It’s time to get in shape – it’s been awhile since you’ve been thinking about it, and you just don’t know where to start. What about running? Seems like the easiest form of exercise – the least amount of equipment needed and no need to be paying for a gym membership. What do you really need to start running? A pair of shoes and a will to get out there and do it! Let’s discuss a few things to consider when starting off on your path to running.
1. Find a running group.
This will make it much easier to be consistent. If you can find people to run with on a regular basis, it will make it more likely that you will stick to it. It’s almost like having free accountability partners. You show up, they show up and before you know it you are on your way to doing your first race/event. We are pretty lucky here to have Invictus Endurance established. We meet twice a week for running workouts. If you are ever in San Diego please make sure to come run with us!!!
2. Find a race to train for.
This will give you something to look forward to. If you have a race/event on the calendar, you can start to create goals based on what you are looking to accomplish. This can be as simple as completing your first 5k, which would be a great start if you are new to running. As you get the running bug, you’ll find different races that may appeal to you – like a Ragnar Relay event that you can do with a group of your friends.
3. Get a good pair of shoes.
Make sure you check out the blog post I wrote on this as there are a few things that you ought to keep in mind as you select the best pair of running shoes for yourself like the distance you plan to use them for, how much cushion the sole should have, how to break them in, etc.
4. Start off slowly.
Injuries in running are super common and can be avoided by training smartly. This includes not adding too much volume too quickly. Doing so may set you up for failure. If your body is not used to the impact from running you are smart to add in the running slowly. Start with one or two sessions per week for the first month or so. If you feel like your body adapts well, then add a third session. Most people don’t need to be running more than three days a week if they are just starting off on a running program. If you are looking to compete or have a specific goal/time you are trying to achieve – that’s a different conversation to have altogether.
5. Have fun with it!
Don’t take it too seriously. Your running sessions should be one of the things you look forward to most out of your day. If it begins to feel like work and you don’t enjoy it – don’t do it. If you keep it light and enjoy it – you might even get a runner’s high every once in awhile and that’s a great feeling in itself.
There are many other things we can go into – such as making sure you warm up properly and that you are fueling and hydrating, but focus on these 5 things first. Get these dialed in and then you can start to think about the other such details.