to inhale and exhale using both your nose and mouth combined - this will keep your breathing steady and engage your diaphragm for maximum oxygen intake. Also try counting your breaths in and out - in for 2, out for 2, so that you can intentionally try to slow that breathing down.
8. How do I get through a hard run? And while we’re talking about counting - if you’re having a tough run, or just can’t stop thinking about stopping, try counting. I often count to 100 over and over during a run. It focuses my mind, stops me going down a negative rabbit hole, and sets a good rhythm.
9. How many days a week should I run as a beginner? Remember that rest days are training days, too. If you want to build muscle AND avoid injury, respect the rest day! As a beginner I would aim for at least 2 rest days per week.
10. What kind of cross-training should runners do? Of course, cross training on rest days is acceptable and actually complimentary to your running, ESPECIALLY yoga. To get cross training tips & advice, email #motherrunner Louise Parker (7 time marathon runner and Boston qualifier) at email@example.com
11. How to make running a habit. Plan ahead of time when you will run, and how many times per week. Write it down in your calendar, tell your spouse, and plan to run with your friends. When you start to think “when will I run this week?” instead of “should I run this week?” your whole mindset changes.
12. Should you track your runs? The short answer is YES. The numbers don't lie! Keep a training log. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, it can just be a little journal, the notes section in your phone, a spreadsheet - whatever makes you likely to be consistent. What should be in a running log? Documenting mileage, pace, how you felt and how much stronger you’re becoming helps you to objectively see your progress. Again, the numbers don't lie!
13. Setting running goals for beginners. Set small, achievable goals. Getting wins every week helps you to feel like a freaking running rockstar! Make sure you’re feeling that success every week!
14. How to prevent common running injuries. 1. Increase mileage gradually - the general rule is to add no more than 10 percent per week to your total weekly mileage. So if you run 10 miles your first week, add 1 mile the next week. 2. Get good running shoes that work for YOUR body. 3. Cross train, and especially strengthen IT bands & hips. 4. Stretch regularly AFTER a run.
15. But am I really a runner?! YES. Yes you are. Remember that YOU ARE A RUNNER! Whether you are a fast runner or a slow runner, a new runner or an experienced runner….if you are here you are a runner. There is no such thing as a fake runner!