Do you want to start running?
Well, the good news is YOU CAN! How do I know this? Because for years I sat back wondering if I could, but really thinking I couldn’t. Until one day I DID!
This is what worked for me and I hope it works for you, too!
Walk first. Don’t try to step out the front door and hit the pavement in a full force run. It will only take a few minutes for you to lose your breath, your legs will begin to ache, you’ll stop and walk while saying to yourself, ‘what in the world am I doing, I can’t do this’. Don’t set yourself up for failure so quickly. Years ago, that’s what I thought I could do–hit the road and run several miles on my first day! Boy! Was I wrong. I felt like a total failure, walked back home and didn’t try again.
Months before I began running, I started walking…and not necessarily very far. If all I could do was a mile or less then that’s what I did. But I did try to walk some everyday. If all you can do right now is walk from light pole to light pole, then do it. If all you can do is walk the length of your driveway, then do it. Start slowly and each week or as you can, walk a little further and a little further until you’re walking the distance you want to reach.
You must have a plan. I found that if I didn’t plan to walk everyday then it was easier for me to talk myself out of going. Face it, as you start out it’s not going to be fun, but consider why you’re doing this and let that be your motivation.
Surround yourself with pictures or anything that motivates you to encourage you. When you’re not in the mood (which will probably happen a lot at first), then look back on your motivators and simply suck it up and do it. There are times when we can’t rely on our emotions in making our decisions or they’ll win out every time.
So mark your calendar, put stickie notes on your fridge or computer and plan on walking today!
Walk with a partner. This was essential for me. When I didn’t feel like walking, then husband was there to encourage force me to go. There’s nothing like a little guilt to get you going! 😉 This was also a time where we could talk about our day or work out teenager issues. Because we are so busy otherwise, this was a good time we could just simply hang out together.
It’s okay if you skip a day. Yes, there will be times when you’re physically not able to get out the door. And that’s okay. Don’t think now that you’ve got to ‘start over’. How often do we beat ourselves up if we ‘fall off the wagon’ and think that now we blew it. No, you didn’t, just plan on going tomorrow. Just pick back up where you left off. It’s easy to let self-doubt creep in and tell us that we’re failing if we’re not doing this perfectly. This will be one of those times when you can’t rely on those emotions. Look around at your motivators and get out there again when you can.
Do other forms of exercise. I know you’re already walking and I hope that the more you’re going, the better you’re feeling about yourself and your endurance is building. When and if you can, try to add some other forms of exercise to your schedule. Again, this doesn’t have to be an hour long extensive workout regime, but really anything you can. On days that I couldn’t walk (or sometimes I was able to do both), I exercised to the Wii Fit Plus. I didn’t realize just how beneficial this was at building my endurance and helping me to walk further and eventually start running.
Couch to 5K (and other applications). I know you’ve probably all heard of this running app to literally get you off the couch and running a 5k in a few short weeks. Yes, it works! If you are the type of person who needs structure and detailed instruction for each day , then by all means, consider a program like this (it’s free, too!). For me personally, I needed to feel more in control of my own schedule and wanted to go at my own pace. And really, when we first started walking, I never planned on running. We simply walked for each others company.
That’s it for now. Now get your tennis’ shoes on and go walking!
You can read more of my full story and how I started running here.
Disclaimer: Please, please realize that I am by all means no professional at any of this. See your doctor for medical clearance before beginning any exercise regime. Any advice, suggestions or encouragement I offer you here is simply what has worked for me and may not work the same for you. Everything I mention here is nothing more than my very humble opinion.
Today I had every intention of running, but a thunderstorm had other plans and kept us inside. But after supper, a full belly and the stormed passed, we went for a walk instead.
Yes, you are reading this correctly….76 DEGREES!!! It might as well have been 50 because it was awesome.
This my friends is what you call mud puddles. It’s been a while since we’ve seen any.
Oh Happy Day!!