By: Michelle Nannarone
I’m a firm believer that almost anybody can be a runner. Most people can lace up their sneakers and go out there and pound the pavement. However, those who are patient with themselves are normally the ones to stick with running forever. I’m an avid runner and, along my running journey, I have gathered some tips and tricks to help anybody who wants to get more into running.
Tip 1: Start SLOW!
Never expect on your first day of running to go out there and run a 6 minute mile or be able to run 5 miles straight. Start slow! On your first day, start with running for 1-2 minutes then walking for 5 minutes. Continue that for about 20 minutes and do it for a week! By the end of the week, you’ll start to feel like you can run for longer and that’s GOOD! Next, bump up the time a little. Run for 3-5 minutes then walk for 5 minutes and do that for 20-30 minutes. Continue this for as long as you need! After a few weeks, you’ll find that you won’t need to walk as long as before. When it gets to that point, try running for a mile without stopping! And if you find you need to stop, let yourself. It is always okay to stop and walk for a little bit if you need it. Listening to your body while running is crucial to sticking with it. Don’t push yourself to run every day. Our bodies need rest since running puts strain on our muscles. When first starting out, run 3-4 times a week and, the other days, simply just rest or go for a walk!
Tip 2: When it’s hot out, either run early in the morning or at night.
As many people in Charleston know, summer and early fall can be brutal. When it’s going to be hot out, never run in the afternoon. The hours from 12pm-3pm tend to be the hottest. Instead, run early in the morning or later at night when the sun is setting! It will make your run beautiful and it won’t leave you looking like you just jumped into a swimming pool. If the only time you can run is in the afternoon, like I stated before, just take it slow and don’t push yourself beyond your limits!
Tip 3: Find a running buddy.
When I first got into running, my mother was training for her first marathon, so we decided to run together. She was super patient with me whenever I had to stop and frequently gave me words of inspiration to push me harder. If it wasn’t for her, I don’t think I would have stuck with running! Ask one of your friends to go on a run with you. It will make the run go by quicker and you will both feel great afterwards for getting out there and being active together. You get to really know someone when it’s just you, them, and the pavement for miles.
Tip 4: Don’t forget to have fun!
Running shouldn’t feel like a job. It should be fun and leave you feeling good! Running is supposed to be something that can help you unwind after a stressful day. If it is starting to feel monotonous, take a well-needed rest. Don’t run for a few days or even a week. Sometimes our body needs rest and that is okay! Exercise should never feel like it’s a requirement in your life. You should want to do it because you love it and because it makes you feel good. If you never want to run, then don’t force yourself to do it! Or if you start running and you realize you don’t like it, then don’t force yourself to keep doing it. Sometimes, some people just simply don’t like running (it kills me to say that!). Instead, they might find that they enjoy something like yoga or going for a bike ride. Whatever it is, be open to finding another exercise outlet. And always remember to have fun.
I hope these tips and tricks help you in your journey to running! Happy running!