The great thing about running is it can be done by anyone, anywhere. Although it can feel a little scary and overwhelming at first, all you need to make a move is a pair of good running shoes and some sheer determination.
Obviously no one walks outside and immediately crushes their first few runs like an elite athlete - more than likely your first few runs will be hell. Here are some strategies you can use to make your kilometres easier — and help you to keep running once you have started.
1. Don't focus on distance - use time instead.
Trying to run 3km on your first run is going to be mentally and physically challenging. Rather than doing this, aim for 15 to 20 minutes and then slowly increase the time as you get fitter.
2. Allow yourself to walk.
Run/walk intervals are a great strategy to build endurance. Walking breaks will delay fatigue to your muscles and keep your heart rate lower. Mentally, it’s also much easier to break your run into 1 or 2-minute intervals. Just make sure you keep the pace up when walking - your aim is to get fitter not to go for a leisurely stroll.
3. Find a friend or join a group.
Two words - accountability and fun. Research has shown that working out with a partner can encourage you to work out longer.
4. Gear up.
Make sure you are in the correct shoe. Many injuries occur because of the wrong running shoe. Go to a speciality running store or book a consultation with your podiatrist.
In terms of gear - there is so much out there! Moisture-wicking, cooling, long-sleeved, short-sleeved...the list goes on. Some of it is very expensive and really not necessary. A good pair of running shorts/capris and a shirt will do you fine. Although not necessary at first, if you start getting into longer distances you may want to look at some running specific socks too.
5. Plan and mark off your runs.
Put your runs in your diary! Make it a non-negotiable event during your day. Studies have shown shown that building time into your daily routine for exercise makes it much more likely you’ll actually follow through on the exercise, and continue on your exercise schedule.
Once you are done - mark it off! The sense of achievement you feel will be immense!
6. Post your goals on social media.
Again - accountability. Share your goals with your friends and family and then post your progress.
7. Don't let excuses stop you.