Apartment Living BlogFitness & Style › How to Start Running: Advice from a Converted Cynic

Due to the fact that you are reading this, for one reason or another, you are probably thinking about how to start running. And thinking about how to start running is the first “step,” pun intended. Taking up this activity is easier than you may think, and I would know, I took it up at age 34.

IMG_3102 copyFirst things first, you need a reason. What’s your reason? Do you want to be healthier? Do you need some time away focusing on only you? Is there a weight loss goal you are working towards? Did your friends sign you up for a run? For me, I hated the idea of running. Let me repeat myself, I HATED the idea of running. I would have awful flashbacks of running around the backstops at school during gym class. It was probably the last thing I wanted to do. But I needed to lose my baby weight, and I needed time to myself. Time so that I could be a better mother, wife, daughter, coworker, everything. Whatever your reason, you need to keep it in mind, because this is what is going to help you stick with it. Even if you hate the idea of running.

IMG_7146 copyThe next step is deciding on a time and a schedule that works for you. Set a schedule and force yourself to stick to it.

In the beginning, I was running after work but kept finding that that time of day just didn’t work with my schedule. It was late, I had to see my kids, get dinner, get baths, supervise homework, etc. I ended up skipping my runs in the evenings because I felt guilty. I felt guilty that I was needed elsewhere. I didn’t want to be choosing running over choosing getting my family ready for the night. It just proved to be too much for me. SO, I switched my “time” to first thing in the morning…I’m talking 5 a.m. It wasn’t a horrible adjustment, difficult on some days for sure, but for me it worked. Take a look at your schedule and see if there are issues with the time you have chosen to dedicate to yourself. I personally love the morning time because, in the evening, I’m tired and done with “checking off my task list” for the day. When I get up and get my cardio in first thing in the morning, I feel as though I have more energy for the day. Sounds crazy, but it’s true.

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Next up: your diet. I’m not a nutritionist by any means. However, I don’t recommend overhauling your current diet. Portion control is key, and eating healthier snacks frequently is also going to be helpful. I love all of the fresh fruit that summer brings as well as string cheese, and even some yogurt covered pretzels when I need something like chips. Don’t get me wrong, I will throw down on some junk food, and frequently, but not in massive quantities. I also feel strongly that if you deny yourself your cravings, you will fail. You have to give into them in moderation. Also, it may be helpful to remove any of your weakness from the house. Why make it harder on yourself? I don’t follow a strict diet. I just try to make smart-ish choices, but I’m also a realist. I personally feel if a person tries to completely overhaul their current lifestyle at one time, they’re setting themselves up for failure.

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Reason: Check. Schedule: Check. Diet: Check.

Now, the act of running. This is the interesting one. I’ve told you before – I hated it. I HATED RUNNING. And that is the gospel truth. When I started, my goal was to get to 2 miles a day. Much to my disbelief, it was totally obtainable. I was shocked. I’m not going to lie to you, it wasn’t easy in the beginning. The hardest part of running is that first step out the door.

To help set me up for success, I would set out my running clothes, shoes (find a GOOD pair of shoes), armband, and headphones the night before. I set my alarm clock for 4:45 a.m., for a 5 a.m. run, and maybe hit snooze a handful of times in the timeline of two years. (Mostly because I didn’t want the wrath of my husband for hitting snooze a bunch of times at that early hour.) Another advantage for me to getting up this early, is that I’m not completely awake at that hour, so I’m not able to talk myself out of not going.

IMG_0248Find a running app you like. I use the Nike+ Running app from my phone to track my runs, distance, time, etc. There are so many running apps out there, check them out, and pick the one that best suits your needs. I base my runs off of distance, not time. Some people like to measure runs off of time and not distance, it’s completely your preference. Using an app also easily shows me the progress I am making. If not physically, but on paper so to speak. No matter what you decide, pick a running app, and choose something to base your workouts off of, and stick with it. It’s all about consistency to help you succeed.

IMG_0581Music… I have to listen to music while I run. If I don’t have music taking my mind off of what I’m actually doing, I won’t do it. Totally mental, but I know this about myself. I made a running playlist, and everyday I run, I listen to it. That consistency may not work for everyone, but it keeps me going.

IMG_5986 copyIt’s hard, but I promise you that it gets easier. You can do this, my friend. Make yourself a schedule, and stick to it, no matter how badly you don’t want to do it. I think it took me seven weeks to get into the groove. I’ll be honest – for those first seven weeks, I wanted to do anything, literally anything, other than go for a run. It does eventually become easier. And what’s even better? It becomes gratifying to get up, put in the work and sweat, and enjoy the new energy, (and the great friendships) that running has brought me.

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IMG_0474It’s about how you feel, and knowing that you are setting out on this lifestyle change for you and your family should make you feel amazing. I am the biggest converted cynic of running. I look forward to it so much these days. If I can do it, I know you can. And then you can become a weirdo like me, that takes pictures of your shoes and running clothes for fun. 

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About :

Amber is the Social Media & Content Manager for For Rent Media Solutions™ and has been with the company since April 2007. In her role, Amber helps execute and optimize a social media strategic plan across multiple channels, as well as manages the company's social media product. This includes blogs, social networks, video sharing sites, and other conversational media. She spends a great deal of time building relationships with consumers, social media influencers, and bloggers to generate awareness of For Rent Media Solutions brand. In her free time, Amber loves running, #hashtags, and DIY projects.

COMMENTS

Comments

  1. Channing Profitt says:
    An inspiration for sure!  Great read and very motivating!
    • Lea Erbskorn says:

      Hi Channing! That is awesome that you find this post inspiring and motivating. Really appreciate your feedback and happy running!

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