By Diana Sanchez, Staff Writer
For as long as I can remember, I remember being very aware of and impressed by runners passing me by. They always have a slim, toned look and seem so vibrant and healthy. I mean, they look downright glamorous. For years, I’ve wanted that. But there has always been a slight problem with that.
I hate running.
No, really. I hate running.
I lived in Denver, CO for a few years in my 20’s, and if you’ve been there you’ve probably noticed the overwhelming amount of healthy young people who hike mountains on the weekends for fun in the summer, and ski and snowboard every weekend in the winter. In many ways, Denver was perfect for me because I am crazy about fitness. I discovered years ago that a lot of exercise makes me feel good and have been a huge fan of it ever since. I’ll do CrossFit, weight lift, yoga, go hiking - you name it. Anything that gets my heart rate up and makes me sweat I am 100% up for, at a moment’s notice.
The thing is, I’d love to be a runner. Running is a great form of cardio that can greatly help you on your road to physical and mental health. I have come to realize that the reason I hate running is because I’ve approached it in all the wrong ways. So let’s talk about what you have to do to get started running, because let’s be clear: as long as you have a body that can run, you are a runner. You’re already halfway there.
Step 1. Change your mindset.
The best way to get started running is the best way to get started with almost any pursuit in life: working on your mindset. I, as much as any other woman, like to be good at the things I do. I get frustrated when I’m not good at something new, and that has been the biggest reason why my short-lived attempts at becoming a runner have failed. When I first get started running I feel miserable. And because I feel miserable, I automatically think “I’m not a runner. I can’t do this.” And because I think such negative thoughts, I, of course, end up phoning it in, skipping one too many running sessions, and find myself effectively not running for months at a time - yet again.
In order to get around this, be willing to be aware of your thoughts, and address your negative thoughts immediately. Gradually working on your mindset will set you up to be successful at, well, anything. Even running.
Step 2. Don’t overdo it.
As I mentioned earlier, I like to be good at the things I do. So when I go on my very first run and don’t easily run 3 miles? Well, I’m upset. It’s just another way I set myself up for failure. I also used to think that if I spent any amount of time walking during a run I couldn’t say I went on a run, because I wasn’t a real runner. I didn’t run straight through.
The truth is, even the most seasoned runners don’t always run the whole way through - and they certainly didn’t when they first got started. So whatever it is you are doing on your run whether that is walking, jogging, or anything else, if you’re working on building up your stamina, honey, you are running. And you rock.
Step 3. Use helpful tools and resources.
When you are new to running it can be very helpful to start off with a plan that someone more knowledgeable put together. Personally, I love the C25K app- and there’s a couple of free versions available for download. C25K recommends running three times a week and lets you slowly build up your running abilities, which is key to being successful.
I haven’t given up on running and I don’t think it’s given up on me yet. I’ll be downloading C25K again and giving it another shot. Maybe I’ll be the next glamorous runner that passes by - or maybe that’ll be you.
Let me know how getting started running goes for you. I love hearing from you!