So you want to start running, but don’t know where to begin? Well, let’s start with: what is your goal? To run a 5k? To run a half-marathon? To lose some weight? To just be more healthy? You have to know what your final goal is before you truly can begin. For me, it’s to lose weight, become more healthy, and to finish an Ironman Triathlon and full-marathon.
So you haven’t run in 10 years, so last time you ran you were 50 lbs lighter.. so what? Those sound like great reasons to me to begin running again. You don’t have to run a 6-minute mile for an hour to be in great shape, some people just can’t do that and probably never could, but don’t let that be a reason to not run at all!
For me, I injured my knee fairly bad, but never went to a doctor. It took me 5+ months before I could run without pain. Three years before that, I found out I had a herniated disc in my back and had degenerative disc disease. At 19, it’s pretty tough to hear you can’t be as physically active as you want since I grew up playing soccer and football. That didn’t stop me though and nothing should stop you from achieving your goals as well.
I believe everyone should go for a run or walk at least 4 times a week. I run once a day and generally one mile a day (for now, without any excuses). You can spare 20 minutes of your day every day to stretch and run! I use my runs to be productive as well. I use it as a brain-storming session to think about my business (I organize triathlons, 5ks, 10ks, etc. Check out www.BishopsEvents.com). I have found that some of my best business ideas have come during my runs. It allows me to free my mind and get outside and run. You don’t have to use your time thinking about work, you could just listen to music or talk with a friend during a run.
For me, I run every day, no excuses, I know I have to get out there and run, no matter how tired, sick, or cold it may be (sometimes I do run at the gym though). I know if I don’t set my goal every day that I will just say, “I’ll run tomorrow instead” and then I’ll start missing days and thus not staying on my target.
So your goal is to lose 20 lbs or to become healthier… well, running every day for just a mile may not be your style. So try setting a broader goal, a goal of 7 miles a week for the first 4 weeks. You can run twice for 3.5 miles or 7 times for 1 mile per day. It’s your choice, but every Sunday you know you better have done your 7 miles that week! So after 4 weeks, then what? Maybe you increase your goal up to 14 miles if you’re feeling up to it, or maybe just 10 miles… it’s your goal, so set it and stick to it! Tell as many people as you want to about it… I’ll post sometimes on Facebook to let people know I went for my run, or I have been continuing my streak of running every day. It’s a way to hold your responsible for sticking to it if you know other people know that you’re running!
Just don’t let your goals go because it’s tough, everything in life has an element of it that is just tough to fight through. You didn’t get through high school because every class was easy. You didn’t get that job promotion because they handed it to you. You didn’t raise your kids with your eyes closed. You didn’t just lose 20 lbs and become healthier because your legs moved by themselves. Get out there and achieve your goals!