Please keep in mind that I’m not a certified running coach. This is the result of my own experience and you should always talk to your doctor before starting any high intensity exercise plan.
One of the phrases I’ve heard the most from non-runner friends is “I wish I could run, but I feel like my body is not made for running.” Well, let me tell you that I used to think that about myself too. However, there’s no runner in this world who was born being one.
This is how I came up with these tips for non-runners who wish to start running and get committed to it.
But first, lets go over a few things you need know before start running.
If you’re not sure running is your thing…
Then don’t even try it. It is better if you just find a physical activity that you really like. If you’re not sure that running is your thing because you’ve never tried it (and you feel curious) then this is the moment to start.
If what makes you hesitate about running is that you’re not even able to run a quarter of a mile without feeling tired or sore…
Then let me tell you that this is case for almost every runner out there. In fact, running is not necessarily a pleasant experience most of the time. Yup, I said it. Unless you get the runners high, you will only enjoy the experience afterwards, when you’re done.
Now, if you’re aware of these points and still want to continue, then you shall proceed to read the following tips on how to become a runner (even if you think your body is not made for it).
- As a future runner, you’re allowed to walk.
Actually it is recommended that beginners start with a walk/run ratio until they feel comfortable running, so that they can avoid aches and fatigue. Jeff Galloway created this method in 1973 to help beginners start running.
When I started running, I walked for two minutes and ran for just one. Later on, I walked for one minute and ran for two. After a month, I was running for five minutes and walking for one. You just have to follow your own pace in a way you can habituate yourself to run comfortably.
- As everything in life, define your goals.
Do you want to run far or you want to run fast? When you’re sure what is it that you really want, then set up your numbers to be realistic.I wanted to run far so I set up my numbers to do a half-marathon. Probably it was too much of an unattainable goal at that moment and later I’ll explain why.
But please, don’t make my mistake and start slow. By doing so, you will have more smaller milestones to be to accomplish and be happy for it, instead of just a big one that you’re not even sure you’d be able to attain.
- Look for a training plan and register for a race.
No one wants to go to a race without being prepared for it, right?
Well, this is why you have to register for a short distance race that will put some pressure on you to stick to the training plan. If you have no idea where to start, you can check the ones from Jeff Galloway here. Or you can check this one from Run Eat Repeat here (I personally followed the 10K one a few months ago).
Now that you have your training plans, you just have to commit to it. If you need more advice on this, I wrote a whole post dedicated to consistency which you can find here.
- Be aware that you’re not unbeatable.
When I started running, I never followed a training plan for running my first 5K or 10K race. But I did follow a training plan for running a half-marathon. I had to stop when I felt I was at the edge of getting injured because I hadn’t build up on my capacity (which was like at week 12 of the plan).
The good thing is that I trained really hard and then I was able to run 5K and 10k races without training so hard. The bad thing is that I did not run the half-marathon when I planned to do it.
No one wants to end up disappointed, so be aware that you’re not unbeatable. Set up your goals in accordance with your real and current capacity.
- Forget about fancy gadgets. Invest in shoes.
This is something you have to do before you start your new training plan. Running in the right pair of shoes will help you stay away from injuries, and will make your overall experiences nicer. However, not all shoes are good for everyone. So make sure to ask for help on any runner store. They’ll usually see your running form and recommend the best one for you. Listen to them.
Once you’ve accomplished all of these tips, just go out and run. Have fun!