As a “Runner” I am often asked by inquisitive “Non-Runners”, “Why do you run?” This is a question that will never stump me as I have an infinite number of reasons for why I run and for why I share my passion for running with those around me.
What tends to stump me is why the person questioning me does not run. I immediately find myself giving them a list of things to do to turn themselves into happy, healthy runners who share my passion.
More often then not, someone who asks this question, whether they want to admit to it or not, has already contemplated bringing running into their lives.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
The problem is that many view running as a laborious task which requires numerous hours per week and a strict training plan to succeed.
Often beginners find themselves injured or frustrated because of these false beliefs. There can be a place for strict training plans down the road, depending on one’s goals, but truth be told, we are all “real” runners and running is a natural, fun, and freeing activity when we listen to our bodies.
I have learned, through listening to the self proclaimed “Non-Runners”, that they typically shy away from running because it was used against them as a form of punishment, it is boring, it hurts their knees, it burns their lungs and/ or they simply believe they are incapable.
I believe that by following my list below, in conjunction with a simple, dynamic “begin to run” training guideline, they will begin to see their perceived barriers lifted.
Best running tip for beginners: to fall in love with running (and never fall out of love with running) you should treat yourself to at least 5 of these guilty pleasures each week:
– Run slower than your “Comfortable” pace.
– Run like a kid on a playground – sprint, jog and walk in any ratio you choose.
– Run free of a set time or distance. Eight minute run, why not?
– Run, and if your body says walk, listen.
– Run on a street, on a trail, in a park, or in a town that you have never run in or on before.
– Run up a hill that intimidates you…and then run back down.
– Run with a smile, even if forced, because this will cause you to laugh!
– Run while the sun rises and/or sets to experience life’s simple pleasures.
– Run when you do not want to run. Chances are it will be the best run of your week.
– Run by yourself. For some it is a way to de-stress and disengage while for others it is a time to reflect and plan.
– Run with a friend, family member or someone you have never met. (There will be times that you will share things with this person that you would never share with others and there will be times that you run in silence. Embrace both.)
– Run with someone who is slower than you. Be their motivation and encouragement.
– Run with someone who is faster than you to receive their motivation and encouragement.
– Run past a window or in front of a mirror and admire what your body is doing.
– Run without your shoes in grass, dirt, or sand for a sense of liberation.
– Run without your watch and/or music. Let nature and the sound of your breathing carry you through.
– Run with music because some days running will seem impossible without the boost of a good beat.
– Run in imperfect weather (dress accordingly and pace accordingly)…but not unsafe weather. Rain, cold, hot, wind in moderate amounts can make you feel like a warrior.
– Run to deliver an errand. Multitasking at its best.
– Run and share by picking your proudest run of the week to post to a social network.
– Run and learn by listening to a podcast.
– Run for a treat by ending your run at your favorite coffee shop, diner, or ice cream parlor.
Run safely by telling someone where you will be running, wearing reflective gear when needed, wearing appropriate clothing for the weather, running on well lit roads and trails, running against traffic and on sidewalks when possible, and running with ID and a small amount of money.
If you have any questions about the list above or about training guidelines for beginners, I would love to hear from you.