It’s not easy to start running – and get moving — when you don’t really like running. And it seems kind of hard to get started with any exercise program, but especially running, I think.
So, today, I’ll share a few tips from when I started running, and maybe they’ll help you or someone you love! This is part of my 2015 New Year, New You series — helping all of us be the best “us” we can be! The most important thing to remember is this: It’s OK to start slowly.
You’re not in a race with anyone — your goal is just to be moving faster than the “you” you might have left behind on the couch! So you don’t have to run a marathon in your first week of getting moving: you just need to get moving!
(And the second most important thing to remember is this: before you start any exercise program, you should consult your doctor or healthcare professional. You’ll get advice specific to your age, body and health. In this article I’m sharing my experience and ideas, but I am not a health professional, and this should not be construed as professional advice. But it should be taken as inspiration!)
I’ll talk another time about choosing the right shoes. But at minimum, choose comfortable, well-cushioned shoes — you don’t want to hurt your feet or legs because of inadequate shoes. You don’t have to have fancy running shoes (yet)!
It’s OK to start with walking. In fact, you should start with walking. Maybe you can only walk for 10 minutes a day, but go walk for 10 minutes a day. After a few days, try adding a few minutes.
After a week or so, you may want to jog slowly for a minute or so during that walk.
And this time of year, it’s almost easier to start this kind of program, at least, for me it was. Because it’s cold outside, I walked on a treadmill (while I watched my favorite shows on Netflix!).
I started walking on the treadmill at the gym at about 3.5 MPH, and then the next week, I sped up my walk by 0.5 MPH (half a mile per hour). Once I was going about 4.5 MPH, I tried jogging slowly a little for some of each workout.
And I added a little more time every week — only 5 minutes or so each week.
If you want to get moving faster, sooner, you can accelerate that schedule. (Again, with your doctor’s approval.). One of my favorite plans is by Coach Jenny Hadfield — seriously, it’s true. Not me — she’s just awesome because of her coaching and her name.
She outlines a plan for going from 0 to 30 minutes of running in just 4 weeks in this great article, and you might enjoy her book called Running for Mortals (it’s inexpensive; links in this post are affiliate links).
Set a goal
I felt more motivated when I set an attainable goal for myself– maybe it’s something fun like The Color Run or a local 3K or 5K. This year I ran in the Salt Lake City Color Run and had a blast! With that goal in mind, it’s easier to be motivated to get moving because you are looking forward to having a great time!
I’ll share more tips — and some of my favorite running music — in upcoming articles!
I spent my life in the “I don’t/can’t run” camp–but it turns out I can. There is a community charity 5K that literally ends at my driveway–so I really didn’t have much excuse for not participating :0 After a couple of those races, I thought why not try a 10K. Then it sneaks up on you, if you can do 3 or 6 miles, why not 13? So next was a 1/2 marathon (Disneyland) and then another–and you guessed it, I did a marathon last year. CRAZY. Just get started! I will say that a lack of balancing my running with exercises that strengthen my core led to a low back injury that sidelined me for nearly a year. Definitely go to a running store and get the right shoes (and get suggestions for other exercises you should be doing). I also keep an eye out for free or low cost 5Ks (sign up with the running store or ask your running friends).
Christina at SWEET HAUTE says
It’s not my favorite thing, but I really LOVE how it physically makes me feel AFTER I’m done:)
Aftwr Christmas 2013, I started withe the Couch to 5k program and registered for my first 5k to he held at the end of the program. It helped me to stay on track because I didn’t want to waste money! Since then, I’ve run another 5k, a 10k, and a 15k. I’m running my first half marathon on the 18th! Never did I think I’d be a runner, but the gradual walk/run increments from Couch to 5k really helped me get started. Also, once you do get more serious about running, it’s so important to have a really good pair of shoes (from a running specialty shop).
Couch to 5K for sure!! I use to run only when chased 😉 The Couch to 5K app turned me into a running addict!
Diane @ To Dog With Love says
If you have a dog that’s healthy and able, take him for a run with you! Pups can be a huge motivator to get you out and going since they are always ready to go… at least mine is 🙂 Also, I love a new running top or pants (and great shoes, of course) to inspire me to get out and get going! Music is a great motivator too, can’t wait to see your play list!
i finally consider myself a true runner (NOT an athlete, but a runner) after completing a 200 mile relay (i ran 17 of it) and a half marathon this past year and am excited to be doing them both again. (the relay team is actually a blogger team!!!!). i still don’t love it, but i LOVE how i feel after i am done- no exercise leaves me feeling as accomplished.
my number 1 tip is to leave your clothes and running shoes out and ready to throw on as soon as you wake up put them on before you have time to change your mind. well, now you are dressed so it would be totally lame NOT to go and just hang out in your running clothes, right? 😉 another tip, and you covered it, is that you are not competing with anyone but yourself. i am always wanting to improve myself, but i will always be slower than a lot of people, but also faster than some people, too. and i think rewards are important, but don’t make them food rewards- so you’ve started running with an inexpensive pair of shoes and now you’re making progress. reward yourself with that fun pair of shoes you’ve been coveting! or you are seeing changes in your body- treat yourself to a new shirt. or you’re able to run longer- treat yourself to some new tunes to get you moving! i love that you are doing this, jen! the reason i organized a blogger relay team was to inspire others along the way. it’s one of the benefits of being a blogger- we have the power to inspire people. cheers!
Hi, and than there is fre, downloadable Podcast from the UK National Health System NHS called ‘Couch to 5K’. Download it and listen to it while excersizing. IT stats with intervalls of 30sec running and 1min walking.
Happy New Year! & Thanks for the motivational words! Half of the battle for me is getting ready to run. I stall picking hoodies and sneakers, making sure I have the gate key and a water bottle, etc. Delayed nonsense basically. lol. (:
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