I did not always enjoy running…and to be honest I fell in love with fitness a lot later in life than most people do. But I’ve gotten here nonetheless, and I attribute a lot of it to my journey with running.
How did the love affair start?
By jumping ALL in.
Going into 2015, I had decided if I was going to do this – take on running – then one of my goals for the year would be to run a half marathon. My sister’s wedding was coming up and I thought what better way to kick it into high gear than to train for a half marathon, and also force my sister to do it with me. So we did it. We signed up and my running journey had officially begun.
Now, to paint a picture of how we started our training, it was the beginning of January (so freezing) and we could barely run a mile straight without wanting to die. We are not runners and didn’t particularly love this form of exercise. It was certainly very new to us, and at that time, it also seemed impossible to think that in just a few short months we would be able to run 13.1 of those suckers.
As a personal trainer, I appreciate and understand the importance of implementing a routine and regular training; which is what truly helped us in getting all of our miles in, and honestly made it more realistic. With neither of us having really run much more than a mile, we decided to start our training with a 5k. Once we could easily run that, we then began the training for the half.
The reason we decided to start our training off focusing on a 5K is because when you train for a half, the least you’re going to run during your training is three miles. This is because they assume you can at least do that if you are crazy enough to start training for one.
To help us keep track of our running schedule, we used the Nike Running app and followed it as diligently as possible. I loved getting to check off each day and mile that we ran, and even though we ran most days of the week, life did get in the way and I was about 70 miles short of my overall running goal total. However, this did not keep me from running all 13.1 miles.
So what should you do if you are interested in the idea of falling in love with running, but not sure where to start?
1.Set Your Goal.
Pick a running goal that excites you and challenges you. Doesn’t have to be a half but if you can run a couple miles don’t train for a 5k, train for a 10k. This will help push you out of the box and truly feel a huge sense of accomplishment when you cross that finish line
2. Sign up for a race.
Just saying you have a goal to run 5, 10 or 20 miles isn’t usually enough to keep you motivated on those days when you’re tired or the weather is less than desirable. However, paying for a race puts a little skin in the game and helps push you past those days you aren’t really interested in running. It also gives you a set end date so you know you have those few months of training with an end goal in mind.
3. Find a buddy.
Having my sister with me for those 5am runs made it possible. Even though we both secretly hoped the other would cancel so we could stay in our warm beds. Most mornings we would check-in to see if the other was awake, and if we were, then on went the multiple layers of running clothes, hats, scarves and pants to gear up for those early morning February runs. The time we spent running, sometimes hours, was truly something I cherish. We would spend the entire time talking, laughing and panting, and it really was such a great thing to do with her.
4. Pick a training program.
Whether it’s through a running club or an app, pick something you can follow that will help hold you accountable, especially if this is your first race. Having someone set out the schedule and pace for you will really make it much easier.
5. Invest in good shoes and running clothes.
While training you will spend a lot of time in workout clothes. It is important that they are good quality. The main thing I recommend is investing in a good pair of running shoes. Running without the proper support can quickly lead to injuries that could keep you from completing your goals. Going to a place like Run On or Luke’s Locker where they have a variety of brands will help make sure you get the best fit for your foot and gait. I personally love running in Asics!!
6. Plan a reward for yourself!
I know finishing the race for some is a reward in itself but its always nice to have a little treat you know you get when you cross that finish line! I am a gift person (as my sweet husband can attest to) so I TREATED myself when it came to my first half. I got a new running outfit, which I did test out beforehand to make sure it was comfortable, so do that if you want to buy clothes. My hubs also surprised me with a necklace that I had been eyeing from Kate Spade and every time I wear it I am reminded of his love, support and the accomplishment of running my first half. So whatever that looks like for you, clothes, jewelry, massage, mani/pedi, TREAT YOURSELF. Trust me, you earned it!
Though I know running will not be for everyone, it really is such a great cardio option that gets you out and about, seeing the world and potentially pushing you to reach goals you never thought possible. After we crossed that finish line I could not have felt more proud! I was hooked on running. My sister on the other hand, was pretty over it haha but I think enough time has passed that she’s already talking about running another this year! Dallas Half marathon anyone?
If you are interested in a customized training program let us know here! We would love to help you reach your goals whatever they may be.
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I’m in for the Dallas 1/2!!!