It’s been one year, you guys!
March is a special month for me because It was a year ago that I decided to commit to running as a lifestyle. Before that, I used to run 5K two or three times a week but I wasn’t really committed. It was by March 2016 that I decided to set running goals. A few of them are some that I have achieved, but I still have MANY to go.
I can’t complain. By any means I am the same person I was one year ago. Running has changed me for the better. A while ago I wrote the how running makes you a better person, which you can read here.
However, today I come to give you my top honest tips I can give to anyone who plans to start running. Tips I’ve learned from running throughout a year of hard work, heartbreaks, tears, and happiness. Please keep in mind that I still consider myself a beginner who’s also learning along the way.
Set up realistic goals. Don’t be like me, for God’s sake. I was a 5K runner wanting to run a half marathon in unrealistic times. When my mileage started to increase considerably and I started to add speed work, bam! horrible shin splints came their way. However, keep in mind that you do need a goal if you want this to become a lifestyle. Even though my unrealistic goal ended up with a lot of disappointment, it was because of it that I became consistent. It was because of that goal that I started running longer distances, something I once saw as impossible.
Don’t play around with your training plans: Training plans are designed that way for experts who know what their doing. Don’t try to change them up, skipping workouts or messing around with the intensity of your runs. Believe me, I’m the queen of doing this and it’s never a good idea. If you have a coach, trust your couch. If you don’t, research for training plans and try to understand the main approach.
Something is better than nothing: When you’re following a training plan, life happens. Sometimes you’ll be extremely tired or sore to workout. Some other times you’ll be sick or won’t have enough time to run that many miles. However, it is always good to do whatever you’re able to do that day instead of skipping your workout. Something is better than nothing, and I was lucky enough to have my Dad’s voice telling me this all the time.
Schedule your runs and workouts: Once again, when you’re following a training plan you have to be aware of the fact that life happens. If you want to be realistically consistent with your trainings, you have to schedule your runs. I would normally look at my week of training and schedule my runs according to how my class schedule looks like. I also will take into account any other planned activities like birthday parties. And lastly, I will ask myself if I want to run in the morning or in the night (cause my preferences change by weather season. This is another advice I was lucky to get from my Dad.
The key for consistency is not thinking too much about it: So you have your goal, you have your training plan, and you have your run scheduled. Now you just have to do it. There are going to be days where you just don’t want to run at all. That’s normal, it happens to everyone. But the key to overcome these moments and still get yourself to do it is not thinking about how much you don’t want to run. Just stop thinking and do it. You’ll feel way better when your done. I promise.
Be patient: This is one I’m still having a hard time with as I’m coming out of an injury. You have to be patient with your own body. Adaptations and recovery takes time. Wether that’s because you’re building your base or recovering from an injury, you need time and lot of patience.
Hopefully after executing all of these in your running routine, you’ll find yourself feeling like your days aren’t complete if you didn’t run.
I also hope these tips can help you start your journey. They’ve been surely very helpful to me during this year of running non-stop.
Thanks for reading!