Getting started with running!
I loved running but could never run more than a mile. I kind of accepted that I am not a runner and my body is not made for running. But something changed last year. I signed up for a Corporate Challenge with my colleagues and had to walk at least 10000 steps a day. I joined them everyday as we walked on a trail nearby. And thus, walking became a habit. I slowly added intermittent running to my walks and that is how my journey started. I can now run several miles at a stretch and recently completed the Big Sur Half Marathon.
Are you in the same boat as I once was and would like to get started with running? Here are some of the tips that could you help you embrace running and make it a habit.
Think about your motivation for running and the outcome you are expecting.
Where can I start with the benefits of running? I may not cover all of them but here are some amazing benefits that I found.
- Stress Relief: Having a desk job can be stressful especially in the tech environment. The flow of blood and oxygen helps reduce stress. Running/walking outside in a park or trail is great for relaxation as well. A nice after shower does wonders!
- Good for heart and health: You may have heard it before. It is a great form of Cardio and anyone can do it. Just walking for 20min is good enough for the day. Running/brisk walks help reduce blood pressure, heart problems and lots of other chronic illnesses.
- Tones your legs: I did a lot of target muscle training before but running was the best form of exercise that toned my legs. What the experts say is true after all – you have to first lose fat before seeing any muscle definition and running is a great way to lose fat.
- Overall wellbeing: You just feel so good after a run. It gives a great feeling of satisfaction and achievement.
- Improves blood flow and clears up your face: Running opens your pores and clears up your skin.
Sticking with the habit once you get started
- Team up: I cannot stress how important it is to have a team. It will help you keep committed. Start brisk walking with a partner and slowly work your way towards running. Don’t be afraid that others may outpace you. Remember, all of us had to start somewhere.
- Try outdoors: If you hate treadmill or gym, try running outside. Find a park or trail close by and get going. You can also enjoy the fresh air and have fun people watching :). I started running outside and now got used to treadmill too.
- Go for run before you get home: Just change at work and go out for a run before going home. I know how lazy we feel after getting home. Or even better, start your day with a run.
- Start small: You can aim big like doing a 5K or 10K but start small. Running too soon, too fast or too far can cause injuries.
- Don’t get hard on yourself: We are all busy and might not find time everyday for running and that is OK. Your body needs a break now and then to recuperate.
- Do not focus on weight: Notice the changes in your body rather than weight. If your focus is weight loss, exercise only does not help. You do need to watch your diet.
- Track your miles: Tracking your activities will boost your morale and will keep you going. I use Runkeeper app and feel awesome whenever I achieve a new personal record :-). You can also use a pedometer that tracks your steps, miles and calories.
- Wear comfortable clothes and shoes: It might not matter much in the beginning but as you run longer, it is important to have comfortable clothes. I love loose fitting tops.
- Create a playlist: Having a playlist of fast paced songs really helped me improve my pace and continue running for longer duration. You could do a run/walk combo for each song, walk for song 1 and run for song 2 and so on. Do not pump up the volume and BE AWARE of the surroundings if you are running outside.
Hope my tips are helpful to you. I would love to know what your motivation is and your tips for running. Don’t forget to leave them in the comments section below 🙂
I am Aswani Kurra. I am an engineer, dreamer and part-time wanderlust, writer and wine lover. I always had an urge to write, create and travel. So I created this space to satisfy my creative itch and combine all my skills to help you plan your Charming Escape.