As many things in life, running can be that one task that you wish you could do but the thought of actually going to do it is deterring. You remember back to the cramps and the taste of iron in your mouth and think that running is not the activity for you.
Maybe you have tested the treadmill and got bored of looking at yourself in the mirror, or maybe you tried a neighbourhood run but you were worried that the person in the car driving by was judging your pace.
Perhaps you told yourself that today is the day to tie up those laces and enjoy a nice evening jog while soaking in the last few minutes of sunshine. But then you got home and excused yourself of that to enjoy a night on the couch instead.
Here are 10 ways that you can change your mindset and become a successful and confident runner. Set aside the cramps, catch your breath, and enjoy pushing your body to its limits outside of the gym. Running is a great activity to clear your mind, push yourself, and be active, so let’s talk about how you can get into it.
Set your goals
- Maybe you want to sign up for a 5k in the summer or building up to a half marathon OR maybe your goal is to run for fun and start a new hobby. Either way, it’s important to set your goals.
- Set your goals for how fast you want to run a certain distance to help you increase your pace over time.
- Write down your goals in a journal and hold yourself accountable to this.
Track your runs
- Download an app like Nike Run Club to track your run
- Use the GPS tracker to mark out the distance of your run and the pace you want to run at.
- These apps are also great to inform you how far you’ve gone during your run and to show you what route you have taken.
Prep a playlist
- Find a motivating playlist that has a great beat.
- Jam out to those sing along-worthy tunes to distract you from the distance.
- Find a playlist that helps you set your pace.
Invest in good running shoes
- Nothing is worse than having blisters and sore feet after a run. Invest in some good quality shoes that will last a while and won’t hurt your feet.
- Buy shoes that are meant for running, not casual trainers that are meant for a gym sesh.
- Don’t bolt out of the gate off the start! This will result in those awful unwanted cramps and make it difficult to catch your breath.
- Pace yourself throughout your run and try to stick to it.
- Increase your pace if you can but make it manageable to last the entire distance.
- If you have energy at the end, add in a sprint and push yourself!
Run somewhere new
- Change up the scenery and ditch the treadmill.
- If you’re a beginner, run somewhere where the elevation doesn’t change.
- Add some difficulty by finding a route with some hills.
- Changing the scenery by running a new route once in a while will make it more fun!
- Don’t forget to breathe. In through your nose, out through your mouth!
- It is important to pace yourself not only so you don’t get tired, but so you can manage your breaths.
- Focus on your breathing throughout the run. Longer inhales will allow you to save your breath without feeling winded.
Rest and Recover
- This is just as important as working out and running. Schedule in the days that you are going to rest and recover.
- Fuel your body with healthy nutrition.
- Rest doesn’t mean not moving! Keep moving your body every day, just some days can be less vigorous.
Don’t forget the cool down
- You don’t want to come in for a run and plop on the couch. Take 10-30 minutes to cool down.
- Stretch your body!
- Do not just end your run at a halt. Take a lap, catch your breath and allow your body to slow down your heart rate.
- You may have seen those giant bottles around where people are trying to drink a certain amount of water by a certain time of the day. Impressive!
- Do not forget to hydrate your body to avoid dehydration.
- Water = fuel, fuel = energy! Drink up!
Take in this read and motivate yourself to try out a run. Maybe you make it around the block, maybe you’ll run a distance you never thought was achievable. No matter what, get yourself moving. You will realize just how good it makes you feel.
Keep it up, Badgers!
Your Friendly Neighbourhood Badger