Ask me just short of a year ago, late 2017, if I could ever run more than 5-10K. “HELL NO!!!” would have been the answer.
I knew I wanted to change my lifestyle, I knew the idea of being a runner was exciting to me. I knew I was up for a challenge. As for where to start, I was intimidated…
At the beginning of January I always write down 10 things I want to achieve in the coming year. I found myself writing “Run a half marathon (21.1K)” - with a little (okay, A LOT) of encouragement and motivation from mom (SUE MAC!!!). And so begins training…
Here are the tips and tricks that helped me get past a 5K tear-free and complete 3 x 1/2’s within 12 months...
Always have a race in the books. A common runner tip and one that I truly stand by is to always have your next race in the books. This keeps you motivated and focused on a goal, which gives your runs purpose. Whether you are training to complete your first 5K, PB on your next 1/2, or complete your first marathon, having a run in the books allows you to have a purpose when you set out to hit the pavement!
Find a running group/pals who share common interests. For me, I’ve always (and still do) found running solo a challenge. I keep a better pace, am more motivated, and genuinely enjoy running more with others. I found myself a running community to help me get to the next level. No matter the stage you are at, there is a group for you. From ‘Beginner Running’ to Marathon training groups, to fun groups such as ‘Run2Beer’ - there is something for everyone. And not to mention, runners are good fun… more often than not, a good group run often ends in delicious cold pints with like-minded pals!
PACE YOURSELF. When I started running I would always start my runs SO HOT, and burn out at 1km and feel like quitting. Start slow and steady. Give your body time to warm up for 1-2km before settling into your pace. Your pace will vary based on your goals - but don’t be afraid to start slow - it will help in the long run (quite literally).
BUY THE RIGHT SHOES! I thought running was painful - primarily because I wasn’t wearing proper footwear. I was naive to the fact that your feet are everything. I used to get really bad shin splints and foot pain until I went to my local running store and invested in a shoe that was meant for running distance and were a good fit for my foot type. This may cost you a bit of money - but it is an investment - AND everything else that comes along with running is FREE! Bite the bullet.
Running can seem daunting and impossible when you begin, I get it. I was there - and quite frankly still am. Running is a constant challenge - every time. But it is oh so worth it.
Stay motivated. Stay focused. Make it fun.
Hit me up if you want to go for a run or need further tips, tricks or recco’s!
Next Up: FULL MARATHON!